Sooo.. here we are after a week of waiting, on the edges of our seats, to see what Congress was going to do with the incredible three page Paulson Plan. I was grinding my teeth as I didn’t see what was going to be done to counter the 700 billion dollar giveaway or Paulson’s Power Grab.
Later in the week rancor from both parties, but more powerfully by the Republicans, derailed the attempts to railroad it through Congress. This was affected by ideological scorn for interfering in the free market on the part of congressfolks and people being just plain pissed off and calling congress people.
So now what do we see? Somehow a three page proposal giving utlimate authority to one person has been transformed into a 110 page document giving power to what maybe 12 people, tops? Moreover, it has been negotiated in secrecy with aides being forced to put their Blackberries in a trashcan when too much information we getting leaked out. It still includes the 700 billion (only this time in three easy installments). It includes a “cap” on CEO pay, which I’ve already heard on CNN is non-effective for gloden parachutes already in contracts. There is nothing for homeowners or other everyday type folk.
EXCEPT!!! Except this one really super cool thing about how this injection of capital into the market is going to make it easier for people to get credit to grow their businesses, to ship their goods, to buy homes. Now, taking this at face value aren’t we going back to phase one one: easy credit, people not having enough money in their pockets to actually stimulate the economy like a gloved finger massaging a prostate?
Sooo, the economy is going to saved (at least for the next week, maybe til November) in two simple steps:
1. Ensure confidence in the viability of the financial markets by injecting large amounts of cash about 12 steps short of unilaterally.
2. Buy shitty mortgages (for cheap?), allow them to implode in the governments hands.
Sooo.. not only are people being told they have access to cheap credit again, but the government doesn’t have any concrete plan to help people pay their mortgages and stay in their homes, planning to let them implode (but cheaply).
What else have we learned from this week? The whole stunt was a series of power plays by various members of Congress, most effectively to wrest control of the economy out of the hands of Paulson. We have also learned that possibly the largest single transfer of wealth in US history is going to occur on Wednesday when the Senate is supposed to pass the bill. There were also protests, organized hastily around the country to demand, I say, DEMAND no bailout. We have seen the true organizing capacity of the US Left. They lost.
In sum, this past week was more about internal power plays than it was about “saving the economic system”.
UPDATE:12:19 AM 9/29/08
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/29/business/29bill.html?hp The NYTimes has just published this on the website, more insight into the failry weak strings attatched to the new bill. Also, the picture of Pelosi, Paulson and Reid looks earily similar to the picture in the banner.