Saturday, September 20, 2008

Preznit takin your turkee

When I said this:

This is also, in a way, the continuation of one way of reading neoliberalism: The privatization of profit and the publicization of risk. Only in this case, it's being done in the open - the risk is being publicized (that is, the bill is being footed by taxpayers) after things went bad.

I didn't think it would be taken so literally:

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration on Saturday formally proposed to Congress what could become the largest financial bailout in United States history, requesting unfettered authority for the Treasury Department to buy up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets.


A $700 billion expenditure on distressed mortgage-related assets would be roughly what the country has spent so far in direct costs on the Iraq war and more than the Pentagon’s total yearly budget appropriation. Divided across the population, it would amount to more than $2,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

All those political philosophy classes I took seem more relevant than ever right about now. Sadly, this is depressing, not exciting.

So I'll say to Bush what I refrained from saying to Hering yesterday: Fuck you.

... if the Dems fold/cave/go along on this one, there's no doubt I'm fucking voting for McKinney. This is insane.

Also, Atrios retains his ability to spell it out like no one else can:

Again, the problem is that lots of bad loans were made, lots of people made highly leveraged investments in those bad loans, and still more people bet on those loans by insuring them. The loans are bad. The mortgages are not going to be repaid in full. Housing prices are not going to magically shoot up 50% over the next 6 months. People gambled and lost and now the Democrats are racing to bail them all out.

In case that I'm not being clear enough, what's happening is that the US government just proposed giving $700 billion to a bunch of companies that knowingly made bad deals. Crony capitalism doesn't even begin to describe it.

UPDATE: Atrios finds this bit in the text of the act submitted to Congress authorizing the spending:

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Why anyone in their right mind is going to do anything but kick the ass of the folks who submitted this is beyond me. Nevertheless, I predict that Democrats will take this 'bill' seriously.


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