Sunday, December 21, 2008

Paulson's prayer

Please make them lend the money!

That's Henry Paulson surveying the results - or the lack of them - from the billions paid out so far in the financial bailout. And what pray tell, did we require of financial institutions receiving bailout money? Nothing. Here's Frank Rich:

In its own independent attempt to penetrate the bailout, the Government Accountability Office learned that “the standard agreement between Treasury and the participating institutions does not require that these institutions track or report how they plan to use, or do use, their capital investments.” Executives at all but two of the bailed-out banks told the G.A.O. that the “money is fungible,” so they “did not intend to track or report” specifically what happens to the taxpayers’ cash.

Spot and many others have been saying for a long time that it would be foolish to just "inject" all that cash without condition and hope for the best. And that's exactly what we did. We turned to some of the biggest looters and said, "Oh, here, can you hold our wallet for a while?"

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