US To Bail Out Foreign Banks Now?
Posted by Casey on September 21, 2008
This is all getting very unsettling. The $700 billion bail out for poor financial practices is horrible enough, but the thought of bailing out foreign banks also is beyond asinine.
In a change from the original proposal sent to Capitol Hill, foreign-based banks with big U.S. operations could qualify for the Treasury Department’s mortgage bailout, according to the fine print of an administration statement Saturday night.
The theory, according to a participant in the negotiations, is that if the goal is to solve a liquidity crisis, it makes no sense to exclude banks that do a lot of lending in the United States.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson confirmed the change on ABC's "This Week," telling George Stephanopoulos that coverage of foreign-based banks is "a distinction without a difference to the American people."
"If a financial institution has business operations in the United States, hires people in the United States, if they are clogged with illiquid assets, they have the same impact on the American people as any other institution," Paulson said.
The US is also asking other countries around the world to start doing their own bailouts. I doubt that it is anything but an attempt to lighten the very dark cloud that is going to cover the US in the near future as a result of all this.
"That's a distinction without a difference to the American people. The key here is protecting the system. ... We have a global financial system, and we are talking very aggressively with other countries around the world and encouraging them to do similar things, and I believe a number of them will. But, remember, this is about protecting the American people and protecting the taxpayers. and the American people don't care who owns the financial institution. If the financial institution in this country has problems, it'll have the same impact whether it's the U.S. or foreign."
The legislative outline that went to Capitol Hill at 1:30 a.m. Saturday had said that an eligible financial institution had to have “its headquarters in the United States.” That would exclude foreign-based institutions with big U.S. operations, such as Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS.
My God …
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.