The Corner

Re: State Bankruptcy: Harder than It Looks

Dear Mr. Derbyshire,

Thank you for your kind compliment. You also note that your “bond guy” thinks that the lawyers could untangle the mess they’ve helped to create, and that you disagree with him. As you say:

I have this vision of a guy defusing a complicated bomb, the timer dial clicking down through single digits, and he starts snipping wires at random.

Indeed. I am with you.

If congresspeople and lawyers are eager to solve the problems of a complex financial market featuring many competing special interests, I’ve got excellent news for them: The mortgage-backed securities market circa 2006–07 still awaits enlightened solutions. The best efforts of two presidents and of the world’s smartest bankers haven’t yet untangled that knot.

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