Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bailouts: The Game Show

TV news is beginning to look like the mother of all game shows with Washington contestants competing to pick a jackpot for the economy.

Here is Henry Paulson wavering between the curtains marked Toxic Loans and Bank Capital, some members of Congress wanting to take a flyer on Detroit, Sheila Bair of the FDIC choosing Foreclosure Relief as the audience of lobbyists cheers them on and the rest of us wait anxiously for someone to come up with a winner.

Mitt Romney, whose family money comes from the car industry, shows up today to opt for Big Three Bankruptcy while a nearby New York Times editorial urges Congress to open the curtain marked Modifying Home Loans.

The Bailout Show so far is not getting stock-market ratings like the Neilsens of such classics as Deal or No Deal, but changing the host in January may make a difference. Meanwhile we're all watching, remote in hand, hoping that no one shows up to repossess the TV set.

So far, the show looks far from ready for prime time.

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