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That was my first reaction: "How embarrassing for USAns: At least five Europeans countries got their shit together in 48 hours to pull off these rescue packages, while USAns took over one vaudevillian week and still blew it in a farce of partisan pettiness."

As David Brooks put it in his latest column:

This generation of political leaders is confronting a similar situation [as Franklin Roosevelt did in 1933], and, so far, they have failed utterly and catastrophically to project any sense of authority, to give the world any reason to believe that this country is being governed.

However, on second thought, even if a large chunk of those who voted against it did so on "anti-socialist" grounds and because Nancy Pelosi hurt their feelings, the effect was that Congress rejected a deal that most of the public did not like at all, and that government leaders were trying to half-force, half-sneak by the people.

In short, I agree with paving:

You have to understand how important this was today, for the American voter.  We've had absolutely NO say in the past 8 years.  Dissent, public opinion, etc, have been ignored by both parties. ...

Suddenly the people are remembering that if they disagree with the actions of their govt. there is a possibility that the govt. will change and act differently.

Unfortunately, while Bernie Sanders is taking this opening to show some some leadership, I'm afraid in the end, "the people" are going to get steamrolled and the current package is going to get jury-rigged into effect anyway:

Senate to Vote Wednesday on Bailout Plan - NYTimes.com

Senate leaders scheduled a Wednesday vote on a $700 billion financial bailout package after agreeing to add tax breaks and a higher limit for insured bank deposits in a bid to attract enough votes to reverse a shocking defeat in the House and send legislation to President Bush by the end of the week.

After a day of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, top lawmakers said the Senate proposal would include a tax package as well as a plan endorsed on Tuesday by both major presidential candidates and the Bush administration to raise government coverage for bank deposits.

"It has been determined, in our judgment, this is the best thing to move forward," said Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and the majority leader, in announcing the surprise move. "This is good for the country."



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Tue Sep 30th, 2008 at 10:56:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GRrrr make the plan more acceptable by adding TAX BREAKS???

Holy shit.
So, we used to have a plan that could fail because adding $700 billions (likely more) to the debt was bad. So, let's have tax breaks, so likely more becomes certainly more.

On top of that, it's clearly Republicans, a minority party with much diminished support in the population, taking the economy hostage in order to get a final loot. This must be said, and screamed, and I hope it is soon all over the news. Yet, at the moment, I don't see it.

To me, including tax cuts (hell, what are they doing in a financial crisis rescue package? Can I have provisions for the use of recycled materials?) makes it a no deal.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:48:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly Dodd/Frank is the bestleast bad plan that could be had before the November elections. Any more tinkering will just make it worse, especially if it's to appease the clueless (or worse: at best they're monetarists or libertarians) Republicans.

Krugman quotes James Galbraith and I agree:

There need be no pretense that it will solve our underlying financial and economic problems. It will not. The purpose, in my view, is to get the financial system and the economy through the year, and into the hands of the next administration. That is a limited purpose, but a legitimate purpose. And it may be the most that can be accomplished for the time being.


A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:43:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cyrille: On top of that, it's clearly Republicans, a minority party with much diminished support in the population, taking the economy hostage in order to get a final loot. This must be said, and screamed, and I hope it is soon all over the news. Yet, at the moment, I don't see it.

Two of the articles I linked to in my previous comment actually make this point pretty emphatically:

David Brooks - Revolt of the Nihilists - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

House Republicans led the way and will get most of the blame. It has been interesting to watch them on their single-minded mission to destroy the Republican Party. Not long ago, they led an anti-immigration crusade that drove away Hispanic support. Then, too, they listened to the loudest and angriest voices in their party, oblivious to the complicated anxieties that lurk in most American minds.

Now they have once again confused talk radio with reality. If this economy slides, they will go down in history as the Smoot-Hawleys of the 21st century. With this vote, they've taken responsibility for this economy, and they will be held accountable. The short-term blows will fall on John McCain, the long-term stress on the existence of the G.O.P. as we know it.

