Henry Paulson's Troubled Asset Relief Program is the “most amazing power grab in the history of the American economy,” writes Andrew Ross Sorkin in the New York Times, “the financial equivalent of the Patriot Act.” The initial draft of the bill circulating yesterday is not only stunningly devoid of oversight or transparency, it specifically excludes it.
The Treasury secretary’s decisions “may not be reviewed by any court of law or administrative agency,” reads one of many blunt sections. Democrats will suggest revisions, but given the mad rush to pass the bill, acceptable oversight is unlikely to develop. “Maybe I should move to Russia,” remarked one financial titan. “It’s obscene, the whole thing. I’m embarrassed for myself.”