Bailout Blues

With the US House of Representatives having rejected the Bush administration’s proposed $700 billion plan to rescue America's financial sector, the absence of a consensus on how to address the crisis is now as obvious as what caused it. But what is certain is that any plan that fails to fill the holes in banks' balance sheets in a transparent way cannot work.

NEW YORK – It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the United States’ financial system – indeed, global finance – is in a mess. And now, with the US House of Representatives having rejected the Bush administration’s proposed $700 billion bailout plan, it is also obvious that there is no consensus on how to fix it.

The problems in the US economy and financial system have been apparent for years. But that didn’t prevent America’s leaders from turning to the same people who helped create the mess, who didn’t see the problems until they brought us to the brink of another Great Depression, and who have been veering from one bail-out to another, to rescue us. 

As global markets plummet, some version of the rescue plan will almost certainly be put to another vote in Congress.  Unless the plan is markedly different from the current one, while it may help Wall Street,  what about the economy? What about taxpayers, already beleaguered by unprecedented deficits, and with bills still to pay for decaying infrastructure and two wars? In such circumstances, is there any bailout plan that can work?

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