I've spoken with several House Republicans over the past few days and most admirably believe in free-market principles. What's sad is that they still think it's 1984. They still think the biggest threat comes from socialism and Walter Mondale liberalism. They seem not to have noticed how global capital flows have transformed our political economy.

and

THE WRONG FRAME AT THE WRONG TIME | The Washington Monthly

It's a great slogan for the election season, isn't it? "Vote Republican -- We're More Concerned With Our Feelings Than Your Future."

Make no mistake -- this is a failure of the Republican Party of historic proportions. When push came to shove, the Democratic leadership delivered the votes on the rescue plan, while Republicans voted, 2-to-1, against it.

If they're going to rationalize their failure, they're going to have to do better than rejecting the proposal because of Pelosi's harmless speech.

And these are both from usually right-leaning sources.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:23:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I've spoken with several House Republicans over the past few days and most admirably believe in free-market principles."

What's admirable about that?
Free-market apparently is one of the two commandments of the State religion, the other being low taxes.

On a side note, I would argue that right-leaning is a major understatement regarding Brooks. I have to keep away from his columns to preserve my sanity.

"It failed because Nacy Pelosi said some unkind things about George Bush in her speech"

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:54:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They hold on to their faith in the face of overwhelming evidence against the tenets of their religion. That's admirable.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:44:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see why I'm not religious.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:54:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't want to be admirable?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was my first reaction: "How embarrassing for USAns: At least five Europeans countries got their shit together in 48 hours to pull off these rescue packages, while USAns took over one vaudevillian week and still blew it in a farce of partisan pettiness."

Inappropriate comparison.

The Fed has rescued several institutions over a weekend or a day (Bear, Fannie/Freddie, AIG) and the FDIC has taken over several banks swiftly (Indymac, WaMu, Wachovia). I don't recall whether they did anything special about Merrill, since BofA's CEO likes to overpay for big purchases anyway. I don't know what Paulson/Bernanke were thinking when they let Lehman fail.

These swift interventions by the bureaucracy parallel the European ones. Paulson's "all your shitpile are belong to me" is in a separate league altogether and Europe hasn't yet tried anything of the sort so we don't know how that would fare.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:37:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Inappropriate comparison. ...

Good points.

I don't know what Paulson/Bernanke were thinking when they let Lehman fail.

Krugman made a similar point the other day:

Just worth pointing out: Henry Paulson's decision to let Lehman fail, on Sept. 14, may have delivered the White House to Obama.



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:02:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Look at the volume traded: it's not the failure of Lehman but the bailout plan.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:12:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that governments - or at least some public bodies - on both continents still work - even after years of attempts at undermining and weakening them.

Acting in times of crisis is government's biggest responsibility, and so far, they have fared reasonably well.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:52:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But remember Jérôme:

"It failed because Nacy Pelosi said some unkind things about George Bush in her speech"
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:56:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, there's much more than just unkind things about George Bush. Full text from The Guardian
Madam Speaker, when was the last time someone asked you for $700bn?

It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush administration's failed economic policies: policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.

Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital. But left to its own devices, it has created chaos.

That's heresy to the cherished beliefs which the Republican Representatives admirably hold on to.
The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our regulatory and oversight policies.
No, it was Congress and the financial (self-)regulators
They did not make unwise and risky financial deals.
Um, buying a house on a NINJA mortgage is not "unwise and risky", it's downright suicidal. So Pelosi is laying the blame solely on the banks and mortgage brokers and that's self-service electioneering. Granted, without securitisation and off-balance sheet SIVs and "conduits" the size of Big Shitpile™ wouldn't have caused a crisis of this magnitude.
They did not jeopardise the economic security of the nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and stabilisation bill.

...

Our message to Wall Street is this: the party is over. The era of golden parachutes for high-flying Wall Street operators is over. No longer will the US taxpayer bail out the recklessness of Wall Street. The taxpayers who bear the risk in this recovery must share in the upside as the economy recovers.

...

Today we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our experience of the past eight years, with the failed economic leadership that has left us less capable of meeting the challenges of the future.

We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America in a new direction to a better future.



A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:07:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru: self-service electioneering.

Good point.  But otherwise, how nice to hear such brazen blasphemy from the high pulpit!

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 08:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But we can't say they have both fared resonably well! There have to be winners and losers in the race between the EU and the US. One of them must be Doomed!

Or some such drivel.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:57:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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