Strictly circumscribed containment

From today’s Washington Examiner editorial:

“There are credible alternatives to the Bush administration’s bailout approach.  Economist Brian Westbury, for example, suggests allowing troubled firms to erect an accounting firewall around at-risk assets created between December 2003 and August 2007 by segregating them from the rest of their balance sheets and then holding those assets to maturity. The government’s main role would be in providing insurance for the sequestered assets instead of buying them outright. By comparison, the Bush bailout looks like a bum’s rush for economic freedom.”

CEI’s VP of Policy Wayne Crews agrees. “This is just the right approach.  Not every asset is a problem, there needs to be a separation between good and bad, limit governments involvement to correcting past errors, and have a path forward for every mortgage granted starting tomorrow.   There should be no government role beyond cleaning up a strictly circumcribed mess.”