Monday, September 22, 2008

Times Are Tough. I had To Give Up My Condo In Vail And Go To A Timeshare

Regular readers of this blog probably ought to expect more of mean are aware that we are not economic experts, and yet we know that just because there are checks left in the checkbook, does not mean there is money left in the account.

Apparently this comes as a shock to the Secretary of the Treasury.

Making the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson repeatedly said today's financial problems were long in the making. He should know. He was part of the Gold Rush that has brought the global financial system to the brink of collapse.

Um...We're not sure, but we don't think that was meant as a compliment.

Bush saw Paulson's Wall Street experience as a plus. "Hank will follow in the footsteps of distinguished Treasury secretaries who used their talents and wisdom to strengthen our financial markets and expand the reach of the American Dream like Brandy Alexander, or somebody. I'm not good with names."

But with Paulson now seeking virtually unfettered authority to administer the largest bailout of the financial industry in U.S. history, many are wondering whether Paulson also doesn't come with enormous potential conflicts of interest. If by 'conflict of interest' you mean the guy has all the financial acumen of a box turtle.

That was one reason Democrats expressed reluctance to approve the administration's draft legislation that would leave to Paulson virtually all authority over the proposed $700 billion bailout. "Well, the guy has two strikes against him in my view," said one democratic legislator. "One he's a Bush appointee, and two he's a Bush appointee."

"If we grant the Treasury broad authority to address the immediate crisis, we must insist on independent accountability and oversight," said Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barrack Obama. "But since we're democrats, give us a week or two and we'll cave."

"Hank is the right guy," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg , who made his millions providing information to Wall Street traders, told NBC's Meet the Press. "If I had to have one person at the helm today I would pick Hank Paulson, but that's because my money is in a mattress."

The administration's draft law also would preclude court review of steps Paulson might take. "Well, doing it this way is more efficient," said an aide to Paulson. "It saves us having to break the law if there's no law there to begin with."

The Treasury proposal sent to Congress also offers no process to hire asset managers in an open and competitive process. That's particularly questionable given that Wall Street players are now hiring Wall Street players, Joshua Rosner , managing director of economic researcher Graham Fisher & Co. in New York , said. "That makes perfect sense," replied a Treasury spokesperson. "Who better to fleece you than the folks who've already fleeced you? Wait, that didn't sound right."

"This seems to invite a risk of collusion between sellers and buyers to the detriment of the taxpayer," Rosner said. "What's his point?" a Treasury spokesperson replied.

"Last week there were times when the capital markets or credit markets were frozen," Paulson said. "American companies weren't able to raise financing. That has very serious consequences. So what we need to do right now is stabilize the markets, and this is for the benefit of the taxpayers we're doing this. And I feel obligated to point out that my friends at the club are taxpayers. Just saying"

Yeah. You have to admit he has a point there. Rich people need extra protection because they don't know how to be poor. The rest of us, well we've got experience on our side. Or soon will have.


Anonymous said...

McCain has seven homes and thriteen cars. (Does that sound right to you?) He also has no idea how many homes he has, let alone, what's in all those garages.
For a guy who has been 90% for Bush, and all the way, looks like it is full speed ahead, without any tickets, fines or jail-times....(Does that sound right to you?)
And with all their "morality" with hating homosexuals, hating pro-science and hating pro-education, and hating pro health care, and anyhing "un-Christian"...I am asking you...Does that sound right to you?
Well, looks like what he really thinks is we are all just a bunch of Middle Class. That and the fact ,we work at least two jobs and drink a lot of beer.
Does that sound right to you?

George said...

I totally believed this write-up until the Obama quote about the Dems folding in a week or two.

I mean, when was the last time they took a stand that made it to Day Seven?

Ironicus Maximus said...

Meh. Good point. Our bad.