Marketplace—The Big Story: Bailout plan’s wild ride

Posted by Kendall Harmon

KAI RYSSDAL: Been a heck of a week, hasn't it? The deal was on. Then it was off. The economy was collapsing, but not yet it seems. We're going to take a couple of minutes here and try to digest all that's happened.

Katie Benner's with Fortune magazine. David Leonhardt's at The New York Times...

RYSSDAL: David, do you get a sense of anger out there when you do your reporting?

LEONHARDT: I definitely do, and I was talking to a friend of mine who does more reporting out in the country, as opposed to in Washington and New York, and he said that he thinks there's a good chance that people in Washington and, to some extent, New York, are underestimating the level of the anger there. And I think, to some extent, that is a criticism of Bernanke and Paulson, because I think they've done a good job of explaining the stakes here to members of Congress; I don't think they've done a good job at all of explaining to the public what they're afraid of. And so, in the end, this really does feel like a Wall Street bailout to a lot of people. Which it is, to some extent, but it does not feel like something that the Fed and the Treasury feel that is necessary in order to stem a credit crisis that very much will affect Main Street.

RYSSDAL: Katie, what stands out to you about the way this whole thing has evolved, from a week ago yesterday when Bernanke and Paulson had that first meeting up on Capitol Hill?

BENNER: The crushing speed with which things have unfolded, and it sort of feels like that moment after Enron, where people were piling in to try to create legislation, or to create rules, to stem a problem because people were angry. This is that times a thousand, and we're not even sure what they're doing. Nobody really understands the plan.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout PackagePolitics in General

4 Comments
Posted September 27, 2008 at 10:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Grandmother wrote:

First of all, the way this “thing” is happening (or not) is causing panic for those who “buy” it, just making things worse.  Questions like “which bank goes next”?, statements such as “it won’t be long til the main street banks go”,  and more scare tactics are causing more panic.

The first person who stands up, addresses the American people (main street et al) and sucessfuly explains how in the world this “wall street” situation will effect the “little guy’, will be doing all of us an enormous service.  So far, no plain-speaking, intelligent person has done that.

I am inherently against “government taking on business”, it reeks of anti-democracy.  But, perhaps i could be persuaded IF I thought the majority of congress/sentate individuals (the ones who say they will fix it) truly knew what they were talking about, I have seen no evidence that only the parroting of whatever the ‘leaders” have to say.

It just seems unlikely that those who sat on their hands, encouraged unwise mortgages, etc, are going to ‘fix” this..

Grandmother in SC

September 27, 11:32 am | [comment link]
2. Katherine wrote:

I just read online that reports are the Democratic slush fund “contributions” are still in the deal being discussed.  No way!  No more corruption.  I’d rather see my 401K tank than pay off these sleaze merchants.

September 27, 2:06 pm | [comment link]
3. Betty See wrote:

I am not a financial expert but I am very wary of our government operating in panic mode when calm clear deliberation could possibly bring a better result for the whole country.
Is it possible that some of the companies that are all asking the taxpayers for a bail out at the same time, have more resources than they are willing to reveal. If that is the case, it seems to me that the government should take its time and look into each company separately.  Why not check it out before a bail out rather than after.

September 27, 5:18 pm | [comment link]
4. Harvey wrote:

I’m all in favor of whatever is done that the bail out money or at least part of it must be paid back.

September 28, 1:31 pm | [comment link]
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