Wall Street’s turn to bolster confidence

Source: Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post (Free Registration)

Now, what was that about Hank Paulson having blown it? How he foolishly let Lehman Brothers go under and started a chain reaction that quickly turned into a financial meltdown? How he was so focused on his cockamamie plan to buy up distressed mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, instead of injecting capital into banks in exchange for shares? Since Lehman's failure, Paulson has moved faster, more aggressively and more deftly than any of his international counterparts in doing whatever was necessary to stabilize the financial system. The truth is we were going to have a serious financial crisis no matter what Paulson did or didn't do, thanks to the incredible ineptitude of Wall Street and the nation's financial regulators over the past few years, whether an insolvent and mismanaged investment bank was rescued or not. Lehman was the veritable straw that finally broke the back of the financial camel overloaded with debt. If it hadn't been Lehman, it would have been something else.

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