Effective or not, bailouts somehow seem unjust. Why use taxpayer money to save the companies that actually caused the meltdown, the banks that made the reckless loans, and insurance companies that wrote too many credit- default swaps? More broadly, why save the state and local governments that offered overly generous pensions? Or auto companies too fat and lazy to match foreign competitors? They deserve to suffer the consequences of their behavior.
The Greek philosophers were not entirely wrong about markets. When they reward cooperation, people become more obliging and virtuous -- but markets don’t always reward it. Though on balance they have greatly improved our moral behavior, they can also degrade it.
YPF SA, Argentina’s largest oil company, signed contracts to export crude as its La Plata refinery operates at about half of normal output levels after a fire earlier this month, a government official said.