DeLong Smackdown Watch (Special Self-Smackdown Edition): Greenspanism and Its Discontents
No More WaMu Spam!

John McCain Undermines Henry Paulson

George Stephanopoulos:

Political Radar: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson fears the Wall Street bailout deal is falling apart after a chaotic White House meeting, sources say. Paulson walked into the room where Democrats were caucusing after today's meeting at the White House and pleaded with them, "Please don't blow this up."

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chair of the House Financial Services Committee was livid saying, "Don't say that to us after all we've been through!"

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "We're not the ones trying to blow this up; it's the House Republicans."

"I know, I know," Paulson replied...

David Rogers:

Wild White House meeting sets back deal: The whole sequence of events confirmed Treasury’s fears about the decision by Bush, at the urging of McCain, to allow presidential politics into what were already difficult negotiations.... Paulson was left feeling bruised on two fronts.... “McCain and the House Republicans are undercutting the Paulson plan, talking about a wholly different approach.”... “Nancy is not going to pass a bill with Republicans having an excuse to vote against it,” Barney Frank said.... Democratic leaders have warned that they will want at least a healthy Republican showing of 80 to 100 votes if they are going to ask their members to vote with the president....

“We think we have fundamental agreement on a set of principles,” said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). “We’re very confident we can act expeditiously, and we’ve done a good job arriving at that kind of consensus.” Those principles will include improved oversight of the program, as well as a plan to phase in the $700 billion investment in stages, while still assuring the administration a virtual free hand for at least the first $350 billion. There is a greater emphasis on efforts not just to relieve Wall Street firms of their bad debts but also to help homeowners... limit pay and severance packages for their executives.... Prior to the White House meeting, Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) predicted legislation could be finalized in time for Congress to act this weekend...

When this is over, I want an endorsement of Obama by Paulson--and all the other Republican ex-Treasury Secretaries: Snow, O'Neill, Brady, Baker, Shultz--Simon, Connally, Kennedy, and Anderson will be hard to get on the phone, but I want them too.