Commentary on the Bailout Plan ...
Not only is the bailout going to have massively mal-distributional consequences, if enacted in its proposed form the law would essentially not only give the Treasury Secretary complete discretion, but relieves him of any worry about having his decisions challenged or reviewed in, say a court. In short there is no accountability here whatsoever: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." This is completely unacceptable .
Here is some critical commentary from Robert Reich at Politico  . . . Paul Krugman at The New York Times   . . . Robert Kuttner at Huffington Post  . . . Fred Block at Dissent  . . . Plus a set of deliciously vituperative and accurate observations from Glen Greenwald at Salon.com  . . . Obama is mouthing some of the right words:
But it remains to be seen whether he has either the back bone or the influence needed to stand up to the BushCo bailout plan, to say nothing of altering it in any meaningful way.
Added later: Here is Jack Balkin at Balkinization  who is on the money (pun intended):
"I do not oppose emergency plans to preserve liquidity in markets and prevent a further crisis. What I do object to is plenary discretion in the executive in running the nation's financial markets, especially given the history of the past seven years, which has been a sorry parade of venality, incompetence, hubris and failure.
The modus operandi of the Bush Administration has been to use crisis to seize unreviewable power for the executive. Have we learned nothing from the last seven years?"
Labels: political economy