The SEC and FDIC changes announced Tuesday are not the only ideas being discussed in Washington and among economists. Some others:

  • Change federal requirements that force banks to keep a certain level of cash on hand for every dollar they lend out.
  • Give banks the chance to exchange loan notes for FDIC notes, which be more valuable and allowing the banks more flexibility to make loans.
  • Purchase on a massive scale mortgage-backed securities issued by finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • Extend limits on short sales of financial sector stocks.
  • Cut the fed funds rate - the Federal Reserve's target for short-term lending - perhaps all the way to zero, or in coordination with rate cuts by other central banks around the globe.

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