Crisis? What Crisis?

Another month, another emergency resolved. But Washington can't bail us out forever

Richard Drew / AP

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

It's getting to be a familiar ritual. Markets panic. A bunch of G-men in dark suits interrupt their routines for an emergency meeting or a conference call to piece together a rescue plan. They announce the plan. Panic subsides. Then, a week to a couple of months later, it starts all over again.

I count six such episodes since August 2007. In the early days, the Federal Reserve Board did all the work and usually made its big announcement on a Friday. Since then, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has moved to the fore, and he picked a Sunday afternoon to float...

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