Paulson: Perfect as the Enemy of the Good

"Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good." That is the defense Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is mounting for his troubled deal with subprime lenders to supposedly cut people some slack.

Fair enough. The "perfect" shouldn’t be the enemy of the "good", but the phrase doesn’t apply to the subprime bailout deal. As I have pointed out here, the deal isn’t "good", with too many issues in interpretation, application, means-testing, acceptance, legal risk, and so on, so calling it "good" is a very big stretch.

And as for perfect, these are financial markets we’re talking about. None of us know what perfect is, and if we did, the market would immediately shift making the knowledge irrelevant.It’s a false comparison.