I’m generally clueless about money, but I do know, from too-frequent experience, when I’m about to be screwed.
If ever you needed to call your reps in Washington, this is the time. This plan, by bipartisan consensus, right/left, up/down, backwards/forwards, is NOT. GOOD. FOR. US.
(No particular order within the groupings.)
Who to read for info on details of the financial crisis and the bailout plan?
Grand Unified Theory of How We Got Into This Mess
If I find others, I’ll add. If you have suggestions or reactions, comments are open.
Here are some things I got by email from Campaign for America’s Future. I haven’t read yet, but I trust the sources (of the opinon pieces, there’s also a collection of news items from over the weekend).
But, before you start reading this and following links, make your call or send that email. DO IT NOW!
Behind The Financial Debacle: Conservative Misrule
How did it come to this? The banksters issue a threat: Hand over
$700 billion in taxpayers’ moneyûon top of the $600 billion
already forked overûor we’ll take down the global economy.
There will be a lot of obfuscation–fingers pointing every which
way–but the story is very clear.
The $700 Billion Questions
Using the shock doctrine, Wall Street and Washington’s wrecking
crew aim to get the most expensive free lunch in American
Sadly, No! The Community Reinvestment Act Had Nothing To Do with
As these mirthful bloggers observe, we’ll be hearing very soon
from every conservative opinion outlet on the planet that the
present financial meltdown is the fault of the 1977 Community
Reinvestment Act, which demands banks lend throughout the
communities they serve.
Progressive Conditions for a Bailout
tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com — While there is not time to
prepare all the details of the financial restructuring that will
follow after the bailout, there can be an agreement on the
outlines that this restructuring should take. This list of
suggestions is presented in that context.
What Wall Street Should Do To Get Its Blank Check
tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com — Wall Street’s request for a
blank check comes at the same time most of the public is worried
about their jobs and declining wages, and having enough money to
pay for gas and food and health insurance, meet their car
payments and mortgage payments, and save for their retirement
and childrens’ college education. And so the public is asking:
Why should Wall Street get bailed out by me when I’m getting
screwed? So if you are a member of Congress, you just might be
in a position to demand from Wall Street certain conditions in
return for the blank check.
Calling Paulson’s Bluff
huffingtonpost.com — Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson spent the
past two weeks playing a game of chicken with firms like Lehman
Brothers and A.I.G. Now he is playing even higher-stakes chicken
with Congress and the economy. Paulson behaves as if he held all
the cards, but in fact the Democrats have a lot of cards, too.
The question is whether they have the nerve to challenge major
flaws in Paulson’s plan as a condition of enacting it.
Paulson Bailout Plan a Historic Swindle
thenation.com — Financial-market wise guys, who had been seized
with fear, are suddenly drunk with hope. They are rallying
explosively because they think they have successfully stampeded
Washington into accepting the Wall Street Journal solution to
the crisis: dump it all on the taxpayers. If Wall Street gets
away with this, it will represent an historic swindle of the
American public — all sugar for the villains, lasting pain and
damage for the victims.
Fleecing What’s Left of the Treasury
truthdig.com — The federal government, reeling backward from
the meltdown of financial markets, is now considering taking
responsibility for the bad assets of numerous financial
companies. But if that intervention does not include robust new
mechanisms of regulation, accountability and control we will see
nothing more than a massive taxpayer-funded bailout of
stockholders and the financial industry.
nytimes.com — The unthinkable — a government buyout of much of
the private sector’s bad debt — has become the inevitable. The
big buyout is coming; the only question is whether it will be
REP. BERNIE SANDERS
Rescue Wall Street — and the Rest of Us
thenation.com — Let us be clear. If the economy is on the edge
of collapse we need to act. But rescuing the economy does not
mean we have to just give away $700 billion of taxpayer money
to the banks. Any proposal must protect middle income and
working families from bearing the burden of this bailout.
Where’s the Relief for those Facing Foreclosure?
progressive.org — With the feds prepared to throw a trillion
dollars of our hard-earned money to prop up Wall Street and the
investor class, is it too much to ask them to do something for
the people who are the real victims of this mess?
