This idea just hit me on the drive in this morning. Instead of buying up all the “troubled” assets of financial institutions, why doesn’t the government buy all the good assets? The financial institutions that took outrageous risks can sink in a pool of their own toxic waste, while responsible borrowers are protected from the consequences of others’ greed and the government uses the proceeds from those good assets to make the loans that the big-finance guys keep refusing to make. Some time after the economy has stabilized, we could work on transitioning those assets back to a responsible private financial sector (not the parasitic one we have now) where they belong.

Maybe it’s not such a great idea, but there doesn’t seem to be much to recommend the ideas coming from the people currently in the Washington phase of the great Washington/Wall Street revolving door. Given how seriously and consistently wrong these people (and their Randian polyps) have turned out to be, they can be considered negative predictors of any idea’s value.