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are currently being grilled by Barney Frank's House Banking Committee.

Sheila Bair is a rock star. Her answers are short, to the point, and she's been busy working with banks and mortgage companies in a largely successful (so far) effort to work with homeowners in trouble. The government loses a little, the banks lose a little, and the homeowners lose a little (the lower market value of their homes). But people get to stay in their homes.

Bernanke is a lightweight. I have no confidence in his ability to grasp what is going on.

Paulson is a flat-out liar. He doesn't respond to questions, he repeatedly cites "groups of people" elsewhere either researching some aspect of the financial mess (so he can't at this time respond), or busy drawing up some kind of plan for something or other, after which the plan will be "evaluated." In other words, he means to do nothing.

Three points of contention between Paulson and Congress: TARP funding for bank M&A's  - picking winners - (National City Bank was discussed in detail - evidently they were told by regulators not to even try and apply for TARP funds while PNC was trying a hostile takeover financed with TARP funds), TARP funds being used for delinquent mortgage relief (Paulson refuses to do this, even though it is explicitly written into the TARP appropriation bill), and CEO compensation (which Paulson refuses to regulate).

Paulson is running a personal/ideological agenda, and TARP gives him a huge amount of clout. I assume that he's busy rewarding his wall street friends and/or attempting to maintain dollar hegemony.

And it's obvious that Barney Frank has absolutely no confidence in Paulson's integrity. Neither do I.

Hopefully, the transcript will become available shortly.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 12:56:21 PM EST

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