Paulson has decided not to tap the second half of the $700 billion TARP:
The Treasury Department isn’t likely to ask for Congress for authority
any time soon to use the second half of the $700 Troubled Asset Relief
Program, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Monday in an interview
with the Wall Street Journal. "I’m going to do what we need to do to
keep the system strong but I’m not going to be looking to start up new
things unless they’re necessary, unless they make great sense," Paulson
said. "I want to preserve the firepower, the flexibility we have now
and those that come after us will have."
Unmentioned in the article is that if he had asked for the authority, I can’t imagine he would have received it. His magnanimous gesture is akin to resigning before you’re fired.