Federal Reserve HeadquartersFollowing a roller coaster day on Wall Street that saw the Dow close under 10,000 for the first time in years, the Federal Reserve has announced that it will invoke emergency powers under which it will buy billions in commercial paper — short-term debt instruments — in order to provide credit to companies other than those in the financial sector that have been stung by the collapse of the credit market.

wall street"Madame Speaker, only in Washington could a bill demonstrably worse than its predecessor be brought back for another vote and actually expect to gain votes," Congressman Ron Paul lamented on the floor of the House on Friday, October 3, the day the gargantuan financial bailout package was passed by the House, completing congressional action.

McCain ObamaTwo days after the House rejected the mammoth $700 billion bailout bill, the Senate passed it. Not surprisingly for those who understand the world of realpolitik, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama both voted for it.

Treasury Secretary Henry PaulsonITEM: The New York Times for September 9 editorialized: "As an act of crisis management, the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance giants, was a reasonable and reassuring move. It ensures the flow of mortgage credit and is likely to reduce mortgage rates, which are important steps toward the eventual recovery of the ailing United States housing market."

CongressIn a stunning defeat to the financial powers that be, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the proposed $700 billion dollar bailout bill in the teeth of formidable media and political pressure. Only such a bailout, President Bush, Treasury Secretary Paulson, and Fed Chairman Bernanke have been insisting for more than a week, can possibly save the United States from an economic apocalypse — never mind that this massive spending bill was cobbled together in haste, in secret, and with little notion of how much taxpayer money might ultimately be required to buy up unknown amounts of bad mortgage-based assets.