Shorter Hank Paulson:
We are making this up as we go along.
Seriously folks, this is not inspiring confidence. But it strikes me that part of the reason that Paulson et alia are forced to make it up as they go along is that they’re clinging desperately to outmoded ways of solving problems. Funneling massive amounts of taxpayer dollars to big corporations to keep their stock values high and their executives compensated is not a way to solve the financial crisis. Had the bailout included meaningful oversight and taxpayers getting something in return – ie ownership of these banks and insurance companies – then we would have greater reins on what is happening now. We would have been able to force the money to be used in a way that actually helped homeowners and small businesses from the pending crisis. But that would have undermined the kleptocracy built over many long years, with the help of the GOP and corporatist Democrats. So it was a non-starter. Instead we went with something that we could easily see would either fail or leave the American taxpayer on the short end of the stick. Now Paulson has to keep making this up as he goes along, which in turn undermines our chances for financial stability.