Bailout passes House, and a bit more on who caused this mess

The BBC and the Boston Globe are reporting that the House approved the $700 billion wall street bailout bill.  We'll see how well that does with settling the financial markets.  Certainly it seems the economy continues its meltdown with spiking un/underemployment reaching mid-1994 levels (see the U6 measure reported by krugman), rapidly falling motor vehicle sales, and decreased factory utilization.

I have mentioned to some friends about the SEC's decision to allow the five big investment banks to take on way more leverage (11x before to 30-40x pre-crash) then they were previously allowed.  I first read about it on The Big Picture, who now reports that the NY Times just covered it as well.  As Barry Ritholtz cites and says:

The five investment banks led the charge, including Goldman Sachs, which was headed by Henry M. Paulson Jr. Two years later, he left to become Treasury secretary.

(emphasis added)

No wonder the bailout package is so poorly crafted: The
same genius, Hank Paulson, that helped us to get into this, and has
utterly failed to see this coming until it was all but on top of is, is
trying to get us out. He is uniquely  unqualified for this task. How this guy hasn't honorably fallen on his own sword yet is beyond me.

Gotta agree with him there.

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