Troubled Senate bailout plan: What’s a troubled asset?

109 pages were not enough to drown dissent in the U.S. House, but maybe an entire ream will be. The latest Senate bank bailout bill fills 451 pages. Despite its length, it features stunning gaps in logic. What else should we expect from roughly 350 pages of legalese written between Sunday and Wednesday afternoon?

Example: The entire bill is aimed at empowering the Secretary of the Treasury to buy “troubled assets,” defined in the excerpt reproduced below. Included among these poor creatures are things they call “other financial instruments” which the drafters forgot to define. Maybe it was intentional? Observe: Continue reading

Stressed over AIG & Lehman Brothers? Learn before you burn!

“Sue them, jail them, make them pay,” cries Ann Woolner. “I’d fire Chris Cox,” shouts John McCain. Floyd Norris chimes in, “Had the S.E.C. gone over the records of Lehman and Bear Stearns with the vigilance it now promises for the shorts, we might not be in this mess.” Steve Covey: “Seek first to understand.” Whoa! How’d Covey get in there?

Too many pundits and politicos over the past couple of days have rushed to condemn what they simply do not understand. Woolner’s piece offers a nice illustration: Continue reading