The Wall Street bailout currently being discussed in (i.e. ramrodded through) congress is unbelievably gross. The biggest red flag, discounting (if such a thing is possible) the $700 billion price tag, is the proposed provision that no decisions made by the Treasury Secretary would be reviewable by any court or agency. This is about as blatantly unconstitutional as it gets. Which hasn't stopped it from being inserted into other sham laws like the Military Commissions Act. ("Hey, dad! Can I have the keys to the car? And, uh, $700 billion?" "What are you going to do with it?" "None of your business." "Oh, okay." "Yoink!")
But another gigantic problem with the proposal is the idea that we should be forking over gazillions of dollars to the people who screwed up in the first place but that we should not have any stake in any profits once (if) the market's strength returns.
Which brings me to American Prospect executive editor and Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson. He's smart and cogent and he's top notch on economic issues. His piece today in the W-Post runs through exactly why this is such a bad idea and questions why we should be socializing Wall Street's debts but explicitly not socializing its profits.