Financial Bailout: Nothing specific


When I read accounts like this, I’m not surprised that Congress has such low approval ratings:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pressed for passage, with the alarming news that one of the country’s premier insurance companies was about to go bankrupt if the crisis was not quickly resolved.

“We don’t have a lot of leeway on time,” Reid told reporters in the Capitol. “One of the individuals in the caucus today talked about a major insurance company — a major insurance company — one with a name that everyone knows that’s on the verge of going bankrupt. That’s what this is all about.”

He did not identify the insurance company, and later in the day Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the senator was speaking broadly and not referring to anything specific.

“Senator Reid is not personally aware of any particular company being on the verge of bankruptcy,” Manley wrote in an e-mail to “Rather, his comments were meant to refer to the conditions in the financial sector generally. He regrets any confusion his comments may have caused.”

In other words, passing on unconfirmed, unsubstantiated anecdotes on hearsay is to be understood as a reasoned, dispassionate econometric analysis of current financial conditions based on multiple data points.

I’m glad ABC followed up on the assertion, rather than take it at face value.

The Senate is voting now…