Tales from the Trail

You can take it to the bank: Unbowed Maxine says she won’t cut a deal

August 13, 2010

She broke no rules, she has no regrets, and she won’t cut a deal with the U.S. House of Representatives ethics committee. That was the message a defiant Democratic lawmaker Maxine Waters had for the media on Friday.

McCain says he was misled, but not everyone agrees

March 1, 2010

BOSNIA/

John McCain says he was misled by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson into supporting the Wall Street bailout.

The First Draft: Friday, Dec 12

December 12, 2008

BUSH/Gulp.
    
Senate brinksmanship kills a proposed $14 billion bailout for Detroit’s struggling “Big Three” automakers, so eyes turn back to the White House. 
    
The Senate is due back in session at 10 a.m. Eastern for what could be a quick round of final recriminations.
    
Analysts say the most immediate hope for help for GMC, Chrysler and Ford is now the Bush administration, which could possibly decide to use financial bailout funding to help the massive car manufacturers — if there’s any money left.
    
Bush, who had resisted this idea in the past, is headed to Texas A&M University where he is due to deliver a commencement address. The White House said this morning it was willing to consider steps to avoid an auto apocalypse.
    
There’s finger pointing in every direction — the UAW union, recalcitrant Republicans, overreaching Democrats, and the lame-duck White House — but nobody seems sure what happens next for companies which say they are responsible for one out of 10 U.S. jobs.
    
Stock futures were down, indicating that benchmark U.S. indexes could open down about 3 percent or more amid a worldwide sell-off. 
    
Meanwhile, whatever attention is left is fixed firmly on Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is still in office three days after being charged with corruption in connection with allegations that he sought to “sell” the vacant U.S. Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama.
    
Lots of people seem to want the man out — Obama described himself as “appalled” — but there’s no word on whether Blagojevich  intends to resign. Obama, who has sought to distance himself from the Democratic governor, has no public events scheduled today.

The First Draft: Tuesday, Nov. 25

November 25, 2008

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will announce a new program to increase the availability of student loans, credit cards, auto loans and other forms of consumer credit, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will cost between $25 billion and $100 billion, using the $700 billion already allocated through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

What’s Next For Paulson, A Soup Line?

November 24, 2008

Not likely. But Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson might want to dust off his resume because if the Academy of Management is right, he’s probably not going to be getting many fat offers to serve on corporate boards after leaving government in January.With Democrats in control of both Congress and the White House starting Jan. 20, high-ranking Republicans in the outgoing Bush administration will be less marketable for boardrooms positions, according to the association.”If a party is shut out of both congressional houses plus the executive branch, as Republicans will be, its members’ chance of joining the board of a large corporation is about 30 percent less than it would otherwise be,” said Richard Lester of Texas A&M University, who carried out a study for the Academy of Management.Helping Paulson and several of his White House colleagues, though, is that Cabinet members are the most likely among retiring governmental officials to be recruited to serve on corporate boards.”They were more than twice as likely as former senators, and more than five times as likely as former representatives, to be appointed corporate directors during the 16 years covered by the research — 1988 through 2003,” according to the association.Not to pick on Paulson — there are more than a dozen Cabinet members — but he has become one of the highest-profile, most controversial of Bush’s aides for the way he has been handling the $700 billion financial industry bailout.But Paulson’s a survivor. This former Nixon administration official left government the first time around in 1973 (like a lot of his colleagues) and quickly worked his way up the ladder at investment firm Goldman Sachs, finally serving as chairman and CEO when he got his Treasury job.Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing  (U.S Treasury Secretary Paulson with President Bush outside Treasury Building in Washington)

The First Draft: Tuesday, Nov. 18

November 18, 2008

Chief executives of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, along with the head of the United Autoworkers union, will testify to Congress today about the need for a bailout of their struggling companies.

Musing with McCain: ‘If I were dictator…’

October 1, 2008

WASHINGTON – Sometimes it’s hard to tell when John McCain is joking.
 
Take his interview Tuesday with journalists at The Des Moines Register.
 
The Republican presidential candidate acknowledged the financial bailout measure before Congress was not perfect, but he said it was unacceptable to do nothing and admonished lawmakers for failing to pass a rescue plan.
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Then, without cracking a smile or missing a beat, he added this little nugget: “I’m not saying this is the perfect answer. If I were dictator, which I always aspire to be, I would write it … a little bit differently.”
 
With the Treasury secretary likely to have a huge amount of power under any bailout scheme, McCain was asked what sort of person he was looking for to fill that job. He said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had been doing admirably.
 
“I think a person along Paulson’s lines,” McCain said. Given the fragility of Wall Street, he added, any candidate “probably has to have a sound grounding in the financial markets and that aspect of America’s economy.”
 
The Arizona senator said if elected he would recruit the brightest and the best for his Cabinet, Democrat or Republican, in government or in business.
 
“I’ll go out and ask them to serve the country for a dollar a year,” he said.
 
He mused aloud about who might be enticed into government service: billionaire Iowa businessman Warren Buffett, eBay founder Meg Whitman, or Fed-Ex chief Fred Smith.