Bingaman responds to financial crisis

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By Roger Snodgrass

On a day spent visiting Los Alamos and the laboratory Thursday, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., came by the Monitor newsroom to offer his perspective on current issues.

He said he had been greeted with a lot of questions about the economy during this visit to the state.

While trying to see beyond the immediate crisis in global finance, he said, “A lot of folks can take some of the blame.”

A member of the Senate Finance Committee, Bingaman said that the administration’s initial rescue plan was too narrow at first, based as it was on buying up mortgage-backed securities, but the revised emergency economic stabilization act gave the government broader authority for using the $700 billion authorization to deal with the credit crunch and the sudden loss of liquidity among the nation’s financial institutions.

How much additional debt that would turn out to be for the federal government, Bingaman said, was “sort of unknowable, or at least unknown by me.”

He said it depends on whether matters get worse or whether it has the intended positive effect, which would help the country take a “more shallow” curve to economic recovery.

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