Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Democrats Supporting $700 Billion Bailout + Update

I write this as I'm watching the Senate hearings on Federal Intervention in Financial Markets: the 700 Billion bailout -- mostly with the sound off, noting from time to time the captions…I also watched much of the coverage of the issue including interviews with Republican Senator Kyle and Democrat Chris Dodd on the PBS news hour yesterday.

It doesn’t seem that hard to read between the lines. Pelosi and Dodd are supporting the President. Reid seems to be wavering about whether or not to put up a fight. My guess is that Bush has the votes to push it through both Houses immediately --this week -- despite the country’s outrage. They understand, like Lady Macbeth, that if it is to be done, it must be done quickly.

Watching Paulson fumfer (what’s a good English equivalent?) meaninglessly as he pretends to answer questions, dancing around the outrageous proposal, revealing that he’s aware that there will be no accountability is truly sickening.

What the Democrats will do if this goes through is, to coin a phrase, put lipstick on a pig, in the same fashion as they pretended to dress up their compliance with the FISA telecom unaccountability bill. Since Bush'll veto anything meaningful, they’ll claim that they have added accountability to the grand theft of an incredible $700 billion, which will be passed to the usual suspects, and do little or nothing to regain some of the balance that the economy requires.

The market understands this and that’s why it fell so hard yesterday. Nothing stabilizing is being offered. That’s why the dollar fell and oil spiked. Paulson and Bush and Cheney don’t want to do anything that will help and are opportunistically using the situation to make it as bad as they can.

The key could be Schumer, Hillary and Obama. If they don’t come out strongly against such a bill, we’re toast.

Too lazy to call Congress I managed to find an online petition to sign.

No to the bailout:

Here's another one:

Email your Senators and Representative and spread the word:

Update on 700B giveaway

Watching a little of the latest Barney Frank interview on Charlie Rose, it seems clear that he’s playing ball with Bush. Why would he do that? My guess is that just like so many of them, he’s in Wall Street’s pocket -- ready and willing to throw billions at the criminals with no thought to the economy.

Sadly it’s looking like lipstick on a pig as previously predicted. They’ll dress it up a little bit, some meaningless oversight here, some irrelevant amendment about CEO salaries there and pass it this week or this weekend. That’s the clue: any quick bill will be Bush’s bill and it’ll be the disaster everyone can now see. One ominous soundbite I heard was that the White House was willing to negotiate.

If the leadership were going to resist they would offer a more moderate bill (say $150 B) targeted not at Wall Street and their foreign counterparts, but at homeowners/ foreclosures.

Although Dodd, Hillary, Obama (and Schumer?) may not be on board, if Pelosi and Reid give it the nod, they'll go forward quickly. And the guess now is that with most of the Republicans and enough Democrats, they’ll have the votes.

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