The United States has the tools to turn the financial tide and restore confidence in the market, says Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Volcker says financial authorities in the United States and elsewhere are now in a position to take “needed and convincing action to stabilize markets and to restore trust.”
A recession appears inevitable now, Volcker writes.
However, "there is now a clear recognition that the problem is international and international coordination and cooperation is both necessary and under way."
The coordinated global cut in central bank interest rates is one sign of this commitment.
"More important ... is the clear determination of our Treasury, of European finance ministers, and of central banks to support and defend the stability of major international banks," Volcker says.
Adding to the U.S. effort at bolster the market, Volcker points out, are the higher limits on deposit insurance and the recent bailout legislation authorizing the purchase of troubled debt, including mortgages.
One tool that didn't seem to work, however, was the now-expired SEC ban on short sales.
In an editorial, the Journal called the plan "ill-advised," and echoed the concerns of several economists in stating that "trading bans can never mask real value for very long.”
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