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July 15, 2008: Paulson's pea-shooter
July 15, 2008: Paulson's pea-shooter
Seeking to reassure investors, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked Congress for a credit line for troubled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Chest puffed out, Paulson promised the Senate Banking Committee he'd never even have to touch the money. "If you have a bazooka in your pocket and people know it, you probably won't have to use it,'' he blustered.

But Paulson soon had no choice but to fire up that bazooka -- not that it made things any better. In September, Treasury took over Fannie and Freddie and started using them to prop up the spiraling housing market. Since then, Uncle Sam has poured $112 billion of aid into the companies, and counting.

NEXT: Oct. 15, 2009: Goldman goodies

Last updated December 16 2009: 10:24 AM ET
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