House votes down the bailout

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I've been watching the debate on CSPAN, and as of now, HR 3997 looks like it's just failed, unless this is some weird procedural vote I don't understand.  Nays won 228 to 205, with 1 vote still uncounted.  The markets just plunged, with the NASDAQ and the S&P both down more than 6%.

Democrats voted for it pretty narrowly -- 140 to 95.  The Republicans shot it down 65 to 133.  I find it hard to believe that they're voting their conscience; they're voting their electoral interest in November.  I hope their constituencies enjoy the bank panic.

Actually, what I hope is that I'm wrong, we don't need a bailout, and after a period of liquidation, everything will settle down.  If so, I will happily confess my error.  But I'm very much afraid that I am not wrong, and things are about to get pretty grim.


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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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