Friday, September 26, 2008

More thoughts on the bailout

1.  The problem with the Republican idea of "warrants" (from the website of Greg Mankiw, former chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers.)

2.  What is the precedent of having two Senators, presidential candidates or not, involving themselves in ongoing Senate business of which they are a) not members of the committee handling it, or b) have no special expertise?  What would have been the scenario is Obama were not a Senator but, say, a governor; then would he have been invited to the Senate Banking Committee meeting with the president?  Answer: doubtful.

3.  Furthermore, how can McCain one day say that the economy is "fundamentally sound", and within ten days he's cancelling his presidential campaign, flying back to Washington, barging into Senate Committee meetings, cancelling debates, and basically running around like his hair is on fire?  It just seems like odd behavior.

4.  Why hadn't McCain read Treasury Secretary Paulson's 3 page proposal by Tuesday, when it was put out on Saturday?  Hell, even I took the 7 minutes to read it on Monday.

I'm torn over the propect of using taxpayer money to buy mortgages, but I do know that I trust the Senate Banking Committee, as messed up as it is, to be better at finding a solution than a retired naval aviator who never even read the proposal.

5. Also, I think that the Republicans who gutted the regulatory regime should have their noses held in the stink a little bit longer:

Critics in the financial industry and academia insist the abuses would not have happened if federal and state regulators were doing their jobs.

For instance, banking regulators at federal and state levels failed to monitor lenders that were offering mortgages without following basic industry guidelines on income levels and without requiring appropriate documentation on applications. Those practices led to a high number of risky loans...

...Then there were the failings of the SEC at the federal level and self-regulatory bodies like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which supervises brokers. Those entities were supposed to oversee investment banks and brokers, partly to prevent the recent string of catastrophic financial failures that seemed to catch everyone by surprise.

While no one is pointing to any single regulator, the SEC has the broadest responsibilities, including monitoring the financial health and operations of investment firms.

This is what happens when the the refs get fired... and it's going to be expensive.

I realize that now may not be the time for such partisan venom, and I apologize if I have trampled any delicate tendencies in this contentious election season, but this is demostrative that there are fundamental differences between the two parties and the two men running for president.

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