Banks Admit Bailout Won’t Work | Henry Blodget | Oct. 17, 2008

So much for that story. A few days ago, when Hank Paulson called the heads of the nine families to Washington and shoved cash down their throats, he announced that the banks would use this new taxpayer cash to lend. They won’t, of course. They’ll hoard it like a starving family who has just been given a grocery cart full of food.

And after a few days of silence, even the banks are finally admitting that. So it’s back to the drawing board for Paulson & Co.

Next steps? Find a way to force the banks to write their assets down to nuclear winter levels, so 1) private investors don’t have to worry about getting sandbagged and therefore invest more in the banks, and 2) the banks know they won’t be forced to take more multi-billion dollar losses. Only then will the banks begin to lend again. And at that point, the only challenge will be finding people and companies to lend to, in an economy headed straight into the tank.)

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