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Paulson: We Need Help Fast

Addressing reporters at the White House moments ago, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, author of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan voted down by the House earlier today, said that he and other regulators will continue to stave off the current financial crisis as best they can, but they need congressional help soon.

"Our tool kit is substantial, but insufficient," a visibly fatigued and hoarse Paulson said.

Paulson said the U.S. banking system is holding up "very well, considering all the pressure on it."

But he pressed on for congressional assistance.

"We are going to work with what we have until we get from Congress what we need," Paulson said.

-- Frank Ahrens

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Next: McCain: I Blame Obama, His Allies


Schieffer asked Obama if McCain should get any credit for helping to get the bailout package settled.

"No," Obama said. "Look, here are the facts: For two weeks, I was on the phone every day with Secretary Paulson and the congressional leaders, making sure that the principles that have ultimately been adopted were incorporated into the bill


Obama on Face The Nation yesterday. Apparently, according to him, this was HIS plan that got voted down.

Posted by: Larry | September 29, 1908 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The Republican leaders like Kantor talk a good game but cant deliver their own members. Its their fault.

Posted by: Paul Nolan | September 29, 1908 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to stand up strong for this plan now and spend some political capital. Show some leadership. Stop the fingerpointing. Both these guys are risking winning the election and losing the war.

Posted by: Andy | September 29, 1908 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Where is the leadership and bipartisanship that Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Reid promised two years ago, when the Democrats gained a clear majority in the US Senate and the House?

All we read is Pelosi and Reid blaming the Republican minority, after attcking them, before the vote and then 40% of the Democrats in the House also voting no.

Something tells me that an Obama/Biden White House and a Democartic majority in the Senate and House, will just be the same old, blame the Republican minority party for everything and take no leadership or responsibility for anything. Does Pelosi, Reid and Frank know that they are in charge of the House and the Senate?


Posted by: rljmsilver | September 29, 1908 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Well Mr Fix, stop the charade. Fix the real mess, not try to cover it up! Suspend mark to market rule? Why not just let companies cook their book anyway they want to?

By the way beggars, even ones from Wall Street, should not be choosy. Let alone making demands. No oversight? No reviews? Just hand us the check and get lost? And by the way "we" who will fix the mess for you are the same gang who started this mess!

Get real!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 1908 5:24 PM | Report abuse

my 104-year-old father stated to me "greed is the worst sin there is, it leads to everything else.

wisdom of the aged.

Posted by: renato's child | September 29, 1908 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Everyone commenting here, and everyone like Secretary Paulson who thinks he can just "get from Congress" what he wants, is forgetting someone. The insignificant person (who has however, her single vote) who is writing this comment. You all seem to think that it is up to Barack Obama and John McCain, or Nancy Pelosi, or maybe the President. If you had read the comments from Democratic congressmen, you would have heard that liberal districts, and districts like mine, POOR districts, were overwelmingly opposed to any bailout. I wrote emails and made personal phonecalls against the bailout and so did my husband. If the stock market here and abroad is going to go fall, get out of the way and watch it go down. I know how to survive on not much. Do you? Our congressman introduced an economic stimulus package to put some of our desperately poor and hungry people to work on public works jobs, and to extend unemployment for those who were losing it, and to start public works projects on our sewers and water mains, that are aging and failing. What did the Senate do? they voted it down. What did the President do? He vowed to veto it if it reaches his desk. Not one conservative republican wall street investor has ever cared whether the average person in this country lived or died. they don't want to give us a penny of tax money so we can reach up and grab the bootstraps. Now we're supposed to care about your investments. That's funny.

Posted by: motherjones | September 29, 1908 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Well Hanky! You could have kept a lid on this thing with a ten billion loan to Lehman. But nooooo , you have to teach Fuld a lesson!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 1908 5:39 PM | Report abuse

If an outright depression would rid America of this shabbas goy from Goldman Sachs it would be cheap at twice the price.

Posted by: Slim2 | September 29, 1908 6:37 PM | Report abuse

The answer is TERM LIMITS! Get everyone who's been in Congress 12 years or more out of there. Send them home and take away that insane $250,00 per year retirement that's free of Social Security. Even if it means I have to give up the members I like it is worth it.

Posted by: Mark Paxton | September 29, 1908 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi may be an idiot !

Posted by: Bob C. | September 29, 1908 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Like our poor overworked Reps are going to rest until Thursday. WHAT HAPPENED TO TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY???? If the voters knew how things really worked on the Hill, they would revolt. If you think your Reps do all the work, you are really going to be surprised. The dime a dozen staff members do all the grunt work and bargaining. Your Rep comes in at the last minute to sign what has been produced. Most of the time, your Rep doesn't even know what he/she is signing!!!

