Friday, December 19, 2008

Paulson's only goal was taking care of Wall Street

Hank Paulson is one of the largest dangers to Americans. Believe it.

WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday he wants Congress to release the second half of the $700 billion financial rescue package, setting up what is expected to be a bruising dialogue with lawmakers from both parties who have expressed frustration with the way he has navigated the financial crisis.
Mr. Paulson said the $17.4 billion Treasury committed to provide General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC means that the government has "effectively" allocated the first $350 billion that Congress authorized in early October for the Troubled Asset Relief Program to stabilize the financial markets. Mr. Paulson said he has "confidence" that "we have the necessary resources to address a significant financial market event." (Read the statement.)
"It is clear, however, that Congress will need to release the remainder of the TARP to support financial market stability," Mr. Paulson said. "I will discuss that process with the congressional leadership and the President-elect's transition team in the near future."
Mr. Paulson's statement signals a shift from recent statements when he suggested he wouldn't ask for the rest of the money. Lawmakers from both parties have blasted Treasury's use of the first $350 billion, which has mostly gone to inject capital into healthy banks as well as troubled institutions such as Citigroup Inc. and American International Group Inc. Treasury originally sold lawmakers on the plan as a way to purchase troubled assets off from financial institutions.
Top Democrats have said they would only negotiate with Treasury on the next $350 billion if Treasury creates a huge plan to help homeowners avert foreclosure. The request could spark a battle with lawmakers unhappy with the bailout who want to add new conditions, such as requiring banks to lend the funds they receive.

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