Against:

"Thus, the Treasury plan is a disgrace: a bailout of reckless bankers, lenders and investors that provides little direct debt relief to borrowers and financially stressed households and that will come at a very high cost to the US taxpayer. And the plan does nothing to resolve the severe stress in money markets and interbank markets that are now close to a systemic meltdown." (Nouriel Roubini)

"The rescue is being constructed so hastily that it may include all manner of flawed provisions: too much power for the Treasury secretary; authority for bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages." (Newsweek).

"If Wall Street gets away with this, it will represent an historic swindle of the American public--all sugar for the villains, lasting pain and damage for the victims." (William Greider, The Nation)

"This is a bad idea." (John Hussman)

"Paulson had his shot. It's time for the Democrats to pass a nationalization in the taxpayers' interest bill and dare Bush to veto it. If he does, then announce that the congress will pass it again the day after the election. And if he vetoes it again, announce that congress will pass it yet again on January 21, 2009." (Brad DeLong)

"At any rate, it won't take long for Goldman Sachs to figure out how to make that $700 billion work for Goldman Sachs. This you can trust them to do. After all, Warren Buffett just did. " (Michael Lewis, Bloomberg)

"But last Friday Mr Paulson outdid even these Rumsfeldian achievements, when he demanded $700 billion from Congress for a “comprehensive and fundamental” solution to the global financial crisis, without apparently having any idea of what he would actually do." (Anatole Kaletsky, The Times)


For:

"Over 10 years this could change the budget scenario in D.C., which can also strengthen the dollar. The next president gets a heck of a windfall." (Andy Kessler, Wall Street Journal)

"The economics behind this is sound. Government support to the banking system can break the cycle of panic and pessimism that threatens to suck the economy into deep recession." (Economist)

"The Treasury proposal will not be a bailout of Wall Street but a rescue of Main Street, as lending capacity and confidence is restored to our banks and the delicate balance between production and finance is given a chance to work its magic." (Bill Gross, Washington Post)

"When the sarcastic slogan “Leave No Banker Behind” started sticking to Hank Paulson's bailout package Monday, we got the first hint that Main Street hadn't quite come around to the Treasury Secretary's view on the need to rescue Wall Street." (Andrew Willis, Globe & Mail)


A worthy non-commital

"It’s a powerful example of the way government can shape markets without ever passing a law or a new regulation. Unfortunately, it’s also an example of the limits of such intervention." (James Surowiecki, The New Yorker)

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