Sep 18, 2008

Bill Clinton on the bailouts of Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddie, and AIG

I think the argument that we shouldn't do it because the taxpayers don't owe anything to Wall Street is rather short-sighted. The people that are getting the shaft out here are the home-owners, the people that live in their neighborhood whose home value is going down, the people who are losing their jobs. In other words, this is not about bailing out Wall Street. This is about restoring confidence in America.

I don't think there is any choice but for us to have the government to sit down with the private sector and all the stakeholders and do more. And I think the longer you wait, ironically, the more you have to do and the more money you have to spend. So in a funny way the people who are most against market intervention wind up having to preside over the biggest market intervention that costs the most money because we all know that markets without disclosure, without capital requirements, without market requirements - if you don't have these kinds of things to keep the market in tow - they all tend to unsustainable extremes.

~ Bill Clinton, interview with Maria Bartiromo, CNBC, September 19, 2008

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