Bloomberg is reporting Paulson Said to Weigh Stakes in 20 Firms, Including Insurers.

The U.S. Treasury is considering taking stakes in about 20 financial companies and may include insurers as it begins a second round of capital injections to thaw a freeze-up of the financial system.

A final decision hasn’t been made on the roster of firms to be included, a person briefed by the Treasury said on condition of anonymity.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson shifted the focus of the government’s $700 billion financial rescue program to purchases of equity stakes after markets deteriorated faster than policy makers anticipated. The strategy offers a faster way to deploy taxpayer funds, Neel Kashkari, the Treasury official running the bailout plan, told lawmakers yesterday.

“The strategy offers a faster way to deploy taxpayer funds.”

Translation: Just what we need, a faster way to waste taxpayer funds. As soon as we burn that up, we can come back for another $750 billion.

Banks, brokerages, Insurance companies already in the bailout pot.

So what’s next? Homebuilders? Hedge Funds? Pension Plans? The stock market itself? After all, we all know the stock market only goes up, let’s print $10 trillion and buy stocks.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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