Foreign banks may get a bit of the bailout

An interesting detail of the proposed $700 billion-with-a-B bailout has emerged over the weekend:

In a change from the original proposal sent to Capitol Hill, foreign-based banks with big U.S. operations could qualify for the Treasury Department’s mortgage bailout, according to the fine print of an administration statement Saturday night.

The theory, according to a participant in the negotiations, is that if the goal is to solve a liquidity crisis, it makes no sense to exclude banks that do a lot of lending in the United States.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson confirmed the change on ABCs “This Week,” telling George Stephanopoulos that coverage of foreign-based banks is “a distinction without a difference to the American people.”

Really? Come down to the Public Square and try explaining that to my neighbors. There’s an awful lot of peeling paint and rotten wood on what used to be upscale homes out here in the heartland.

The anger is growing, I can feel it. Between the cost (and security risk) of open borders, financing petro-palaces in the Middle East, and now a proposed bailout of wealthy foreign bankers, average Americans — the backbone of the country; the hard-working, tax-paying patriots whose kids supply the blood and muscle for our adventures in nation-building — may be closer to fed up with their government than at any time since the 1790s.

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