Who'd a thunk it? Certainly not Congress, who, apart from stealing for their buddies, could never imagine that Hank Paulson would overpay with the bailout funds. Listen to the squealing, behold the outrage:
The Bush administration received assets that were worth $78 billion less than the amount it invested as part of the massive infusion of capital into the country's banks, congressional investigators have found.
The investigators concluded that the Treasury under the federal bailout had invested $254 billion into companies but the preferred stock it got in return had a market value at the time of only $176 billion, or 69 percent of what the government paid, according to a congressional oversight panel report scheduled to be released today.
Lawmakers were furious about the panel's findings and said they provided an example of incompetence and waste in the government's $700 billion bailout program.
"Isn't that a terrible way to look after the taxpayers' money and to make purchases anywhere?" Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, said at a hearing on oversight of the bailout.
In a way, of course, it doesn't matter. The assets really aren't worth anything at all, it's all just a black hole that will suck up however much money that is dumped into it. Sure they can suck out more bonuses before it disappears, but sooner or later the truth will have to be faced, these banks and insurance companies are deader than dead broke. To pay anything at all for them is to overpay.