"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.
In 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.
These days President Bush and the managers of our monetary policy sound like prophets of doom when they talk about the economy. "The government's top economic experts warn that without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic, and a distressing scenario would unfold," President Bush claimed when he addressed the nation on Wednesday, September 24.
A year ago, Congressman Ron Paul was just beginning to turn heads on the national electoral stage, owing to his presidential campaign's unexpected success at raising money. Congressman Paul was briefly applauded by media elites — until the full meaning of his message began to sink in. For Congressman Paul, as almost everybody knows by now, is an uncompromising foe of Big Government, and the greatest champion of the Constitution in Washington for at least a generation.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized Washington Mutual Inc. (also known as WaMu bank) on September 25, and then brokered an emergency sale of the firm’s banking assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion. As a thrift bank, WaMu’s business was focused mainly on taking deposits and originating home mortgages.
As the deepening financial crisis worsened yesterday, the Federal Reserve sought socialism as a cure and gobbled up another formerly private entity, the huge American International Group (AIG) insurance company, in an $85 billion bailout. The move was undertaken to prevent the bankruptcy of the nation's largest insurance company in what would have been, according to Bloomberg.com, "the worst financial collapse in history."
On Monday, September 15, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., long a cornerstone of the Wall Street banking establishment, filed for Chapter 11 protection with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
For decades, the health of General Motors has been equated, rhetorically at least, with the health of the U.S. economy. In the early 1950's when the company had more employees than the combined populations of Delaware and Nevada, GM President Charlie Wilson remarked, in a closed congressional hearing: "For years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa. The difference did not exist. Our company is too big. It goes with the welfare of the country."