Excerpt Of The Day: Paul O’Neill On The Bailout

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said the $700 billion bank-rescue proposal under negotiation in Washington is “crazy,” with potentially “awful” consequences for the world’s largest economy.

“Doesn’t this seem like lunacy to you?” said O’Neill, who was President George W. Bush’s first Treasury chief, from 2001 to 2002, in a telephone interview today. “The consequences of it are unbelievably bad in terms of public intrusion into the private sector.”

…”We have no capacity in the federal government and it’s not possible to create a capacity to manage a $700 billion property portfolio,” said O’Neill, who was chairman of Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, from 1987 to 2000. “It’s crazy. It’s like we’ve lost our moorings.” — Bloomberg

When this bailout is slammed through and “everyone” is agreeing that it was a terrible idea, but there was no alternative and they “had” to do it, please remind them that there were lots of people saying “Slow down,” “This is a bad idea,” and “Don’t pass the bill!”

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