As the financial crisis slogs on we're now aware of a nagging subconscious thought: "These guys don't know what they were doing!"
Like Agent Gibbs on NCIS, my gut told me we were being milked! Dumb us! They were right, you know? But at least we're not alone ... or are we?... there’s clear evidence, reported with stunning casualness by CNBC, that Paulson & Co. threatened the big banks in some way to force them to “accept” Uncle Sam’s preferred equity investments: Even if they didn’t want it?Paulson is a democrat but you know who's going to get the blame? You've got it!
Watch the video; the answer is “yes” — thereby ensuring that the government has a stake in all the major banks. [...]
So what did Paulson threaten to do if they said “no”? (Yes I know he wasn’t holding real guns. Come on now.) We don’t know, but whatever it is, the opening sections of the pork-loaded “bailout” bill with the made-up $850 billion price tag probably gave him the power to make the threats credible.This “bailout” was originally advertised as being targeted towards troubled loan situations, principally mortgages. Instead, Paulson, Bernanke, and Bush have turned it into a de facto, no good deed goes unpunished (i.e., responsible lending) tool for partial [bank] nationalization.
How many Congresspersons, or presidential candidates, thought this was what they were voting for, or that this is what the people wanted? Two weekends ago, I wrote that the whole saga shows that the whole saga proves that Washington doesn’t really care what we think.