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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quotes of the day

I just did a "Thought for the Day", but I can't resist these quotes from today's Senate hearing on the bailout plan, from the New York Times story:

Senator Dodd called the Treasury proposal “stunning and unprecedented in its scope and lack of detail.”

Asserting that the plan would allow Mr. Paulson to act with “absolute impunity,” Senator Dodd said, “After reading this proposal, I can only conclude that it is not only our economy that is at risk, Mr. Secretary, but our Constitution, as well.”

“It’s financial socialism, and it’s un-American,” Mr. [Jim] Bunning [Republican senator from Kentucky] said.

Mr. Paulson said in response to questions that he shared the senators’ exasperation. “I’m not only concerned, I’m angry” over the events that led to the problem... and, in an effort to counter any impression that the proposed rescue plan is for the benefit of fat-cat Wall Streeters, said: “This is all about the taxpayers. That is all we are about.”

Mr. Bernanke ... reminded the senators at one point that he had never worked on Wall Street and was instead an economic scholar who had studied earlier financial crises. [Note Bernanke has been on the Fed's Board of Governors since 2002.]

“Even on Wall Street, $700 billion is a lot of money,” [Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY] said.

Senator Shelby [R-Alabama] ... recalled ... that Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, once told him that the rate of borrowing in the American economy and the high percentage of their incomes that many people were spending on their homes posed “a rather small risk to the mortgage market.”