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Dodd On AIG: The "inconceivable" Is Now Happening Constantly

Chuck Schumer on tonight’s announcement that the federal government will bail out AIG with an emergency, two-year loan worth up to $85 billion: "The administration is approaching an unprecedented step, but unfortunately we are living in unprecedented times. Hearing of these plans, you have to stop to catch your breath. But upon reflection, the alternatives are much worse."

As Politico’s David Rogers reported, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke briefed top lawmakers on the bailout plan in a closed-door session at the Capitol earlier this evening.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd says he appreciates the head’s up but worries that we’re not at the bottom yet.

“This decision is a clear sign that the financial crisis -- which is a direct consequence of this administration's neglect and wayward economic policies -- continues to deepen,” Dodd said in a statement. “Actions that were inconceivable just days ago are now occurring in a manner and at a pace that is certainly cause for concern.”

Dodd said it is time to start asking “some crucial questions” on behalf of the American people: “How will this action affect taxpayers - who have already been asked to commit hundreds of billions of dollars to help stabilize large financial institutions? To what extent will it calm the markets - or just add to the uncertainty? And does this administration have a coherent strategy to put our economy on stronger, steadier footing?”

Dodd said he’ll hold hearings in the coming days – and that he believes the administration needs to be more aggressive when it comes to “the root cause of this entire economic crisis – the foreclosure crisis.”