Who needs Congress when you have Henry Paulson there to save Wall Street at every corner? Every time I heard a Wall Street pundit tell everyone how fantastic Paulson was and how lucky we would all be if only he could be begged into staying, I wanted to be sick. The sooner he’s gone, the better. It’s in our national best interest to have a productive Wall Street but there are limits, not that Paulson or the GOP would know. Does the GOP always have to be so one-sided about everything? When they look back at why the US voted them out they can look at sneaky moves such as this as a typical case study in why the country was fed up with their attitude.
The story of the obscure provision underscores what critics in Congress, academia and the legal profession warn are the dangers of the broad authority being exercised by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. in addressing the financial crisis. Lawmakers are now looking at whether the new notice was introduced to benefit specific banks, as well as whether it inappropriately accelerated bank takeovers.
The change to Section 382 of the tax code — a provision that limited a kind of tax shelter arising in corporate mergers — came after a two-decade effort by conservative economists and Republican administration officials to eliminate or overhaul the law, which is so little-known that even influential tax experts sometimes draw a blank at its mention. Until the financial meltdown, its opponents thought it would be nearly impossible to revamp the section because this would look like a corporate giveaway, according to lobbyists.