Henry Paulson’s bailout plan isn’t perfect, writes Joe Nocera in the New York Times, but we have to enact it anyway because time has run out. “With every passing day, Congress is fiddling while Rome is burning,” says Nocera, just last week a bailout opponent. Lawmakers need an agreement Monday, he predicts, to avoid a Wall Street revolt. “No deal, no credit markets. It’s as basic as that.”
The markets are driven more by psychology than anything else, “and right now, the markets are desperately clinging” to the plan as their lone salvation. If it doesn’t come soon, confidence will be destroyed, borrowing will cease, and the economy will grind to a halt. “Armageddon is again approaching,” writes Nocera. Lawmakers need to hold their noses and pass this bill. Fast.