WHO: The Bush administration, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
WHAT: Officials insisted Sunday that a $700 billion bailout package purchasing bad debts from major financial companies must be passed quickly, despite concerns raised by members of Congress from both sides of the aisle about the cost to taxpayers, the lack of additional regulations and oversight and limits on executive compensation.
WHY IT’S HAPPENING: The bad debts, caused by the collapse in the mortgage market, have prevented the firms from making loans, causing a virtual shutdown in the credit markets that has contributed to the failure and government takeovers of several firms this year.
WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA: Nobody questions that action is needed. But rushing through a poorly thought-out package with little scrutiny is unlikely to lead to lasting solutions to the problems that caused this crisis.