Some Democratic congressfolks have had the intriguing and unorthodox idea that the role of Congress is to legislate. Ian Welsh has the details on the preparation of alternative bills to the Paulson take it or leave it (with bells and whistles to entice you to vote for it added in the Senate!) TARP measure.
I’m not sure, though, how “market sentiment” of “it’s 700 billion or the apocalypse” will deal with this development.
More at OpenLeft.
Ps: Paul Keating on Lateline last night made some very instructive points about why pumping liquidity into markets isn’t working and why Malcolm Turnbull is playing a populist game on interest rates.
Update: The Senate’s lone socialist, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, reflects on the TARP bill’s Senate passage:
This bill does not deal with the absurdity of having the fox guarding the hen house. Maybe I’m the only person in America who thinks so, but I have a hard time understanding why we are giving $700 billion to the Secretary of the Treasury, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, who along with other financial institutions, actually got us into this problem. Now, maybe I’m the only person in America who thinks that’s a little bit weird, but that is what I think.
And Glenn Greenwald saw the bill’s rejection in the House as a victory for democracy. Which it sorta is… but perhaps only because the imminence of the election is concentrating Congressional minds. But the fact that substantive alternatives to the bill – or amendments – which seek to modify its nature such that it’s not just a bailout are unlikely to go anywhere should also concentrate the mind.