The Bailout: The Really Small Print Is Really, Really Scary


Assuming that the Bush-Paulson Wall Street bailout gets changed drastically by the time it’s passed, we can all tip our hat to Mother Jones. With everyone on the Hill screaming about the power grab Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is trying to engineer, the magazine’s Nomi Prins deserves a deep thanks for noticing the really, really, teeny tiny, fine print in what Treasury sent to the House and Senate.

Prins alone seems to have discovered that the barely-discussed Section 6 of the newly-named Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, creates a never-ending bailout with the key phrase, “The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time.” (Italics added)

What “at any one time” means when it’s not raining is simply this: If whatever the taxpayers buy turns out to be worth zero, nada, nothing, zip, then Ol’ Hank, Wall Street’s best friend in Washington, can buy up another $700-billion worth of junk to give the banks a second helping at the public trough. And so on ad nauseum until the public is left holding an expensive, empty sack while banks, insurance companies and other bailed out lenders profit from the crème de la crème they keep in their portfolio.

I’d love such a sweet deal! Who wouldn’t? No wonder the financial services lobby – never shy before in publicly pleading for Congressional relief from this or that – has kept their mouth shut on the bailout.

charley-james.jpgGuess what?

The TARP they’re trying to cover us with is misnamed; it should be the HAPASWEAT, short for the Hank Paulson Sweater because he wants to give us a warm and cozy feeling as he pulls the wool over our eyes.

Charley James

Charley James is an American journalist, author and essayist who lives in Toronto.

Reprinted with permission from The ProgressiveCurmudgeon.

Articles by Charley James:


  1. Seven Star Hand says

    Hello Charley,

    Money Karma comes home to roost !!!

    This is the long awaited opportunity to finally “kill the beast” and kick all the bums out, forever. Be patient and read what I have been saying for insights into another way to manage this civilization, without money and without evil cabals running this world. The keys to a “New Earth” are wisdom and cooperation, not the fears and follies of the past.

    It will soon become painfully obvious, to even the most clueless, that it will be far easier to step away from the deceptions of the past (money, religion, and politics) and finally fix our civilization so it works for everyone, not just for a self-chosen and abominably greedy few. Why should humanity struggle and suffer any longer to repay massive debts and endure great debacles created by amazingly greedy and deceptive monetary and political leaders? Are you familiar with the ancient concept of a Jubilee? It’s time has come, and the power of the rich and arrogant is about to be blown away on the winds of long-overdue and irresistible change.

    Here is Wisdom…


  2. edie says

    same crap we’ve been given for 8 years! it’s really time to impreach…Dubba has cost us our life savings, our homes, our very life blood…without an impreachment he goes back to Texas and we pay him every month…no matter what…it’s time to stop this bleeding…we have nothing more to give him and his cohorts…

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