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The City Café

For those interested in sharing ideas and perspectives regarding local government.

I will be honest I’m not sure I completely understand the Wall St. bailout…but I am a bit surprised to see that Congress voted down the bailout bill today. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, both sides of the isle have Congressmen who hate it: Dems hate it for using taxpayer money to bail out Wall St. and the GOP hates it for it’s apparent socialism (new Economist talks about this).

One of the more interesting columns I’ve read during this whole ordeal is Ben Stein’s column in the NY Times yesterday. Ben Stein writes:

The people whose conduct got us into this catastrophe have not only taken our money, hopes and peace of mind, but they apparently also want a trillion or so more dollars to put into their Wall Street Buddy System Fund. This may be the most dangerous attack on the law in my lifetime. What anarchists even dared consider this plan? Thank heaven that minds more devoted to the Constitution on Capitol Hill are questioning this shocking request.

By the way, if we are actually thinking about tossing the Constitution out the window, why not simply annul these credit-default swap contracts? With that done, the incomprehensibly large liability of the banks would cease, and we wouldn’t need this staggering bailout. Shouldn’t we consider making the speculators pay some of the price?

And regarding Mr. Paulson Stein writes:

IMAGINE, if you will, that a man who had much to do with creating the present credit crisis now says he is the man to fix this giant problem, and that his work is so important that he will need a trillion dollars or so of your money. Then add that this man thinks he is so indispensable that he wants Congress to forbid any judicial or administrative questioning of anything he does with your dollars.

You might think of a latter-day Lenin or Fidel Castro, but you would be far afield. Instead, you should be thinking of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the rapidly disintegrating United States of America, right here and now.

Click here to read Stein’s full column: “In the Financial Food Chain, Little Guys Can’t Win“.


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