Bailoutmeister Neel Kashkari was grilled and filleted in front of the House Financial Services committee today. The Times' DealBook has a roundup of some of the more snippety quotables from Congress, including this arch little comment from Alabama Representative Spencer Bachus:
I wonder what [Treasury] Secretary [Henry] Paulson and Mr. Kashkari, back when they were still working for Goldman Sachs, would ever agree to a deal where billions of dollars changed hands based on a two-page application, without asking what the money was going to be used for or whether it was going to be paid back.
Do you? Do you really wonder, Congressman? Because it kind of sounds like you're just being rhetorical. Then Melvin L. Watt of North Carolina aired the conspiracy theory that, we imagine, he thought everyone was thinking but did not have the cojones to say.
"Is Goldman Sachs running this country? What are we doing giving $700 billion and there is this monopoly on who is controlling it. Nobody is accounting to anybody for it. And the perception, whether the reality is correct or not, the perception is that there is something sinister going on here."
Oh. You know that he spent the whole night before pacing around, muttering, "Something's rotten here. I'm just going to say it. I'm just going to come right out and say it." Also we think he maybe saw the trailer for that Clive Owen movie this weekend.
Neel Kashkari in the Hot Seat [DealBook/NYT]