Since we are now all over the financial crisis, what seems to be coming out now is a Constitutional problem . Paulson't proposal seems to be a blantant power grab. What Paulson is advocating is that the US Treasury, thus the US President, be given nearly total control of the US financial system with precious little oversight by Congress. The proposal sent to Congress states:
"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."
Now the Scilian in me sits back and asks herself, "Was this part of a little conspiracy? Wait until the problem was giagantic and then act with "emergency measures"? Then the American innocent kicks in and says, "nah. That would take too much complacency." But these guys are smart. These guys protect their own.
Since the most important Congressional checks over the Executive is the power of the purse, that is a pretty serious power to give up.
It's another "emergency" that requires Congress to sell off the house as the fire is raging inside. It reminds me a little of how we got stuck in Iraq. I think Congress is feeling the same way. Yesterday on the News Hour, Democrat Rep Brad Sherman Said, "Why should the Department of the Treasury have total carte blanche? We should require that every major contract entered into under this bill and every purchase of toxic assets be approved in advance by the GAO. Otherwise, this is just a license for the Treasury to hand out money in return for trash, cash for trash, and they get to decide who [sic]to do it."
To paraphrase Chris Dodd, they only get one shot at this and they have to do it right. In 41 days, there may well be a new Treasury secretary. So whatever they agree to has to work beyond November 2008.
What I also hear from Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and the like is that there has to be accountability. I don't think Congress will be railroaded this time.