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September 21, 2008

Paulson’s Ghost

Paulson Bailout

Credit to Getty photographer Chip Somodevilla and NYT photo editors for slapping this pic on today’s lead Wall St. giveaway rescue story, “A Bailout Plan, but Will It All Work?”

What we have here is something very important from the standpoint of visual politics.  Somodevilla is creating for us a more visceral and editorial — as opposed to literal and straight — conceptualization of the Administration’s trillion-dollar power play.

Feel free to jump in with your own framing.  What the incisive image calls out for me is the use of: fragmentation and illusion; all-too-pointed gestures; the creation and conjuring of ghosts; and the blurring of boundaries between Administration and operating and regulating institutions of government.

  • http://www.agrippinaminor.com/wp/ Scarabus

    I’m drawn in two different directions. On the prosaic side, Richard Nixon’s saying, “I know how to end the war, but I won’t tell you until after you elect me.” And John McCain’s saying, “I know how to catch Bin Laden, but I won’t tell you until after you elect me.” Remind me: How long was it after Nixon’s election before the war was resolved, however ambiguously?
    On the artsy-fartsy side, Woody Allen’s 1992 movie Shadows and Fog, when Kleinman and the Magician hide inside the mirror while the strangler flails haplessly trying to grab them. In this scenario Paulson is hiding inside the distorting, misdirecting mirror while those representing the American public are flailing around. But in the movie the guy outside the mirror smashes through the deception.
    Those who care more about the ordinary citizen than about the greedy plutocracy can make it happen again…provided they wield their power steadfastly and maintain their courage. Paulson was an investment banker, and he continues to represent the interests of the robber barons. He does not represent the interest of 99% of the American people. He should not be given a blank check written on the people’s account to bail out the voracious and irresponsible sharks who have put us here.

  • http://www.fightingliberals.com tlg

    Ok, this one is quite powerful. It captures in a small slice everything that is wrong about the proposed additional unregulated 700 billion dollar bail out request. Great photo. it makes me uneasy just looking at it.

  • http://politickybitch.blogspot.com/ nunya

    The only ghost in the machine is the American dollar.

  • http://www.jaxxattaxx.com/ black dog barking

    The Treasury Brownie can fix our problems if we give him one trillion dollars in unmarked bills. Don’t ask what he’s gonna do with the money. Don’t ask what he was fiddling with while the wheels were coming off. He’s the right guy in the right place at the right time. He’ll do a heckuva job.
    BTW, if you need a point of reference for one trillion dollars it is approximately 11,000 tons of hundred dollar bills. Convenient number, that — almost exactly one unit coal train full of hundred dollar bills; a mile long string of coal cars filled with engraved pictures of Ben Franklin. Christmas morning for Wall Street.

  • http://www.statedemocracy.org dennis moore

    Dollar regulation.deregulation and bailout all these have no validity in this situation. A genuine through and sincere approach for all the issues is the necessity of the time for our citizen at he same time for the world at large.
    The coming election has given us a chance to choose a cooperatively better personality to tackle all problems facing the country. But at the same time all the eligible voter must cast their votes to make a change. For that we can use the handy tool of election website. http://www.statedemocracy.org
    which gives us al the facility a voter require sitting any where.
    Thanks
    .

  • bystander

    The mortgages were aggregated and then sliced into tranches, and sold…
    The problem has been known and unfolding for some time…
    It is not clear that the $700bn to $1tr will “focus” the problem…
    The “problem” is neither well understood, nor transparent, to the folks who will pay those $$ (ie; us)…
    All of those attributes of the meltdown are represented in this photo.

  • http://lovesettlement.blogspot.com Glenn I

    Interesting that the image chosen to illustrate is not one that reinforces confidence, certainty, power. The image presents uncertainty, poor focus, dizziness. Even the pointing finger is distorted.

  • rob

    The podium resembles a coffin, with Paulson’s ghost rising up.

  • Neal Deesit

    Paulson looks like a color version of Big Brother who appeared in Apple’s 1984 commercial.

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