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    another $480 billion a year on top of that $700 billion bailout on top of pouring unlimited liquidity into the banks so they can buy more treasury bills..., 2008-10-13 11:12:22 | Main | Flip Flop the Drug Warrior..., 2008-10-13 18:53:56

    cubism at the magical sausage factory:

    Sec. Paulson is saying he is going to buy shares in banks with the $700 billion from the bailout bill, instead of toxic waste. This doesn't make any sense, since the bill doesn't actually say he can do that. It says he can buy up assets, but shares are a liability (to the shareholder), not an asset, "troubled" or otherwise.

    Nouriel Roubini explains how this additional authority was mysteriously injected into the bill, with Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) demanding before the vote clarification from Barney Frank whether "this legislation is to authorize the Treasury Department to strengthen credit markets by infusing capital into weak institutions ... By buying their stock, debt, or other capital instruments". Frank affirms that it does, and prest-o chang-o. Roubini:

    A totally flawed and ineffective legislation that did not explicitly allow to do the right thing – recapitalize banks with public capital injections – and was rather aimed to do the wrong thing (wasting $700 bn of taxpayers’ money to buy only toxic assets at an inflated price) was rescued at the last moment right before the House vote via an interpretation of the wording of the legislation in the record of the House that allowed such recapitalization. It is a sorry reflection of the state of the US democracy that hundreds of Senators and Congressfolks did vote for the biggest bailout ever in US history ($700 bn) without even knowing exactly what they were voting for.

    Then he takes (partial) credit for the whole thing.

    It's a funny way to write law.

:: posted by buermann @ 2008-10-13 18:10:01 CST | link

      But it does have a certain beauty to it. All those cretinous slitherers, hellbent on making things much worse, succeeding at this important task, and then out of the blue one of them accidentally asks for clarification in a way that permits another cretinous slitherer to respond somewhat sanely to panicky/threatening calls from our suicide pact creditors.

      This reaffirms my commitment to approve of your commitment to the Polachek Presidency.

    posted by Zomg @ 2008-10-13 21:04:28 | link

      Well, Roubini says he and others hit the phones and waved their papers from important places around, and got this last minute clarification through. So at the end of the land line, there's still some sort of managerial technocracy on life support.

      I have more thoughts, but I'll just put them on hold rather than watch my ass disappear over the horizon. I don't think they're worth answering.

      Let's try this: today somebody said something to the effect that you can "work backwards from the lies", which is good advice but all that leaves you with are ideas from dishonest liars.

    posted by buermann @ 2008-10-14 00:16:47 | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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