Mr Paulson’s plan relies on buying vast amounts of toxic securities. The theory is that in any auction a huge buyer like the federal government would end up paying more than today’s prices, temporarily depressed by the scarcity of buyers, and still buy the loans cheaply enough to reflect the high chance of a default. That would help recapitalise some banks—which could also set less capital aside against a cleaner balance sheet. And by creating credible, transparent prices, it would at last encourage investors to come in and repair the financial system: this week Warren Buffett and Japan’s Mitsubishi-UFJ agreed to buy stakes in Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Some banks would still not have enough capital, but under Mr Paulson’s original plan, the state could put equity in them, or, if they become insolvent, take them over and run them down.
鲍尔森先生的计划依赖于大量购买有毒债券，其理论依据在于：在任何竞价中，买家数量匮乏会造成价格的暂时性压低，虽然像联邦政府这样的大买家所付出的成交 价格很可能高于现值，但仍然会以易于形成违约的便宜价格购买贷款。此举不仅可以调整一些银行的资本，还可以减少为了调整资产负债比例而搁置的资本。建立可 靠透明的价格将会最终鼓励投资者们重新进入市场并且修复金融体系：本周巴菲特和日本三菱UFJ银行同意购买高盛和摩根斯坦利的股份。一些银行还处于资本不足的状态，但是根据鲍尔森计划的原意，国家可以向银行注资，如果他们出现了清偿问题，政府可以接管银行并阻止其继续恶化。
The economics behind this is sound. Government support to the banking system can break the cycle of panic and pessimism that threatens to suck the economy into deep recession. Intervention may help taxpayers, because they are also employees and consumers. Although $700 billion is a lot—about 6% of GDP—some of it will be earned back and it is small compared with the 16% of GDP that banking crises typically swallow and trivial compared with the Depression, when unemployment surged above 20% (compared with 6% now). Messrs Bernanke and Paulson also have done well by acting quickly: it took seven years for Japan’s regulators to set up a mechanism to take over large broke banks in the 1990s.
支撑该计划的经济形势健康度还算好，政府对于银行系统的支持可以打破人们对经济深陷衰退所产生的恐慌和悲观的恶性循环。政府干预也许会帮到纳税人，因为他 们本身也是雇员和消费者。尽管7000亿美元是一个不小的数目，几乎相当于GDP的6%，但是其中的部分时可以被拿回的，并且与银行危机所吞噬掉的GDP 的16%比较而言就小了很多；如果与上世纪的大萧条相比就更是微不足道了，那时候的失业率飚升到20%，而现在只有6%。鲍尔森和伯南克也做到了该出手时 就出手：日本的立法者在90年代时用了7年时间才建立了接管破产银行的机制。
Could the plan be better structured? Some economists want the state to focus on putting equity into the banks—arguing that it is the best way to address their lack of solvency. In theory you would need to spend less, because a dollar of new equity would support $10 in assets. Yet the banks might not take part until they were on the ropes and, if house prices later fell dramatically more, the value of the banks’ shares would collapse. The threat of the government taking stakes would scare off some private investors. And in the charged atmosphere after this bail-out meddling politicians, as part-owners, would have a tempting lever over the banks.
这个计划得架构是否可以更优化呢？一些经济学家希望政府可以向银行注入更多的资本，因为他们认为这是清偿能力缺乏的最佳解决之道。理论上而言应该减少消 费，因为注资1美元可以支撑10美元的资产。然而银行存在着不撞南墙不回头的心理，那么如果房价随后会更夸张地下跌，银行股票将会彻底崩溃。政府介入行为 所引发的恐慌也许会吓跑部分私人投资者。政客们的干预计划造成了非常紧张的气氛，所以股东们有躲避银行的倾向。