Submitted By Todd on March 20th at 11:35am
A $14 trillion economy hangs by a thread composed of (a) a comically cynical, pitchfork-wielding Congress, (b) a hopelessly understaffed, stumbling Obama administration, and (c) $165 million.Time.
And the remedies Congress is in a fever pitch to approve may well end up hurting the rescue efforts. The bonus bills, which would apply to virtually every major bank — including Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase, as well as AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — will probably cause many of them to simply give back the TARP money sooner than they probably should, to avoid losing their best people to foreign banks... The compensation crackdown already has other private sector players thinking twice about partnering with the Administration to help unload the banks' toxic assets and get the credit markets moving. /National Review's Mona Charon.
...it would be difficult for even the worst banking or insurance executive to outshine our elected officials when it comes to shamelessness. Our elected officials may have no idea how to extricate the economy from its economic decline, but they sure know how to stage a show trial.David Brooks addresses the hazards of Obama's overreaching.
The results of this overload are evident on Capitol Hill. The banking plan is incomplete, and there is zero political will to pay for it. The president’s budget is being nibbled to death. The revenue ideas are dying one by one, while the spending ideas expand. By the latest estimate, the health care approach will cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years and the national debt will at least double, while the Chinese publicly complain about picking up the tab.Eugene Robinson on Geithner.
Does he understand the profound sense of betrayal that so many Americans feel as we learn that the supposed wizards of finance, the Masters of the Universe who shower themselves with unimaginable wealth, were safeguarding our economic well-being with the diligence and sobriety of a drunken high roller at a craps table in Vegas at 4 a.m.? Does he understand that the crisis is not just an economic watershed but a cultural one as well, and that what once was deemed perfectly acceptable behavior on Wall Street is now seen as reprehensible? Does he understand that outside of Lower Manhattan, the definition of a "retention bonus" is being spared from the latest round of layoffs?The AP on Chris Dodd.
As a five-term Democrat who blew out his last two opponents by 2-1 margins in a blue state that President Barack Obama won handily, Dodd, D-Conn., should be cruising to re-election in 2010. Instead, he's feeling heat from a Republican challenger eager to make him a poster boy for the tumult in the housing and financial markets. A recent poll showed former Rep. Rob Simmons running about even with Dodd, a former national Democratic Party chairman.President Obama on AIG.
"It was the right thing to do to step in. Like they've got a bomb strapped to them and they've got their hand on the trigger, you don't want them to blow up, but you've got to ease them off the trigger."