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The Economists' Voice 2.0The Financial Crisis, Health Care Reform, and More$
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Joseph Stiglitz and Aaron Edlin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160155

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160155.001.0001

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Questioning the Treasury’s $700 Billion Blank Check

Questioning the Treasury’s $700 Billion Blank Check

An Open Letter to Secretary Paulson

(p.147) Chapter 19 Questioning the Treasury’s $700 Billion Blank Check
The Economists' Voice 2.0

Aaron S. Edlin

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents an open letter to Treasury Secretary Paulson, addressing the U.S. Treasury’s request for the authority to spend 700 billion taxpayer-owned dollars. The writer objected to the terms proposed by the Secretary, namely that the only hard restriction on this gift certificate is that it must be redeemed at “a financial institution having its headquarters in the United States” and used to buy “mortgage-related assets.” He further claims that the proposed legislation gives Paulson nearly complete authority to make bad deals in the name of stability—bad deals for taxpayers and good for his brethren on Wall Street. The letter also proposes putting Warren Buffett, and not Henry Paulson, in charge.

Keywords:   Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, financial regulation, Warren Buffett, bail out, financial crisis

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