Sunday, September 21, 2008

Treasury Laser-Shark Facility

Draft text of Dubya's bailout plan has leaked, and it's being criticized not just by economists, but also by constitutional scholars, who get a bit worked up about stuff like this:

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary [of the Treasury] pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Me, not so much. Hey, what's to review?

Consider. Elsewhere in the draft bill, the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to hire whoever he likes and establish whatever "administrative vehicles" he likes to buy, sell, repackage, or in any other way exploit any financial instrument "based on or related to" residential mortgages.

So, let's say he uses a small portion of the $700 billion-with-a-B that he gets under this bill to buy an island guarded by a fully-equipped two-brigade garrison from Blackwater, to build a genetic engineering lab staffed by mad scientists breeding sharks that will hatch from the egg with lasers in their heads. So long as someone in the boiler room is selling structured financial instruments that bundle shark piracy futures with residential mortgages from Cleveland, establishing the Treasury Laser-Shark Facility would be a legitimate exercise of the power granted by the draft bill, and even if oversight were allowed, there would be nothing going on to which anyone could properly object. It's all good.

But of course, we should not expect anything so exotic. Merely a slush fund which Hank Paulson, the former Goldman Sachs CEO, can use to ease the pain of his erstwhile colleagues:

"It's going to be very hard psychologically for these people," Frank said. "I talked to one guy who had to give up his private jet recently. And he said of all the trials in his life, giving that up was the hardest thing he's ever done."
Sneer all you like, dear reader, but you cannot truly understand this pain, having never had a private jet. And so it is that Paulson is describing any restriction on payouts to his buddies, even a restriction on "golden parachute" payouts to high executives of failed institutions, as a "poison pill" which the Bush administration won't agree to.

Yes, that's right. They're saying that the economy will tank if we don't pass this bill immediately. And they're saying that they'll veto the bill and tank the economy to protect Wall Street insiders' golden parachutes.

Class warfare doesn't get more naked than this.

More: On a quick read of the bill, it looks as if the TLSF could only stay in business for two years, since that's how long the Secretary's authority lasts. I'm not so sure. The draft text could conceivably allow him to create agencies and sign contracts that would endure long past his own initial grant of authority. In fact, it would almost have to allow that if part of the program includes creating new "structured finance" vehicles to repackage the mortgages, which would necessarily involve creating new agencies that would administer them, enduring at least as long as any of the underlying mortgages. This was a favored trick of Robert Moses, the czar of highway-building and much other construction in New York State for literally decades. He spent much of that time as the head of public authorities whose enabling legislation said they would expire at a date certain, unless necessary to fulfil their contracts. But he'd made sure that he could create new contracts whenever he wanted by issuing a new round of bonds, thereby prolonging their existence at will.


Blogger Nell said...

Sneer all you like, dear reader, but you cannot truly understand this pain, having never had a private jet.

Richard Pryor beat you there, with his televangelist character "Berry White". But it's been more than thirty years, so the gag's now public domain...

3:28 PM  
Blogger men's clothing said...

I feel honored and privileged after reading your posts.You know,summer is coming! The
tn chaussures will become fashionable soon.We offer short sleeve polo shirts,all kinds,all colors available.You can also find Acheter Chaussures Homme in our shop,including Nike Tn,Chaussures Homme Nike,Chaussures Homme pas cher.fashionable Chaussures Homme 2010,Best wishes to you!

9:40 PM  
Anonymous barokah said...

its very interesting.
obat untuk mengatasi anemia yang aman
cara untuk penyakit jantung yang aman
cara menyembuhkan hipertensi yang aman
cara menyembuhkan katarak yang aman
gejala dan pengobatan prostat

2:12 AM  
Anonymous cara mengobati sakit sendi said...

its interesting.
cara cepat dan aman mengobati kelenjar getah bening
penyebab kemandulan wanita dan cara mengobatinya
gejala akibat dari batu ginjal
macam macam penyakit akibat rokok

4:15 AM  
Anonymous obat pelangsing badan said...

salam semangat

9:23 PM  
Anonymous jamu pelangsing badan said...

good info

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Krim Ampuh Penghilang Flek Hitam said...

good job informasinya

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Cream Penghilang Bintik Hitam Di Wajah said...

good sahre

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Cream Penghilang Bintik Hitam Di Wajah said...

niuce info

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Obat Pelangsing Badan Alami Wsc Biolo said...

goood sahre

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Obat Herbal Penurun Kolesterol Jamkho said...

good share

11:54 PM  
Anonymous JAMKHO JAMU kolesterol said...

nice info

12:30 AM  
Anonymous biolo kapsul diet said...

great sahre

1:10 AM  
OpenID agaricpro said...

I think reading the article on the web that is very useful especially in this website AgaricPro merupakan Obat Stroke produk BestAgaric, AgaricPro berguna sebagai Obat Darah Tinggi, obat maag, Obat Hernia, Obat Stroke, Obat Darah Tinggi, AgariPro merupakan Obat Herbal sebagai Solusi Masalah Kesehatan Anda, AgaricPro Obat Herbal Alami Paling Ampuh healthylife indonesia seperti Penyakit Wanita, Obat Keputihan Crystal X, TTrica Jus, Nes V semuanya dapat didapatkan di Tasik Store seperti: Obat Penyakit Asam Urat

11:31 PM  
Blogger Indra maulana ridwan said...

really interesting reading, when i am read very pleased and want to continue to read it. Good luck with this article. I also have articles that may be beneficial, as this article: obat kusta obat puru-puru cara mengobati ayan pada anak The article discusses health treatment. The next article also discusses the same thing cara mengobati gagal ginjal selain cuci darah cara memulihkan patah tulang The article discusses health treatment. The next article also discusses the same thing obat tradisional mata minus dan mata plus cara mengobati sakit sendi obat luka di kaki akibat diabetes May I share articles, it may be useful to other people.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous pengobatan asam urat said...

sangat istimewa dan luar biasa >> pengobatan asam urat

11:29 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home