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In The Short Run, Is The Fannie/Freddie Housing Bailout Bill Good Or Bad For The Economy? How About The Long Run?

We asked our panel:

In The Short Run, Is The Fannie/Freddie Housing Bailout Bill Good Or Bad For The Economy? How About The Long Run?

Results:

Short run: Good-11 Bad-1
Long run: Good-3 Bad-9






The Kudlow Caucus Breakdown

Short run: Good
Long run: Bad
Stefan AbramsManaging Partner, Bryden-Abrams Investment Management
In the short run the bill, which probably won't cost the taxpayers very much money, will help to shore up confidence and enable Fannie and Freddie to recapitalize themselves over time. Moreover, these two agencies are currently the only game in town for people needing a mortgage and will remain so until the banks become willing and able to lend again. Hopefully, Fannie and Freddie will not become overly restrictive in their own lending practices. In the long run, the best way to combat moral hazard is for the government to disengage itself from any implied guaranty and force these two entities to be broken up into pieces that are not too big to fail.

Short run: Good
Long run: Bad
Joe Battipaglia
Market Strategist, Stifel Nicolaus
It is good for the short term as the mortgage market remains open. Longer term, however, it distorts mortgage finance and allows for even greater financial mischief ( look at the funding provisions of the bill).

Short run: Good
Long run: Bad
Jared Bernstein
Senior Economist, Economic Policy Institute
In the short-run, Fannie and Freddie define “too big to fail,” so the bailout is, unfortunately, necessary (note that CBO predicts that the expected cost to taxpayers will be $25b, not chump change but less than I thought). In the long-run, you’ve got to nationalize these companies. It’s the only way to put a stake through the heart of the moral hazard they invoke.

Short run: Bad
Long run: Bad
Jerry BowyerChief Economist, Benchmark Financial Network
It’s bad in the short run, unless you are either a highly paid Fannie executive or currently a staffer for any democratic member of a Congressional banking oversight committee, in other words, a future highly paid Fannie execute. In the long run, this will be a huge transfer of wealth to a corrupt bureaucratic and inefficient bureaucracy from the rest of us tax payers.

Short run: Good
Long run: Good
Vince FarrellScotsman Capital Management
It's good in the short run as it settles what could have been a disastrous "run on the bank." The long run danger is that market discipline is abandoned and bail-outs become the norm. If appropriate pain is allowed to occur (cutting the dividend, scaling back pay levels, ending lobbying efforts etc.) then the long run outlook is good.

Short run: Good
Long run: Bad

Jim LaCampPortfolio Manager, Portfolio Focus, RBC Wealth Management
Co-Host, Opening Bell Radio Show, Biz Radio Network
In the short run- Good, we let this go to far in the first place and it would wreck the housing market and our global perception if we allowed them to fail.

In the long run-Bad- it's another step towards the socialization of America. Socialistic entities never work and neither do socialistic Governments. They never work. They never will.

Short run: Good
Long run: Bad
Art LafferFmr. Reagan Economic Advisor
Chief Investment Officer, Laffer Investments
There shouldn’t be a Fannie and Freddie, and in the long-run they are going to cause far more problems in the housing market than they solve.

Short run: Good
Long run: Good
Joe LaVorgnaManaging Director, Chief US Economist, Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.
Short run is good because it helps the housing market and anything that helps the housing market gets to the crux of the problem. If it’s good in the short term, it’s good in the long run. Clearly regulators will be a little more involved in the financial markets but hopefully not in a way to stifle innovation.

Short run: Good
Long run: Good
Donald L. Luskin Chief Investment Officer, Trend Macrolytics LLC
Good for the economy? Yes, in both the short term and the long term. But really, that begs the question: "good" versus what alternative?

If the alternative is gradually decommissioning the GCE's -- that is, the government corrupted enterprises -- and putting them in private hands, then any rescue that perpetuates the status quo is bad.

But that's a fantasy benchmark. If the alternative is for the government to stand back and let these entities collapse, and drag down so many innocent people with them -- when it is the government itself that created these monsters in the first place -- would be the height of reckless irresponsibility, and would be terrible for the economy because of the widespread losses in the hands of innocent bystanders.

So in reality, the world we have to live in, I think the rescue is a good idea, and good for the economy. I remain convinced that it may not even be needed, anyway. It's like the air masks and life rafts in a plane. You'll never need them. But it's nice to know they're there.

Short run: Good
Long run: Bad
Steve MooreSr. Economics Writer, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
Short run it helps the economy by guaranteeing the repayment of the mortgage backed securities. Long term this bill is a disaster as it has no taxpayer protections against further bailouts. We have converted implicit guarantees into 100% explicit govt. guarantees

Short run: Good
Long run: Bad
James Pethokoukis
Sr. Writer, U.S. News & World Report (Money & Business)
In the short run, we have to play the hand we are dealt and bail them out. But long run, it sets a horrible moral hazard example and the government needs to get out of the housing business.

Short run: Good
Long run: Bad
Robert Reich
Former Labor Secretary
Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
In the short run, the credit and housing crises would become far worse if Fannie or Freddie were allowed to fail. But over the long run, bailing them out sets a dangerous precedent, just as does the Fed bailout of Wall Street investment banks. How can we expect Fannie, Freddie and their Wall Street brethren to manage risks more properly in the future when they know Uncle Sam will come to their aid if they make bad bets? Socialized capitalism -- private gains combined with public losses -- doesn't work.

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