Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Panic on the Streets of Congress

Monday, September 29, 2008

Panic on the Streets of Congress

I need to organize my time better. I was busy much of the weekend, and although I saw last night that agreement on a bailout bill had been reached, I was exhausted when I came to write a Sunday post, so I bailed myself and wrote a quick little something about baseball (specifically about the White Sox and their road to the postseason--a road on which they're one step further along, by the way). And by the time I get a chance to write about the bailout bill itself, it's all over.

I've written before that, like John McCain, economics isn't my strong suit, so I can't do too much but trust what others I tend to trust have written. Paul Krugman has agreed with Henry Paulson that something must be done. Although the bailout measure was lousy, the danger of doing nothing was worse, so (again, according to Krugman) the bill wasn't lousy enough to disqualify it. Of course, a majority of House Republicans and more than a handful of House Democrats felt otherwise.

So what now? Both Krugman and Brad DeLong link approvingly to the Wall Street Journal's Rex Nutting: "House to Wall Street: Drop Dead," so I might as well join the club. The entire dispatch is worth reading, but here's one of his most striking points: "Now we shall see if Paulson and Bernanke were right when they said the credit crisis could worsen and inflict dire consequences on the global economy."

Or maybe not. Calculated Risk links to a Bloomberg story quoting Paulson on his intention to come back for more with Congress, although he didn't reveal what he might be willing to change to make the bailout plan more palatable. The first thing he (and Congress) could do is try to sell the deal to the public. Give us more detail than simply their word that something this drastic must be done.


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