Lets not make any bones about it. Hank Paulson the US Treasury Secretary’s scheme announced yesterday represents a coup d’etat by the finance sector as Yves Smith rightly argues (21st September). The stakes are high. In a few months time we may have a Democrat President and a less compliant Congress. Right now, with the stock market gyrating and banks failing is as good a time as any for the finance sector to stage a coup d’etat.
The Treasury Secretary, who by all accounts is a decent man, is asking Congress to set himself above the law, in order that he may spend – at his discretion alone – $700 billion of taxpayer funds. The text of his legislative proposal is clear: “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.”
Remember, he was, before taking up the post of a public servant, the chairman of Goldman Sachs, one of the banks believed to be facing difficulties, and therefore targetted by speculators last week. Right now, in the name of financial stability he is demanding the powers of a monarch, imperial emperor – or indeed a military or even fascist dictator. Congress should not bow down before such imperious demands.