Draft Law Precludes Any Review of Government Bailout Decisions

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Here’s my summary (which I know you’ve been waiting for) of the proposed mortgage-bailout legislation:

  1. The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to purchase "mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States."
  2. He can do anything he wants to in order to carry that out.
  3. Seriously, anything at all.
  4. Every six months he has to tell Congress what he did.
  5. With regard to the Secretary’s authority under this Act, see 2 and 3 above.
  6. But he only gets $700 billion to spend.
  7. He can come up with that money however he wants to.
  8. His decisions are "non-reviewable" and "may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
  9. This authority terminates after two years, except for all of it.
  10. The national debt limit is hereby raised from Ginormous to Super-Ginormous (technically, $11.315 trillion) for this purpose.
  11. The cost of the assets will be determined according to the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, "as applicable," or if not applicable, some other way.
  12. This only applies to those few mortgages originated before September 17, 2008.

I think that’s a fair summary, but you decide.  And I say, it’s about time we gave a government agency nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars to spend and virtually unfettered discretion to act with no judicial review of any kind.  What could go wrong?

Link: NYTimes.com