Two words for anybody who criticizes Treasury Secretary Henry "Hank" Paulson's handling of the great Wall Street massacre this week: Paul O'Neill. Or how about: John Snow.
For all his flip-flopping between bailing out Bear Stearns, letting Lehman Brothers collapse, then seizing control of American International Group two days later, there is nobody better equipped right now to save Wall Street from itself than the former head of Goldman Sachs .
And that certainly includes the two former Treasury secretaries, who there but for the grace of the bumbling Bush administration might still be presiding over this mess instead of Paulson, who understands how banks and investment banks are supposed to work.
Like with the infamous Bush Doctrine before it, there are several ways to describe what is emerging as the Paulson Doctrine for rescuing the global financial industry, which is good news for Sarah Palin.
If either of those two bozos was in charge, o, boy!
...two things that are certain. Paulson is slowly but surely pulling Wall Street from the burning house. And the chaos, which the American public finally woke up to this week, will help usher Barack Obama into the White House come January.
What a wakeup call, too.
Because this crisis – the death knell for the idea that markets and Wall Street can police themselves – is more closely connected to the current administration and John McCain's party than Obama's Democrats. A new order is shaping up in financial services, and it will require an entirely new regulatory structure.
That's not new. What's new is that suddenly people are paying attention. It's not about lipstick and pigs and swift boats anymore.
Obama, who Democrats were wailing about just last week for having dropped into a tie with McCain, is suddenly back up a few points, courtesy of a McCain gaffe on the economy on just about the worst possible day to do it. Obama has been handed a gift in this crisis – a lead in the homestretch – and now needs to really start refining his message to address the details of this crisis.
No, the economy does not look fundamentally sound.