Gentlemen, Start Your Helicopters
Milton Friedman, we need you now.
Duncan Black on the right macroeconomic policy;
Just Give Everybody Free Money: There's something to the 'no fair giving free money to people who got into debt but not to people who didn't' argument. So, to avoid that problem, give everybody free money! You could add some requirement about paying off debt if you have, and that might make things a bit more complicated, but basically... give people free money!Mail out ten $1000 platinum coins to everybody who filed a tax return in April 2011, make big equity investments in the banks, adopt the Morgan Stanley plan and offer everybody with a mortgage a chance to refi it through FNMA at the current conforming-loan rate (and take warrants to make it a shared-appreciation mortgage if your equity cushion is less than 20% or if the mortgage is jumbo), have the Federal Reserve provide mezzanine financing for a TALF-Infrastructure bank that will finance toll or dedicated tax-backed infrastructure projects, shift the Federal Reserve from targeting interest rates or its balance sheet to targeting the nominal GDP path, announce that right now a weaker dollar is in America's interest, target the U.S. exchange rate against a basket of the renminbi, the yen, the pound, and the euro.
We've been giving rich people free money for years, and will presumably keep doing so given what's going on, so the rest of us should get a cut.