This is Hank Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary. He is working with Congress and the President to stop the hemorrhaging of the US financial markets. Paulson has asked Congress for $700 billion to buy up bad loans that sit on the books of American financial institutions; however, some members of Congress and economists are arguing against moving too quickly and throwing $700 billion dollars at a problem just to stop the psychological panic in the marketplace.
There are other leaders, such as Senator Chris Dodd, who are advocating a level of accountability and reciprocity. Some suggest that we offer relief to American citizens who have been affected by layoffs, rising medical costs, bankruptcies and foreclosures. If we can offer bailouts to banks, we can help our fellow citizens.
It’s a mess, dudes. The New York Times has an explainer column. I would recommend you read it, yo.