In a dramatic, late-night hearing on Tuesday, four outraged Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee confronted...
Why in the world should we be giving the banks another $350 billion?
They caused this financial crisis in the first place.
Then Bush and Paulson just threw billions of dollars at them.
Bush and Paulson didn’t demand a voting share of these banks.
And the banks weren’t required to lend to businesses, though that was the main rationale for the bailout.
Nor were the banks required to refinance mortgages and go easy on foreclosures, though this is what triggered the crisis.
Basically, the banks weren’t required to do anything accept open their wallets.
And afterward, they didn’t even have to tell us, the taxpayers, what they did with the money, which was essentially to hoard it.
Now they deserve $350 billion more?
You’ve got to be kidding.
But that’s what Bush is saying. And he formally asked Congress to OK this second disbursement.
The odd thing is that Obama urged Bush to do so.
Yeah, Obama says he’ll impose a lot more stringent requirements on what the banks do with that money, but if it’s not in the legislation, and the banks get the money anyway, what leverage will he have?
On top of that, we could use this $350 billion in much wiser and more progressive ways—by helping people stay in their homes, for instance.
“We all have a huge stake in stopping this heist,” as Naomi Klein told me a couple of months ago.
Congress shouldn’t be dispensing the $350 billion.
It should be saying, “Stop, thief!”