Why am I not surprised? Treasury bailout overseer sees no real plan, no coherence, nothing strategic as yet in the billions of dollars pouring forth out of our taxpayer pockets and into failing corporate coffers. Via NYTimes:

...the government still does not seem to have a coherent strategy for easing the financial crisis, despite the billions it has already spent in that effort.

Elizabeth Warren, the chairwoman of the oversight panel, said...that the government instead seemed to be lurching from one tactic to the next without clarifying how each step fits into an overall plan.

“You can’t just say, ‘Credit isn’t moving through the system...You have to ask why.”

Having some strategic planning and contemplating implications for the long haul might be the teensiest bit useful, don't you think?

Instead, we have outright panic maneuvers designed for public CYA. And stalling until January so the problem can be fobbed off...but little else.

Ezra discussed Krugman's smackdown of conservative deficit hawks and the value of public works expenditures. Krugman will be here live tomorrow at noon PT/3 pm ET for a book salon about "The Return Of Depression Economics And The Crisis of 2008." We couldn't host him at a better time, because everything old is new again:

Only much later would those same distinctive characteristics -- the cozy relationship between government and business, the extension of easy credit by government-guaranteed banks to closely allied companies -- come to be labelled crony capitalism and seen as the root of economic malaise. (p. 60)

Krugman is talking about Japan's recession in the 1990s, but it does have a certain familiar ring, doesn't it?

Economic signs are worsening, pointing to a longer recession, and every time Hank Paulson speaks the market tanks. With no coherent plans, shouldn't we all be asking why in the hell they continue to throw our money at problems they haven't bothered to think about beyond "shit! we have to look busy, throw more money on the pyre!"