Two days after NYU Economics Professor Nouriel Roubini said markets are on the verge of meltdown, the IMF parroted the sentiment in their weekend meetings in Washington, DC—after four years of ignoring him. From the looks of this Reuters story, there was quite a few photo ops and generalized quotes from President Bush like:
“I’m confident that the world’s major economies can overcome the challenges we face,” Bush said, adding that Washington was working as fast as possible to implement a $700 billion financial bailout package approved a week ago. “The benefits will not be realized overnight, but as these actions take effect, they will help restore stability to our markets and confidence to our financial institutions.”
But it’s Henry Paulson who’s in charge and instills confidence in a period where zero confidence is compounding already-serious market issues. Too bad he’s not going to stay on when the new administration comes in next year. The presidential candidates offered soundbytes at their last debate offering Warren Buffett and, gulp, Meg Whitman as replacements for Paulson. Neither are more than on-the-spot answers to the question.