Mr Paulson’s plan also has its shortcomings. Hewill find it hard to stop sellers from rigging auctions, if only because no two lots of dodgy securities are exactly the same. Taxpayers may thus pay over the odds and banks may be rewarded for their stupidity. Yet these costs seem small against the benefit of putting a floor under the markets. And fine calculations about moral hazard are less pressing when investors are fleeing risk.
鲍尔森先生的计划也有弱点：该计划很难阻止卖方的提价行为，除非有两个完全一样的dodgy securities(这个我没有查到)。纳税人会因为不对等的条件而要支付更多成本，而银行会从他们的愚蠢举动中获利。投资者在规避风险的时候，道德风 险的精准计算就不那么重要了。
If the economics of Mr Paulson’s plan are broadly correct, the politics are fiendish. You are lavishing money on the people who got you into this mess. Sensible intervention cannot even buy long-term relief: the plan cannot stop house prices falling and the bloated financial sector shrinking. Although the economic risk is that the plan fails, the political risk is that the plan succeeds. Voters will scarcely notice a depression that never happened. But even as they lose their houses and their jobs, they will see Wall Street once again making millions.
如果鲍尔森先生计划的经济效果还勉强的话，那么其政治效果就应该算是极差了；因为钱已经挥霍到把你带入混乱的人的身上了。如此理性的干预甚至都不能换来长 期的缓解：该计划不能阻止房价的下跌和过度膨胀金融业的缩水，经济风险在于计划的失败，而政治风险在于计划的成功。选民们不会注意到一个永远不可能发生的 经济衰退，尽管目前失去了房屋和工作，但他们还将看到华尔街的东山再起。
Buckle a little, but do it briefly
In retrospect, Mr Paulson made his job harder by misreading the politics. His original plan contained no help for homeowners. And he assumed sweeping powers to spend the cash quickly. He was right to want flexibility to buy a range of assets. But flexibility does not exclude accountability. As complaints mounted, Mr Paulson and Mr Bernanke buckled—agreeing, for instance, to more oversight. Now that Messrs McCain and Obama have returned to Congress to forge a deal, more buckling may be necessary. Ideally, concessions should not outlast the crisis: temporary help for people able to stay in their houses, a brief ban on dividends in financial firms, even another fiscal package. They should not be permanent or so onerous that the programme fails for want of participants—which is why proposed limits on pay are a mistake (see article).
回顾过往，鲍尔森先生对政治的错误解读给自己的工作平添了不少难度。他的计划原本不包括对房屋所有者的救助，并且假想出可以迅速作出支出的强大权利。他对 于购买资产灵活性的需求是正确的，但是灵活性也不能牺牲应有的义务。鉴于抱怨的日益增多，鲍尔森和伯南克决定收紧政策：比如同意加强监管。现在麦凯恩和奥 巴马也同国会达成了进一步收紧政策的共识。在理想主义状态下，让步不会比危机延续更长的时间：暂时帮助人们保住自己的房产，暂时中断金融公司的分红以及其 他一揽子财政措施。但是这不应该是长期行为，而且也不应该太过繁琐，否则就会因为缺乏参与者而导致计划的失败；这就是限定支付额度的错误根源所在。
Mr Paulson’s plan is not perfect. But it is good enough and it is the plan on offer. The prospect of its failure sent credit markets once again veering towards the abyss. Congress should pass it—and soon.