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The F Word: Why Paulson “Understood” the Bailout

With the biggest bailout in  US history defeated, the biggest loser may be the architect and the man who would have accrued the most power under the plan–Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. So who is he in fact?  

Paulson worked in the White House and the Pentagon during the Nixon administration. He’s insisted that no one really “understood” the subprime mortgage mess, which is why it was allowed to encompass so many people and cause so much damage. He understood it ok, though. Like other top Wall Street operators, Paulson made a personal fortune, estimated at three-quarters of a billion dollars, at the top of investment bank Goldman Sachs–a fortune that included money made from subprime mortgages.  

Just by way of a reality check, the average US citizen owns very little or no stock.  A recent government report found that just 36 percent of workers had any savings at all in a retirement account. So much for an “up” market helping the masses. Blacks and Latinos are getting hurt bad. They were targets of subprime mortgage sellers. Blacks will lose between 71 and 92 billion dollars; Latino borrowers will lose between 75 and 98 billion, according to a report by United for a Fair Economy.  

Under Paulson’s plan, Goldman Sachs would have undoubtedly played a role in the sale of defaulted properties to be transfered to the government. Transferring wealth from poor kids, blacks and Latinos to superrich Wall Streeters–would be Bush’s parting shot.  Funny thing is, Congress has been hearing from their voters. And today Congress didn’t go for it. 

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Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.

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