Democrats: 141 Yea, 94 Nay
Republican: 66 Yea, 132 Nay
Negotiators had worked all weekend to accommodate some of the doubts of conservative Republicans who objected to such a massive outlay of taxpayer funds on the financial sector. But in the end the largely superficial changes made to the original plan were not enough and more than three-quarters of Republicans voted against. Worse, perhaps, more than a third of Democrats also opposed the measure, which they saw as a handout to rich bankers on Wall Street.
Now, in effect, the politicians have called the bluff of Hank Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary. Since he first proposed the plan ten days ago he has repeatedly warned that its passage was absolutely essential to avoid a complete freezing-up of the US financial system.
I’m frankly surprised – I thought the Congresscritters would reluctantly fall into line. If this crisis has done one good thing, it’s put the phrase “corporate welfare” right at the top of the public vocabulary; a year ago only leftists ever used it and decried it, while fiscal conservatives denied the existence of such a thing. Perhaps a few more of the special provisions that concentrate wealth in the virtual hands of corporations might be more deeply examined now (not holding my breath though).
So what happens now? My guess is that, eventually, this will mean a sounder package to protect the US taxpayers (and the rest of the global economy) from the worst effects of the Wall Street meltdown, and that the top execs will have to take a deep breath and forgo those golden parachutes (although that should be a secondary consideration, they don’t deserve them when they’ve led the way to such a mess). But while that sounder package is being hammered out, the stock market will continue to dive and anxiety will rise and rise. They can’t take too long to sort something out.
Washington Post – House Narrowly Defeats Bailout Legislation
No Bailout Yet
from ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES by echidne
Written before the bill fell over:
Bailout: The Final Bill
by hilzoy at Obsidian Wings (she is sure to have more up soon about how/why the deal failed and what’s happening next)
Brad DeLong: Time Not for a Bailout, But for Nationalization… – DeLong argues that nationalisation will best protect the taxpayer through the acquisition of assets and the avoidance of the moral hazard problem (brief commentary on today’s news)
from Sadly, No! by HTML Mencken (published before the bill fell over) – a fine rant on just how bad an idea Bush’s bailout is.
I’ll add links as I find them to more analysis. Add yours in comments.