“We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

Forbes.com asks why the bailout will cost $700B:

“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.”

It’s like our government is run by dart-throwing monkeys.

(Via John Athayde)

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

7 replies on ““We just wanted to choose a really large number.””

  1. I’m not saying that I agree with Paulson’s position on the bailout proposal, but in Paulson’s defense I think that he honestly believed that this was the basic strategy needed to stop a major economic disaster from happening and that he honestly felt that action needed to be taken immediately. This belief meant that he didn’t have time to spend weeks or months on a study to find out exactly what amount of money would make sense.

    So he threw out ‘$700B’ as a starting point for negotiations, just to get Congress going on it. I don’t think that this was so stupid, under the circumstances.

    Again, I don’t agree with the terms of either the original proposal or the bill that was voted on the other day. But I do think Paulson is being honest with us.

  2. I have a hard time believing that Paulson has our country’s interest in mind because it has come out that Paulson has been working on this 2 1/2 page Wall Street Bailout Plan for approximately six months. Bush and Paulson decided to spring it on Congress just like Bush and Cheney sprang Iraq and the WMD issue. They did NOT want input on alternatives that would have NOT bailed at the few at the expense of the many.

    This is Milton Friedman’s Shock and Awe Economics that have created our awful Economic crisis. This economic plan will worsen the crisis according to 200 economixt (three of them nobel prize winners) who sent a letter to Congress. Naomi Klein’s shock doctrine explains how shock and awe economics have come home after being used in South America…Friedman’s advice was to use the New Orleans disaster to kill public education in New Orleans.

    Now they want to Shock and Awe us into the greatest re-distribution of wealth (from the bottom to the few wealthy elites at the top) right before what is feared to be a market crash. Then there will be NO money for fighting global warming and creating jobs with money for wind and solar energy technology….and the Bush policies will be with us for another 10-20 years.

    We “may” really need a plan but the Paulson Bail Out plan needs to be shredded and sent to the compost heap…ALL OPF IT. We need a plan that is bottom up not top down. Over 200 economists (including 3 nobel prize winners) have written Congress. These economists believe the Paulson Bail Out Plan will WORSEN our economic crisis.

    So the Paulson Plan just wants a tremendous amount of money for a plan that will not work. We need this money to help Main St. if the market crashes…not Wall Street.

    The corporate media and the corporate lobbyists continue to try to scare the hell out of the American people and the American Congress….The American People are fighting back and screaming loudly to KILL the Bail Out Bill…..Hopefully thre are enough members in our Senate and House of Representatives who will refuse to sell us out.


  3. How long until you think that “Treasury Spokeswoman” will be looking for a new job? Tomorrow? Monday?

    This entire debacle infuriates me. People who took irresponsible risk have to face the consequences of that risk. You can’t privatize profit and socialize debt. There’s a letter from John Allison at BB&T to members of Congress saying basically “hey, this is unfair to those of us who acted responsibly.”

    Final random point: The Fed wants to keep any downturn from happening. Economies have natural booms and shrinkages. Stopping the bear and pushing the bull just ends up creating an inbalnce. And every system will eventually get itself back to a balance, in some cases by violent means.

  4. Huh. I figured they picked it because they knew it was going to take hundreds of billions of dollars, and the 7 made it lucky.

  5. The FY 2007 Budget for the agencies who are conducting the domestic spying and the infiltration efforts against groups like the United Daughters of the Confederacy, is $500 BILLION DOLLARS!

    Take away the tinker toys of these jackasses and we could have all the money we need to start a National Heath Service. This would remove the burden of Health Insurance from the backs of businesses, especially small independent manufacturers. A NHS would provide a HUGE economic stimulus and fundamentally change our economy for the better.

    SCREW the bailout. Kill the domestic spies, fix the economy and provide a NHS for our citizens.

  6. Wow, I see a whole lot of “the bailout is wrong!” talk and not one person talking about credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligation, the commercial paper markets, or anything else relevant to the discussion. Not that I have a problem with people being skeptical — quite the opposite — but lets actually address the problem.

    And guess what: the people who you want to punish for making bad lending decisions and packaging debt up in a bad way? They already made their money and sold the risk away. Certainly, people shouldn’t have bought it from them, but when the ratings companies are telling you it’s AAA debt and AIG’s insured it just in case, well, you assume the entire financial sector isn’t lying to you. Should people have asked where this debt came from and whether it’s really as good as people were telling them? Hell yes, but it’s like blaming the drug trade on people who employ people who consume drugs. We’re several steps of actual guilt away from the problem.

    I’m not really strictly a supporter of Paulson’s plan beyond the fact that I’ve heard basically NO better proposals for getting banks lending again. George Soros’ plan is the next runner up for me, but I’m a little more skeptical of it.

  7. Anybody else notice that the program to put all the bad debt under is call TARP? We really going to throw all the bad debt under a TARP or “Troubled Asset Relief Program”.

    Who thought that was a good name or is it just a metaphor for our times

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