Blech. I'm not loving it. But along with the pols, I failed to do enough to take on the premises of the bailout. Even within the limits of what can be done around the edges, though, the deal appears to be disappointing.
I'm seriously unhappy that Henry Paulson, who's already handed over billions of our money in broad daylight to help his old firm, appears still to be the decision-maker in this giveaway. [Update: 5:45 pm, 28 Sept - Yep; it's actually worse than I thought: "So it's all up to the Secretary to establish the rules. Same with [equity] Warrants - it's up to the Secretary to negotiate." The form and amount of disclosure of purchases is also up to Paulson. End update.] $350 billion is way too much to commit before any Congressional brakes can be put on. There's almost no punitive aspect, and no re-regulation. There's nothing of the needed bankruptcy changes Dick Durbin tried to insert.
Update 2: 3:00 am, 29 Sept - Reports from the conference call Treasury held Sunday night with the industry (no media, no public; would have gone unreported except for industry-observing bloggers) confirm my worst suspicions. This is not good enough to vote for; it's the original Paulson naked class war with Democratic fig leaves. In particular, the whole $700b can be committed before the clique of looters leaves office. Which was the point. I'm just numb with despair. End update 2.
Bernie Sanders' proposal needs to be a bill come February 2009. As does Durbin's bankruptcy re-reform and Sen. Clinton's recreation of the depression-era Home Owner Loan Corporation. A serious tax is the first priority; the only way to fund health care is to claw back some of the outrageous share of national income from them what took it:
... the total share of national income going to the super-rich has more than doubled [since 1979]. The merely well off have also gotten a slightly bigger piece of the pie, while everyone else has funded this free-for-all. "Everyone else," in this case, means 90% of the country. Our share of national income has gone down in order to make sure that virtually all the fruits of economic growth over the past four decades could go to the well-off, the rich, and the super-duper-rich.
Image: Afferent Input