Posted by: rjstolb | September 29, 1908 8:14 PM | Report abuse

For everyone out there opposed to the bailout, writing letters and making phone calls you are making a definite point against the greed of Wall Street and incompetent policitians. Nevertheless this goes beyond Wall Street, beyond those that should be brought to justice because of their actions, beyond those that are self interested and self centered. This will affect everyone from all walks of life - family, friends and neighbours, the old and the young. We can all shout from the roof tops that this is wrong and its 'our' money. Yet this is not the time to be pointing the finger, that will come and so it should, this is however a time to understand that if it doesn't get fixed then people that you know including yourself will suffer. Just for a second think about this as its not a joke and $700 billion isn't either but this is a drop in the bucket compared to the might of the US economy which is now in great jeopardy.

Posted by: Steve | September 29, 1908 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Since the revelation of AIG's close involvement with Goldman Sachs, Paulson not only has no credibility, he is probably prosecutable for conflict of interest.

Posted by: Dave Erickson | September 29, 1908 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Do not listen, earthlings! Paulson is secretly Lex Luther!

And Michael Chertoff (Homeland Security) is Skeletor! (But that's another comic series)

Posted by: Kal El | September 29, 1908 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Wall Street,White House and Paulson ex CEO of Goldman,a major CO Founder of this crisis,are trying to brain wash Main Street.It will not happen.Wall Street used as a casino by reckless bankers who must be wiped out that we can return to serious fundamental banking operations in which Main Street can trust.

Posted by: MHN | September 29, 1908 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Has anybody considered how many millions of dollars Mr. Paulson -ex CEO of Goldman Sachs- stands to gain by this?

Kind of makes you wonder why he's all wallet-over-head in love with this plan, doesn't it.

And no, larry, as much as you and the republicans would love to pin this on the Democrats and Obama, this is the sole creation of the republican party and Mr. Deregulation himself: McSame.

Posted by: Dr. Dunne | September 29, 1908 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Screw Paulson, Bernanke, and the rest of the robber baron jew bankers. I hope the public gets past the propaganda and figures out the REAL problem with our economy. Then the filthy little money changers will get what they truly deserve.

Posted by: DWayne | September 29, 1908 10:08 PM | Report abuse

On September 29, 2008 at 7:59 PM Bob C. Posted:

"Pelosi may be an idiot!"

Wow. I shiver at the intensity of your critical analysis. I pale in comparison to your insight. You're grasp of supporting facts and command of the intricate nuances of this bill leaves me speechless.

You don't even have any conviction ... "may"? Come on, if you're going to be a republican meat-puppet at least have the guts to commit to it.

By the way, if the republicans leave their own party so much that the word "republican" has been replaced with GOP, and they no longer follow the lead of their "decider" in the white house I don't think Pelosi is the one to blame.

To borrow your own phrase -but with revision- Bush is an idiot.

Posted by: Dr. Dunne | September 29, 1908 10:14 PM | Report abuse

if an employer has 10,000 employees each making 60 K /yr (5K/month) needs 50 million tomorrow to pay the salary.
if that company is credit rated B, then the bank could say we will not give you the money.
Then those 10,000 hardworking men and women will not be paid.
It appears many who write here do not get it.

Posted by: SN | September 29, 1908 10:18 PM | Report abuse

It was a bad bill that wouldn't have accomplished anything. The mortgages and other bad loans need to be marked to their value. At that point the financial concerns (lenders) need to raise capital to acceptable levels. that is all there is too it. To accomplish the former one can lower the principal on all home mortgages to 90% Loan to Value and reset the rate to 5 1/2% on a 30 year amortization. This keeps people in their homes. The financial concerns take a hit which they will have to no matter what. The lenders then raise capital by stock rights offerings which the treasury can supplement and/or backstop with preferred and warrants. To induce new loans the warrants can be cancelled provided the lenders have asset growth (new loans) meeting a predetermined amount. Some lenders couldn't make it even then and will have to be liquidated-too bad. Also foreign concerns can have their own governments bail them out or be liquidated by us.

The problem is over-leveraged bad loans whether criminally originated or not. The mortgage loan problem can be laid directly on the Congressional leadership which refused administration proposals to rein in FNM and FRE shenanigans, not as Pelosi accuses otherwise.

Posted by: scattered | September 29, 1908 10:23 PM | Report abuse

There is no assurance or even likelihood that the unprecedented bailout and amnesty for Wall Street traders would work. They have already thrown hundreds of billions of dollars of our money into bailouts for Barons, Fannie Mack, Fanny May, and AIG. The 700B+ more they claim they need is probably what they estimate is needed to prevent the collapse till after Nov 4, 2008 which is election day.

The requested bailout bill would have established unprecedented powers for the Executive Branch to keep borrowing large sums, many analysts believe that the true costs could range between 1 to 5.5 Trillion dollars of our money!

They want the power to designate private financial companies and banks "as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them" (Sect. 2-B-3). This is what they are really after, MORE POWER AND CONTROL OVER THE PEOPLE!

Upon passage of this legislation, going to the bank will be similar to going to the DMV, tax offices, or any government agency. The banks will be more under the control of the Executive Branch and inversely your bankers will be your government.

The real kicker is found in Section 8, where it reads "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."

No more power and money in exchange for their failures - INSIST THE 'NAY' VOTE STANDS!!

