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Nobody wants a panic. But we've got one.
Having Lehman die is obviously bad for its customers and lenders, but it will be sorted out.But how can the Fed and Treasury not have been in there telling AIG (AIG - Get Report) what to do? How can there not be a plan? How could we let free-market capitalism still run wild? It obviously failed. How can the Fed not cut rates right now in this deflationary environment to make the deposits of banks worth more? How can this guy Tim Geithner still be in charge, when everything he has done has been reactive and wrong? Do we just say, "Hey, them's the breaks"? I put this one on the Federal Reserve. They had every chance to do more, and all they did as fret about Chinese-led inflation. Now the Chinese are so desperate they are doing a stimulus package, and all we have is a Fed that is worried about trying to be sure not that liquidity is available but that its various fancy facilities are in place, facilities that did nothing to help Lehman and did nothing to help Merrill (MER) and are doing nothing to help AIG. Without a rate cut and a Resolution Mortgage Trust, we will simply be facing the imminent demise of Washington Mutual (WM). We aren't any more ready for that than we were for Lehman.