Daily Flog: America's King Henry; money bailout for Wall Street but no bailout from Mets' bullpen
Please recall what Mr. Dooley said a century ago: "Trust everybody, but cut the cards." Especially when people like Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are wheeling and dealing.
Under the bailout, we won't need to appoint Mike Bloomberg our economic czar. (He'll be free to change NYC's law and remain our mayor.)
Paulson would no longer be just another Cabinet member. He would become King Henry.
That's not hyperbole if you believe that bullshit walks while money talks. Your money. Which he would use, at his discretion (not yours or your elected officials') to bail out his Wall Street pals. As the N.Y. Post puts it: "YOUR $700 BIL TO THE RESCUE."
Paulson's control over your money would be unprecedented. In "Treasury Would Emerge With Vast New Power," the N.Y. Times's Floyd Norris writes:
You become the Belgian Congo, and he becomes your King Leopold, controlling your financial resources. Instead of keeping the loot, he'll hand it off to bankers; hopefully he won't cut off your hands.
Who elected this guy? Under the bill, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs can auction off assets, or he can just simply set prices. Every pension fund, bank, broker, pol will have to kiss his butt. Weak "oversight" panels would supposedly keep an eye on him, but that wouldn't amount to much control over Paulson's power. Norris adds:
Leave aside regime frontman George W. Bush's brief public P.R. appearance early this morning on the White House lawn. It was supposed to soothe bankers and traders and big investors, but it didn't calm any of them, based on early action in the markets this morning.
What will matter to them is what Paulson says and will do. He's about to become the most powerful man in America. No exaggeration. Just follow the money — and the guy who will control it.
What really went on in the private meetings that resulted in a bailout plan that would give the unelected Paulson more direct power over the nation's money than FDR had during Depression I?
Which leads to this question: Are Dick Cheney and Bush as paranoid and vain as Richard Nixon? Please say yes.
Then we'd have videotape of at least some of those private meetings Paulson conducted to hammer out the Cash for Crash bill. Maybe we'd even have video of Paulson going down on Nancy Pelosi in the White House to plead for a bailout of his Wall Street pals.
It probably wouldn't be the first time that Hank Paulson has been secretly taped in the White House. Before launching his career as an investment banker, Paulson was an aide to John Ehrlichman during Watergate. He's certainly familiar with private meetings in the White House about how to bail out an administration. Maybe he even sat in on some of those famous meetings of the coverup conspirators more than 30 years ago.
To refresh your memory, here's a snippet from the momentous July 16, 1973, Watergate hearing:
Play it again, Sam.
But first . . .
NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
Scotsman (U.K.): 'Judgment day for world economy'
Telegraph (U.K.): 'Belief in God "really can relieve pain" '
IAN (Indo-Asian News Service): 'Attack against Christians will not be tolerated: Dikshit'
N.Y. Times: 'Holiday Bombings Kill 27 in Baghdad'
Register (U.K.): 'How an Italian judge made the internet illegal'
N.Y. Post: 'STREET FAIRS FOUL, SAYS MIKE'
Telegraph (U.K.): 'Miriam Margolyes' lesbian confession gave her mother a stroke'
Wall Street Journal: 'Lehman's Demise Triggered Cash Crunch Around Globe'
Telegraph (U.K.): 'US warship challenges Somalia pirates'
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.