Is This Just Another Chapter In Citi’s Demise?

Just about everyone had their take on the Citi bailout today and for my money, Felix Salmon did the best job of analyzing the deal and drawing conclusions that strike me as reasonable.

In summary, he feels as if nothing was settled by the actions of the Treasury and that the end game is still to be played out. I agree completely. We’ve been down this road too many times and seen the final solution eventually become just another chapter. I am reluctantly concluding that the size and complexity of the problem may simply be too large for government to solve. In that case, failures or managed failures might be the preferred route.

The reaction of the equity markets today was remarkable. One would think that the admission by the government that a $2 trillion institution cannot survive without massive government assistance would be a sobering thought. Citi’s problems only underscore the severity and depth of the underlying problems in the economy. I suspect that the stock market might soon sober up and recognize the reality that we face.

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