What you need to know this morning:
• Speak now or forever hold your peace, America! Today there will be voting in the House on the bailout plan, hacked out on Saturday in secrecy with no BlackBerries present, which makes $250 billion immediately available. The bill is 110 pages long, so you know that no journalists or presidential candidates have read it yet. One key change is that if, by 2013, we have lost money in “our” investments, then the president must find a way to recoup that money from the financial industry. Uh, okay? Except no one told our current President Bush that, because he said that the government “would eventually sell the assets it purchases and recover most, if not all, of its investment.” So which is it—all, or most? The conference call held by the Fed yesterday to explain it all was a bit absurd: “We don’t want just failing institutions to participate, we want healthy institutions”! So we’re bailing out credit unions, pension funds, and banks that … don’t need bailing out! And neither presidential candidate had anything to do with it: said the New York Times, “Both Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama had dipped into the negotiations during a contentious White House meeting on Thursday.” Yes, because this bailout bill is a vote-killer. America no want!