TARP Moves Forward With Promises, Not Guarantees, of Improvements


So it’s confirmed. Chris Dodd, head of the Senate Banking Committee, will do nothing to ensure that there are oversight and executive compensation provisions in the second half of the TARP rollout. He will not legislate in aid for families in foreclosure, either.

The reason? Larry Summers, writing on behalf of the President-elect, wrote him a letter assuring him that the executive branch could and would police itself. Don’t worry, Chris, we got this! As I pointed out before, Dodd is an awfully credulous fellow. Hank Paulson convinced him of the exact same thing. How’d that turn out?

Will Obama and company will do a better job than Paulson? Probably. Should Dodd and the Senate Democrats assume that they can take a hands-off approach to things like TARP because the man in the Oval Office is from their party? Absolutely not.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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