A REALLY LARGE NUMBER
September 24, 2008
image: Henry Paulson (cc) kelnishi
If there was any question about the US Treasury department's ability to make reasoned decisions to help get this country out of the economic situation we're currently in, let this clear things up:
The more Congress examines the Bush administration's bailout plan, the hazier its outcome gets. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle complained of being rushed to pass legislation or else risk financial meltdown.
In fact, some of the most basic details [of the bail-out plan], including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.
"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number." (emphasis mine)
I recently read this from a commenter on a political forum: "I don't expect them to be able to give absolute precision for something this unprecedented, but I do expect them to be able to give any rationale at all. "
If this doesn't sound like an inflated crisis designed to allow the greatest power grab in history, I don't know what does.