Let the financial chips fall where they may and let the market corrections occur and if the consequences for the American public are dire, WE ARE A STRONG, BRILLANT PEOPLE, let us shift through the ashes and rubble of their greed and the excess created to determine how and why this happened. Let Congress use their investigatory power to launch inquiries to determine who should have their assets seized and who is going to prison for this treachery.

This monopoly game is over. It is time to enforce the rules and start over. It is time for many of those in high places to go to jail!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 1908 10:31 PM | Report abuse

The dems don't need the repubs. They can pass a depression-era style bill all by themselves. Bush'll sign it.

As for the stock market. We are back to pre-Bush territory. In general the market does not do well when a repub is in the white house. So. What's new?

Posted by: Regis | September 29, 1908 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I have heard so many views on this issue and no one "blames" the consumers. We have lived a decade of uncontrolled consumption, buying anything at any price, accumulating things that soon lose their value... The Republicans say "we will not protect people who took bad decisions"(for the financial institutions). Following that logic, we would also have to let millions of people to become homeless or broke, because they also took bad decisions.

Posted by: Liu | September 29, 1908 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the "chips" have already fallen with the market tanking the way it did today; now, we might as well let the market sort itself out. Even at best, the bailout (and I know that's misnomer) was a way to sort of engineer a "relatively" soft landing. The "fundamentals" everyone has been yelling about were never that good to begin with. "Worker productivity" has been rising faster than ever but no good jobs have been created and no money has been or is being put into the Average American's pockets for nearly 20 years. The same job I had as an HS grad in 1989 still pays about the same money - in Northern Virginia in 1989 you could get a McJob for $7.00 or so, that same job pays not much more than that now, while housing prices, gas prices, education and healthcare costs and everything else have skyrocketed. This "correction" had to happen; it was just a matter of when. It's like when you’re a kid and you have a bad scrape and your Mom either yanks the bandage off or slowly removes it. The total amount of pain is really the same, but in the former case, it's quicker; might as well get it over with. What's wrong with this economy is that the American worker has been getting the shaft for years and the people at the top have been reaping the rewards

Posted by: carey | September 29, 1908 11:14 PM | Report abuse

What a joke, Democrats balme Repubs, Repubs blame Democrats. All of you are drinkiing the koolaid. Wake up, WASHINGTON DC FAILED. Plain and simple our government is a joke, This Congress has the lowest approval of all time, this president has the lowest of all time. Please, all of you standing up for any of them are foolish and blind. OUR government has failed, it has been failing for a long time. Ever since the first politican took his first hand out from someone who had a special interest it has been turning dow the path of failure. Why have all empires failed? ...corruption at the highest levels. Well here you have it, our entire governement is filled with elite wealthy nitwits. So for all of you dimwitted knuckleheads posting your idealistic NONSENSE here, take a look at who your defending. Spreading your visions of who did what and why is stupid, everything is done for one reason and one reason alone. To appease the people who give them the most money. Chew on that while you sit and watch C-span and marvel at how stupid your poltical opposites are.

Posted by: Politics is for losers | September 30, 1908 12:12 AM | Report abuse

67% of the Dems voted for the bill, and 67% of the Repubs voted against it. And the first words out of the McCain campaign were, Barack Obama failed the American people. God I can't wait for the John McCain Circus to leave town.

Posted by: Hemi | September 30, 1908 5:36 AM | Report abuse

"I know how to survive on not much. Do you?"

Amen. The only ones afraid, are the ones who have never earned an honest day's wage in their lives.

Posted by: dave | September 30, 1908 6:58 AM | Report abuse

"On or about October 5th, Sarah Palin will excuse herself from the GOP ticket, citing family issues.

"And she will be replaced by Mitt Romney."

"This is timed to occur after the VP debate on 10/2.

"There have been talks all weekend about how to proceed with this info. Generally, the feeling is that we should all go ahead and get it out there to as many blog sites and personal email lists as possible."

"Probably many of you have heard the same rumblings about Senator Biden, though it is believed those were falsely generated to lessen any negative effect of Palin's dropping out."

"At this point, with this inside info from the RNC, it looks like this McCain strategy will be a go."

"Therefore, it seems that the best strategy is to get out in front of this McCain maneuver, spell it out in detail, and thereby expose it for the grand manipulation that it is."

"So, let's start mixing this one up and cut the McCain camp off at the pass. Send this info out to as many people as you can post about it on websites and blogs, etc."

Posted by: Anonymous Insider | September 30, 1908 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Let me see now:

Republican president seeks emergency bailout
Republican Treasury Secretary sent to persuade Congress
Republican owned financial institutions at risk
Republican administration’s economy crumbling
Republican candidate for president claims he saved the day
Republican members of Congress kill the bill
Republicans at all levels blame Democrats

Posted by: Sick of Bush and all Republicans | September 30, 1908 9:19 AM | Report abuse

My need for researching my vote is much simpler now... All I have to do is check to see who voted for this bailout and pick the other guy....

Can't beleive elected poeple think giving Fat Cats close to a trillion dollars is a good idea?


Posted by: mlimberg | October 2, 1908 9:57 AM | Report abuse

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