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American Sense

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"The same language of morality has been used by economic fundamentalists who don't want to help homeowners who got subprime mortgage loans and find themselves in deep foreclosure weeds. Mike Huckabee once said that it "is not the purpose of government to prop people up from every poor decision they make. ... It creates an enabling co-dependency." And as recently as last weekend, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson insisted that government actions to prevent foreclosures would "do more harm than they would do good."

I grant you that moral hazard is not a myth. But most of the sermons railing against the harm of helping others are directed at the poorer pews.

We don't seem to worry about the moral hazard of, say, protecting a CEO from his failings. Need I remind you that Robert Nardelli got $210 million in severance after he hammered Home Depot? Or that he now resides at the top of Chrysler? What lesson did other chief executives learn from the Citigroup CEO who had $64 billion in market value evaporate on his watch and nevertheless exited with a $68 million package and a $1.7 million pension?"

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  • 293 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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