March 12, 2009

MEGAN MCARDLE: “Apparently, the restrictions that Congress is putting on bailout monies is pushing a number of institutions to give the money back. What to think of this? One’s first instinct is to say that this is an unalloyed good–the restrictions have made taking the funds costly enough that only truly troubled institutions will do so. The problem is, that’s precisely what the Fed was trying to avoid. . . . It’s also possible that some of the measures that express our collective rage at the bankers could tip the banks over the edge. It’s satisfying to make AIG cut out junkets for independent insurance agents, but it also probably means that fewer AIG policies will be sold. Since we now own the company, we probably cost ourselves money in order to express our outrage”

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