It is just over 70 years since the Great Depression. Judged by its rejection of the US Treasury’s bail-out plan, Congress believes it is time to risk another one. Martin Wolf argues a slump is not inevitable but only if action is taken to prevent one.
The US Treasury secretary views the core challenge as illiquidity, not insolvency. By creating a market for toxic assets, he hopes to halt the spiral of falling prices and bankruptcies. But the scheme is neither necessary nor efficient, says Martin Wolf
Should we be sickened at the news of formerly well-paid Lehman bankers jostling with their vending cards for the last Mars Bars? Lucy Kellaway asks just what kind of character is needed to survive the financial meltdown and to find another job.
Is the worst now over? Certainly not. The biggest outstanding question is whether government-led rescues of undercapitalised financial systems will be needed. This is now looking increasingly likely, says Martin Wolf
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