A free market bailout alternative?

Bagus, Philipp; Julián, Juan; Neira, Miguel
June 2014
European Journal of Law & Economics;Jun2014, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p405
Academic Journal
It has been more than 3 years since the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers and the beginning of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Most recently, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe has led to the bailout of the governments of Ireland, Portugal and Greece. A main reason behind these bailouts is to support European banks loaded with government bonds on their balance sheet. In this article we analyze the detrimental consequences of the public bailout in 2008 and argue that a free market alternative existed. The alternative of a private bailout outlined in this article, consisting of the conversion of liabilities into equity and a private capital increase, largely avoids the problems of a public bailout. Similarly, a public bailout of governments of the Eurozone to sustain banks may be detrimental.


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