The new 4th branch of government

I’d rather my government individually bail out each institution that is “too big to fail” and let the smaller imprudent ones fall, sending them a copy of “Who Moved My Cheese?” It’s the dollar, stupid. A Rasmussen poll shows I’m not alone. Only 25% of voters are in favor of the bailout with 31% undecided, but 44% of Americans are against it. And the more they learn about it, the less they like it.

There are worse things than a recession, including a new, unelected secretary with a blank check permanently. According to one legal policy expert (full disclosure: the expert is my husband), the sunset provisions of both Senator Dodd’s draft bill and the companion House draft bill have exceptions that could essentially nullify the sunset.  The sunset provision in the House bill (Sec. 17), for example, excludes subsection 3(c)(5) from the authorities that will automatically terminate in two years.  But subsection 3(c)(5) authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to issue “such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities or purposes of this Act.”

In other words, under the terms of the draft House bill the Secretary has authority until the end of time to continue issuing regulations that carry out the act and its exceedingly broad purposes.  The Dodd Senate draft has a nearly identical exception to its sunset provision.  So much for relying on sunsets to terminate the proposed government takeover of the nation’s financial systems.

I would prefer starting with the SEC implementing a suspension of the mark to market accounting rules, as Arthur Devany suggests. We should also be listening to the recommendations of nobel prize winning economists and over 120 other economists. These well-regarded economists have written a joint letter condemning the Paulsen plan for its lack of fairness, ambiguity and long-term effects.