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Put the toe-tag on TARP

I think I’m about done with the TARP program. Sure, I’ll probably change my mind next week when another course correction occurs. In the meantime, reflecting on some of Secretary Paulson’s recent moves, it’s clear he’s not sure what to do. This week, he definitively announced that the TARP program would not be buying any toxic assets, the express purpose of the program when it was initially approved. Many think that the recent plunge in share prices of financial institutions resulted from the realization that the toxic mortgages weren’t going to be purchased after all.

He’s also said that he didn’t have the legal authority to save Lehman Brothers but we saved Bear Stearns before that and AIG afterward, yet we can invest in other financial institutions in which we initially invested $125 billion?

How about this? Insurers buying up S&L’s as a tool to capture some of the TARP money, more evidence of how well the TARP program was conceived and implemented.

Now, he says he’s not embarking on any new programs . . . housing? credit cards? hello? . . . and most deliciously, on Tuesday, Paulson told a Congressional committee that the government had “turned the corner as far as stabilizing the system”.

Can we all enjoy the same hallucinogens they’re ingesting inside the Beltway?

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