WALL STREET BAILOUT GOES FROM SCAM TO SCANDAL

Bailing out Wall Street billionaires is not exactly popular with voters, so Hank Paulson, George W’s treasury secretary, came up with this cover story: It’s not about Wall Street, it’s about your street.

Bailing out Wall Street billionaires is not exactly popular with voters, so Hank Paulson, George W’s treasury secretary, came up with this cover story: It’s not about Wall Street, it’s about your street.

He explained that putting 250 billion of our tax dollars into the nation’s largest private banks, will unclog their credit flow – sort of like Liquid-Plumr for banks. With this government input, Paulson promised, banks would again begin to make loans to businesses and consumers, and bluebirds of economic happiness would once again twitter throughout America.

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He lied. There never was any connection between the bailout and credit flow. Indeed, the bailout czar is now doling out billions with absolutely no strings attached – no requirement whatsoever that the recipient banks start making loans to “your street.” The unclogging rationale was a scam.

Instead, Paulson & Company are using the bailout funds to restructure banking in ways that’ll harm your street. Behind the scenes, the Treasury Department is actively encouraging big banks to use their taxpayer windfall to buy out our regional and local banks, eliminating these smaller competitors from the marketplace. The big banks, of course, are delighted. For example, JPMorgan Chase got $25 billion from us, and a top executive recently gushed about being able to use it “on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for [taking over] some banks who are still struggling.”

Thanks, Hank!

By forcing this consolidation, Paulson will reduce banking choices and services for us consumers, while driving up the fees we pay. He’ll also drastically enlarge the very giants that made the mess we’re in – banks that he told us are already “too big to fail.”

This bailout has gone from scam to scandal! Where is Congress? Paulson shouldn’t just be stopped – he should be impeached.

“Banks Are Likely to Hold Tight to Bailout Money,” The New York Times, October 17, 2008.

“U.S. Is Said To Favor New Mergers,” The New York Times, October 21, 2008.

“So When Will Banks Give Loans?” The New York Times, October 25, 2008.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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