85 BILLION DOLLARS. YES I AM SHOUTING. Had the feds acted two days earlier they could have acquired AIG for a mere $25 billion. How would you explaoin that little differnece to your boss? Those of you who believe more governement and more regulation will save us from ourselves can pick up the difference. Some commentators smarter than me have suggsted that if the SEC had simply reinstated the long-standing but recently abandoned short trade rules the runs on some of these companies may have been averted. I know, I know, we all pay for the correction of market excesses, but I'd rather pay directly than through the inefficient regurgitative process of big government.
When I asked my students the other day if they felt more insecure than they did last week, they all shrugged. When I asked if they felt more insecure and anxious about their futures today than they did a year ago, most still shrugged. One international student said he was more worried because of the perceived failure of AIG because he wants to go into the insurance biz. Setting aside the wisdom of his career choice, I asked him to consider whether the failure of one of the largest players could not be viewed as an opportunity for smaller or regional firms.