19 Dec 2008

Robert Wenzel Gives Me Props on Paulson

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Robert Wenzel and I have formed a mutual fan club, which means I don’t have to toot my own horn on my Paulson call. The entirety of Wenzel’s post (and note my convention here, that I don’t italicize my own words to avoid confusion):

Bob Murphy Is Going to Flip

On Wednesday, Bob Murphy wrote at his blog:

Paulson Flips Again On Whether He Needs the Remaining $350 Billion In TARP

Now I didn’t specify in the title of this post whether it means Paulson wants the money or not; do you remember? I know it’s a tough question since I think Paulson has literally flipped twice in the past two weeks. But as of right now, Paulson claims he doesn’t need to tap into the other half of the TARP. Now what would be funny is if he comes back and says, “Yeah, of course I want to spend another $350 billion. But I meant I wouldn’t be spending it on troubled asset relief.”

Guess what?

Paulson, in his statement on the automotive bailout, flips again and says he needs the remaining $350 billion of TARP funds for “financial market stability”:

As a result of this decision [to bailout the auto industry], Treasury effectively has allocated the first $350 billion from the TARP…In the very short-term, the allocated but not yet disbursed TARP balances, in conjunction with the powers of the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, give me confidence that we have the necessary resources to address a significant financial market event. It is clear, however, that Congress will need to release the remainder of the TARP to support financial market stability. I will discuss that process with the congressional leadership and the President-elect’s transition team in the near future.

I think Murph has Paulson figured out.

Thanks RW, I do think I’ve got Paulson figured out. But I must confess that Wenzel’s own blogging habits are still mysterious to me. For example, he doesn’t include a picture of me or of Paulson, even though this blog post clearly focuses on the two of us. And yet, in another recent post, Wenzel includes a photo of a person who’s not even the focus of his analysis. What gives?

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