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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bailout-Mania Grips Washington

Items of Interest:

Lobbyists Swarm the Treasury for Piece of Bailout PieNew York Times:
Lobbyists Swarm the Treasury for Piece of Bailout Pie — WASHINGTON — When the government said it would spend $700 billion to rescue the nation's financial industry, it seemed to be an ocean of money. But after one of the biggest lobbying free-for-alls in memory, it suddenly looks like a dwindling pool...

Paul Blumenthal / Sunlight Foundation: Lobbying Spurs Changes in Bailout Plan
Catherine Rampell / Economix: All Together Now: A Word on Lending ‘Expectations’
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture: Why Bailouts Attract Handout Seekers
Deborah Solomon / Wall Street Journal:
Treasury Not Planning to Buy Bad Loans, Assets — Treasury Considers Private Role in TARP — WASHINGTON — Secretary Henry Paulson said the Treasury has put a plan to purchase illiquid mortgage-related assets on hold. — Meanwhile, the Treasury Department,
signaling a new phase …
David Gaffen / MarketBeat: Paulson Punts, and Short-Term Yields Fall
Arnold Kling / EconLog: Must-Read from Michael Lewis
Howard Schneider / Washington Post:
Federal Bailout May Include Credit Card, Loan Companies
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution: Should the federal government encourage more credit card borrowing?
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones: TARP is Dead, Long Live TARP
David Stout / New York Times:
Paulson Says Treasury Is Shifting Focus of Bailout — WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. announced a major shift in the thrust of the $700 billion financial-rescue program on Wednesday, at the same time joining several agencies in prodding banks to speed up the thaw in the country's credit system.
FDIC: Interagency Statement on Meeting the Needs of Creditworthy Borrowers
Deborah Solomon / Wall Street Journal: Treasury Not Planning to Buy Bad Assets
Robert Stein / Connecting.the.Dots: Making Book on Paulson
Should Detroit Auto-makers get bailed out?

Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
How to Fix a Flat
— Last September, I was in a hotel room watching CNBC early one morning. They were interviewing Bob Nardelli, the C.E.O. of Chrysler, and he was explaining why the auto industry, at that time, needed $25 billion in loan guarantees. It wasn't a bailout, he said...

The blame for this travesty not only belongs to the auto executives, but must be shared equally with the entire Michigan delegation in the House and Senate, virtually all of whom, year after year, voted however the Detroit automakers and unions instructed them to vote. That shielded General Motors, Ford and Chrysler from environmental concerns, mileage concerns and the full impact of global competition that could have forced Detroit to adapt long ago.

Indeed, if and when they do have to bury Detroit, I hope that all the current and past representatives and senators from Michigan have to serve as pallbearers. And no one has earned the “honor” of chief pallbearer more than the Michigan Representative John Dingell, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who is more responsible for protecting Detroit to death than any single legislator...
Jonathan Tasini / The Huffington Post: The Right Way To Bailout The Auto Industry
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish: Let Them Die?, Ctd. — Megan weighs in: … Man, I hope Pelosi doesn't get her way.
Mark Finkelstein / NewsBusters.org: Friedman: Put ‘Government Master’ In Charge of Automakers
Prairie Weather: Should we care about GM (and Ford and Chrysler)?
Edward Altman / Forbes: GM Should 'DIP' into the Government's Coffers
Mark Perry / Carpe Diem: New Auto Affordability Close to All-Time High
Holman Jenkins / WSJ: Fuel-Efficient Volt Not Salable Without Subsidies
Douglas Olin / LAT: To Earn Bailout, Detroit Should Think Fuel Efficient
Jeff Korzenik / efficient frontiers: The Irony of Automaker Bailouts
Ed Schafer / U.S. Department of Agriculture: Straight Talk About Ethanol