Paulson Competely Changes Bailout Plan Without Asking Congress

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Hank Paulson almost completely changed the goals of the Treasury’s $700 billion bailout plan. He did so without checking with Congress which appropriated the funds and wanted to check in on Paulson from time-to-time.

He clearly is telling legislator that, since many are lame ducks and most are leaving for the holidays, the he will do what he sees fit to save the economy.

According to MarketWatch,  Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson laid out his plans for the next stage of the financial market rescue package, announcing he has shelved a plan to buy troubled mortgage assets and is moving his attention to non-banks and consumer finance. In a broad and dense review of the controversial $700 billion rescue effort, Paulson defended the steps taken to date, but in the same breath said that financial markets remain fragile and the focus must remain on "recovery and repair."

"I believe we have taken the necessary steps to prevent a broad systemic event. Both at home and around the world, we have already seen signs of improvement," Paulson said in a speech at the Treasury Department. But in a striking admission, Paulson said that buying mortgage assets "is not the most effective way" to use government funding. That program was once the cornerstone of the rescue plan for financial markets and was almost the entire focus of Congress when the package was being debated.

Douglas A. McIntyre