Antidote For Some "Toxic Assets"

On Marketplace, Renita Jablonski interviewed L.A. Times columnist David Lazarus. Lazarus (check out his video) isn't happy with journalists' and politicians' references so-called "toxic assets." He points out some of those assets still have value and that the ongoing haste to unload them could prove to be counterproductive. The underlying issue, it seems to the Wonk, is transparency:

Jablonski: Well, tell me this: If you could, for a day, change your name to Tim Geithner, what would you do right now?

Lazarus: I think one thing I would do is to step right up and say all this lip service we've been paying to regulatory changes, here's what we're talking about. And what we're talking about specifically is far greater transparency in the marketplace.

Jablonski: But how do you create that?

Lazarus: How do you create that? It's reporting requirements -- very clear reporting requirements and very regular reporting requirements. And also consequences that come -- severe consequences -- when those reporting requirements are not met. Obviously, I'm simplifying very grossly. But at the same time, this is the culture that needs to come into place -- a culture of disclosure as opposed to a culture of denial.

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