We're coming to you from the Move Along, Nothing To See Here Department in the marbled halls of IM Central today. MANtSH is a subsidiary of the The Adults Are In Charge Corporation in partnership with We Went To College for This, Inc.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke waged a stout defense on Capitol Hill of their management of a $700 billion financial bailout just one week after the administration abandoned the original strategy behind the rescue. "We think the plan that we don't have anymore is the best approach to this problem," secretary Paulson said.
"And that's why we're going to come up with another one," Bernanke added. "But first, watch this drive."
Focusing the program on pouring billions more into bank rat holes — and possibly anybody else with ties to Bush's Rangers — to pump up their holiday bonuses was deemed a faster and more effective approach to wasting the blank check Congress cluelessly gave them in the first place than buying rotten assets from bankrupt financial institutions, the completely idiotic centerpiece of the original plan, Paulson said.
Buying those worthless debts would have required "massive stupidity even we aren't capable of," Paulson said in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, most of whom were sober. As economic and financial conditions quickly worsened, it became clear that the first installment of the money — $350 billion — "would have left nothing over for CEO compensation packages," he said.
"If we have learned anything throughout this year, we have learned that this financial crisis is unpredictable and difficult to counteract," Paulson said. "Also that we're complete idiots who shouldn't be trusted with your daughter's piggy bank."
In other news, A homeless man has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison and ordered to pay more than $101 million for starting two fires, including one that burned more than 163,000 acres in California two years ago. Secretary Paulson said a special request would be made to Congress to provide bailout money for him.