Massachusetts to Help Save the Economy?


1218125129Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson testified before a skeptical Senate Banking Committee today about why Congress should rush to pass President Bush’s bailout plan. Their reasoning seems to be that unless these banks get their $700 billion soon, things will get much worse. Awesome.

The plan has met with bipartisan criticism, with Alabama Republican Richard Shelby saying “‘We have got to look at some alternatives’ to the administration’s plan,” and Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd calling the measure, “unacceptable.”

These are certainly dark times. Perhaps what this situation needs is a little help from Massachusetts.

Representative Barney Frank is already involved in alleviating the crisis in the markets. As head of the House Financial Services Committee, he’s been demanding that any bailout package also help homeowners who are facing foreclosure, and that CEOs of the troubled institutions shouldn’t get a golden parachute on the taxpayer’s dime.

Frank’s critics retort that he should have been arguing for more oversight years ago when the issues with were first becoming apparent. But, as Henry Paulson said today, there’s “a lot of blame to go around,” so we’re behind anyone who wants to keep us from getting screwed again in the future.

Another local power player who’s been mentioned during the financial crisis is former governor Mitt Romney. John McCain has said that he’d like to see a bipartisan panel supervise the bailout instead of just Paulson, and that Romney should be on that board. While Mitt made some pretty boneheaded investments during his presidential run, his history with Bain Capital shows that he can make difficult financial decisions.
And, as we reported last week, Secretary of State Bill Galvin could make a great fix-it man for the American economy. Massachusetts, solving the country’s financial mess: Who knew?