Saturday, September 27, 2008

Deliberate Error in Bush Speech?

Floyd Norris of the New York Times made a good catch about an error in Bush's speech the other night that I have not seen noted in the blogosphere. Bush said:

"Second, as markets have lost confidence in mortgage-backed securities, their prices have dropped sharply, yet the value of many of these assets will likely be higher than their current price, because the vast majority of Americans will ultimately pay off their mortgages.
The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal."

Norris writes:
"The most jarring part of the speech was his statement that his plan called for the government to buy troubled mortgage assets “at current low prices” and hold them until the value rises. In fact, the basis of the proposal is to buy assets at well above current market value — called fire-sale prices by the Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke — and thus recapitalize the financial system. They hope the market value will rise above what they pay, but that is not the same as buying at current low prices. Does he not understand that, or does he not want to acknowledge it?"

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