NY Times Op-Ed Columnist Bob Herbert rants on that about how the Democrats and President- Elect Obama needs to look beyond the Wall Street fat cats and bring back a sense of fairness and equity to the economy. Its a good column and worth a look.
The fat cats who placed the entire economy at risk with their greed and manic irresponsibility are trying to lay claim to every last dime in the national Treasury. Meanwhile, we’re nowhere close to an economic recovery program that will help the people who are hurting most.
Back in September, with the credit markets frozen and the stock markets panicking, the treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, was telling anyone who would listen that his $700 billion bailout package had to be passed with lightning speed — no time to look at it too closely, no time for dissent.
The package was modified, but hurriedly. Now we learn that while all eyes were focused on this enormous new burden for American taxpayers, Mr. Paulson’s department was also engineering — separate and apart from the bailout — what The Washington Post described as “a quiet windfall for U.S. banks. ”
With virtually no public attention, and without the input of Congress, Treasury made a change in an obscure tax provision that benefited banks to the tune of well over $100 billion. Was this good policy? In the absence of proper scrutiny, how is it possible to know?
We’ve also learned that the government bailout of the giant insurer, the American International Group — already more than $100 billion — is apparently insufficient. Tens of billions more are needed….”