I told y'all back in early October that the TARP was promised to the financial public to stop an in-process computerized bank panic which would have destroyed the entire world's financial and political systems within a matter of days.
If they had not done that, their estimation was that by 2pm that afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market system of the U.S., would have collapsed the entire economy of the U.S., and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed... It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it...I think the danger of this has mostly passed, but without Paulson's promise it would all have been over but the shouting by the afternoon of September 18. And Congress's failure to immediately and unequivocally back up that promise remains one of the absolutely most insane things I have ever personally witnessed.
If the mood ever strikes you to buy Stanislav Petrov a drink, make sure you buy one for Henry Paulson too.