Where the Cooler Heads?
It’s time for any remaining sober officials in the federal government to tell Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that enough is enough:
The Treasury Department yesterday officially abandoned the original strategy behind its $700 billion effort to rescue the financial system, as Bush administration officials acknowledged that banks and other institutions were as unwilling as ever to lend to consumers.
With a little more than two months left before President Bush leaves office, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is hoping to put in place a major new lending program that would be run by the Federal Reserve and aimed at unlocking the frozen consumer credit market.
The program, still in the planning stages, would for the first-time use bailout funds specifically to help consumers instead of banks, savings and loans and Wall Street firms.
The bailout funds were not intended (and/or should not have been intended) as mere sand to dump into the economic swamp in the hopes that it would fill in a passable bridge. (For one things, the rats are to expert at digging trenches to receive it.)