David Kirkpatrick

December 10, 2008

Bailout already panned by oversight board

Who could have seen this coming? A crazy, somewhat ad hoc tossing of money toward Wall Street, and looks like the Rust Belt very soon.

Then you have the spectacle of Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain asking for (and quickly backtracking on) a $10 million bonus in a year that saw his company get bought out after recieving $10 billion in government money in October. Talk about out of touch, and exactly why this bailout is ridiculous. Wall Street is still playing by different rules.

I’m no fan of oversight and regulation, but the rules change when government money is involved. Business is one thing, but once you go on the dole the rules change and any business ought to expect and accept a high level of oversight, and maybe even a higher level of regulation (wait, while I take a deep breath after typing that), until that business can repay the government and go back to market on its own two feet, so to speak. 

From the first link:

The report said that Treasury must establish clear measures to gauge the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. The special panel, which was set up by Congress to oversee the bailout, also said it is “essential” that the Treasury ensure taxpayer funds are being used for their intended purpose.

“American taxpayers need to know that their money is having a tangible effect on improving financial stability, credit availability, and the economy as a whole,” the draft report said. “As a first step, Treasury needs to provide a detailed assessment of whether the funds it has spent so far have had any effect – for better or worse – in these areas.”

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