Go Fuck Yourself, Hank.

Let's say you have lung cancer. Hank is your doctor. You pay him a lot of money. You've been seeing him for many months, and things are only getting worse. Finally, Hank has a big announcement for you. Turns out he's been working hard on coming up with a plan. His plan: a radical scheme for reorganizing the tobacco industry, a plan he admits he's been thinking about since before he started treating you and is not even intended to help you.

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The Treasury Dept. today issued a proposal to overhaul the nation's financial regulatory system:

+ "Some may view these recommendations as a response to the circumstances of the day," Mr. Paulson said in a speech Monday at the Treasury Department. "That is not how they are intended."

+ "Secretary Paulson has been working on this package for about a year, so it's not like pulling a rabbit out of a hat," Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One on Monday.

He's been working on this package for about a year?!?!?! To recap: mortgages unpaid, banks collapsing, dollar declining, shit-hitting-fan all over the place. Paulson all the while has been coming up with a big plan for, basically, less regulation.

BusinessWeek's Michael Mandel said it best:

Let's see. In the middle of perhaps the greatest financial upheaval since the Great Depression, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is proposing a change in financial regulations which basically amounts to a big wink to Wall Street. His plan will go nowhere, both for political and practical reasons. In fact, it does not even meet the minimum standard of improving transparency, which would reduce the possibility of a similar crisis in the future.

Here's Paul Krugman in the NY Times:
"Anyone who has worked in a large organization — or, for that matter, reads the comic strip “Dilbert” — is familiar with the “org chart” strategy. To hide their lack of any actual ideas about what to do, managers sometimes make a big show of rearranging the boxes and lines that say who reports to whom."

Finally, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers in the Wall Street Journal:

"It's probably a bad idea to spend too much time debating the organization of the fire department while the fire is still burning."

To summarize: Go fuck yourself, Hank.