Mark this day: The worst of this crisis has passed. However, not yet the halfway point in time: We are 13 months into this wreck, and you'll sure as hell feel credit-market distress 13 months from now even though the greatest risk has passed. I wrote last week that I heard "hoofbeats of cavalry on the way" -- for a while this week it looked as though John Wayne had arrived to shoot the settlers and give firewater to the Apaches. Until yesterday the nation labored under the illusion that this crisis was a financial matter: banks and markets thrashing around, remote from Main Street, something that would either solve itself or be calmed by usual means. In reality, of course, the financial matter was not remote and had been hopelessly lost by August 2007. Now this crisis is officially public property, in the political sphere, put there by final disaster on Wednesday, formally acknowledged today by the Fed, the Treasury, the president, both houses of Congress, and bot...
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