Bank Rescue: Dueling Headlines

Headline skimmers would get a very different picture of what happened yesterday depending on what paper they happen to pick up:

WaPo is the major outlier here and probably gets it closest to right.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Media,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Do they? As I read the most recent proposals they were completely voluntary.

    I suppose it depends on what is meant by “force”. In my view a course of actions having consequences and being forced to do something are two different things. We must eat otherwise we will die. However, we aren’t forced to do so unless there’s a tube shoved down our throats or something similar.

  2. Triumph says:

    Headline skimmers would get a very different picture of what happened yesterday depending on what paper they happen to pick up:

    Yeah, I concur with Schuler–what do you mean?

  3. James Joyner says:

    In pressing the bank executives to accept partial government ownership, Paulson’s message was clear: Though officially the program was voluntary, the banks had little choice in the matter.

    If the government is going to pour tens of billions into your competitors’ coffers and you can take it or leave it, it’s very much an offer you can’t refuse.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    Nonetheless “force” is a poor choice of words by the Post editor. As details emerge on the various bailouts that have occurred over the last several months, I’m seeing less and less force and more and more rent-seeking.

    Deciding that the government offered the most favorable available terms isn’t force by any stretch of the imagination.

  5. Michael says:

    If the government is going to pour tens of billions into your competitors’ coffers and you can take it or leave it, it’s very much an offer you can’t refuse.

    Yeah, I’m with Dave and Triumph, the banks still have the option to not take the deal and fail. The fact that they have to choose between 2 unpleasant options doesn’t mean they are being forced into either one specifically, especially when at least one of the unpleasant options is the consequence of their own actions.