House Passes Bailout
Whether it succeeds or fails, elected officials and business leaders alike said it stands to fundamentally alter the relationship between government and the private markets perhaps in ways that are not immediately clear.
Passage was hardly a victory for the Bush Administration: [More....]
But it was a hollow victory for the administration. After long favoring a hands-off approach and relentlessly pursuing deregulation, the administration found itself interceding repeatedly in the private market this year to avert one calamity after another. And finally after it proposed perhaps the biggest intervention in history, Mr. Bush found himself abandoned by fellow Republicans in the House.
What's in the bill?
The final agreement called for the $700 billion to be disbursed in parts: $250 billion at first, to get the program started, followed by $100 billion at the discretion of Mr. Bush and the remaining $350 billion upon request of the Treasury with Congress empowered to block the last installment by acting within 15 days.
....The deal provides for tight oversight by two boards, including an independent Congressional panel. And requires the government to use its status as an large-scale owner of distressed, mortgage-backed securities to take more aggressive steps to prevent foreclosures.
The bill also seeks to limit the pay of executives of some companies that sell bad debt to the government, including restrictions on so-called “golden parachute” retirement plans.
It also provides several taxpayer protections, including a mechanism for the government to take an equity stake, in the form of stock warrants, in some of the firms that seek government help, which will give taxpayers a chance to make money should the companies profit in the months and years ahead.
And, if the rescue plan has lost money after five years, the bill requires the president to submit a plan to Congress for recouping the losses from the financial industry, perhaps through fees or a tax on securities transactions.
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