Pelosi Announces Bailout Deal Reached
Just after midnight on Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a bailout deal has been reached.
The plan calls for the Treasury Department to buy deeply distressed mortgage-backed securities and other bad debts held by banks and other investors. The money should help troubled lenders make new loans and keep credit lines open. The government would later try to sell the discounted loan packages at the best possible price.
At the insistence of House Republicans, some money would be devoted to a program that would encourage holders of distressed mortgage-backed securities to keep them and buy government insurance to cover defaults.
The legislation would place "reasonable" limits on severance packages for executives of companies that benefit from the rescue plan, said a senior administration official who was authorized to speak only on background. It would affect fired executives of financial firms, and executives of firms that go bankrupt. Some of the provisions would be retroactive and some prospective, the official said.
Also, the government would receive stock warrants in return for the bailout relief, giving taxpayers a chance to share in financial companies' future profits.
To help struggling homeowners, the plan would require the government to try renegotiating the bad mortgages it acquires with the aim of lowering borrowers' monthly payments so they can keep their homes.
I have no idea what any of this means, but the language sounds like smoke and mirrors to me. It A law that "encourages," requires the Government "to try" and has "the aim of" ? Where's the teeth?
Is it any different in effect than what Bush proposed in the first place?
Despite the changes made during an intense week of negotiations, the heart of the program remains Bush's original idea: To have the government spend billions of dollars to buy mortgage-backed securities whose value has plummeted as hundreds of thousands of Americans have defaulted on their home loans.
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