This Federal Bailout Proposal is a Disaster
huffingtonpost.com — Do you understand what they’re going to
do? They are about to steal ONE TRILLION dollars from us and
just hand it over to the guys on Wall Street who screwed
everything up. They are going to take all of their bad loans and
dump it on us. We’re going to have pay for their mistakes! But
they already made the money. They keep the profits and we keep
*** THE NEWS ***
Paulson Proposes $700 Billion Bailout
usatoday.com — Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson called for
quick action on a $700 billion bailout bill but resisted
Democratic calls to include further relief for homeowners. The
rescue plan, as outlined in a three-page memo to Congress by
Paulson, involves the government buying up billions of dollars
in bad mortgage debt to relieve financial institutions and
kick-start financial markets. The administration and Congress
are negotiating the terms of a bill with the expectation it will
pass by the end of the week.
Last Investment Banks Change Status
ap.google.com — Federal Reserve said Sunday it had granted a
request by the country’s last two major investment banks —
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — to change their status to
bank holding companies. The Fed announced that it had approved
the request of the two investment banks. The change in status
will allow them to create commercial banks that will be able to
take deposits, bolstering the resources of both institutions.
The change effectively ends investment banking as a separate
sector, ends the division of the U.S. financial industry in two
halves, which dates back to legislation passed after the Great
Pelosi: “No Blank Check ” on Bailout
politico.com — If the coming week’s theme song is “Come
Together,” the B-side will be “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” In a
statement issued Sunday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
said Democrats believe a “responsible solution” should include
oversight of the bailout plan, help for homeowners and
“constraints” on the compensation received by executives whose
companies will be bailed out. We will not simply hand over a
$700 billion blank check to Wall Street and hope for a better
outcome. Democrats will act responsibly to insulate Main Street
from Wall Street,” Pelosi said. “As we proceed to deal with this
crisis, this is clear recognition that the party is over for the
Bush administration’s anything goes, failed economic policies
that have damaged our economy, undermined the middle class and
further pointed out the need for a new direction.”
Major Financiers Seek Broader Package
iht.com — Even as U.S. policy makers worked on details of a
$700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street
began looking for ways to profit from it. Financial firms were
lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not
just those related to mortgages. At the same time, investment
firms were jockeying to oversee all the assets that Treasury
plans to take off the books of financial institutions, a role
that could earn them hundreds of millions of dollars a year in
fees. Nobody wants to be left out of Treasury’s proposal to buy
up bad assets of financial institutions.
Low Income Housing Crisis Next?
time.com — Another housing crisis may be looming even as the
mortgage meltdown continues and as Americans who once dreamed of
home ownership see their properties foreclosed. The Housing Act
of 1937, imposed in the wake of the Great Depression, and
amended a number of times in the 1970s, is reaching a crossroads
— and close to five million Americans who depend on subsidized
public housing may soon have to figure out where and how they
are going to live. That’s because under the provisions of
Section 8 of the historic law a significant change will be under
way in the next few years. As a result, building owners who
participate in the program will be able to opt out of those
contracts. And many are thinking of doing just that.
*** THE CASE ***
An Economy That Works
There is growing frustration with the right-wing policies that
provide welfare to the rich and reward corporations while
cutting programs that average families depend on. Americans
distinguish between corporate success and corporate greed. They
believe it is time that government sided with working and
middle-class Americans. The progressive alternative rebuilds
America’s economy for everyone.
* Put people first. We’re all in this together. Trickle down tax
cuts don’t work. We need to invest in areas vital to our future
— education, infrastructure, 21st century communications and
* Empower workers and make work pay. Globalization and the
non-enforcement of labor laws have tilted the balance in the
workplace so that employees no longer get a fair share of the
profits they help generate. Productivity goes up but wages are
stagnant. We need to abide by our labor laws, raise the minimum
wage and run a full-employment economy.
* End the abuse and hold CEOs accountable. Crack down on stock
option plans that give corporate leaders an incentive to cook
the books. End sweetheart deals that protect executive pensions
but leave workers with empty promises. The government needs to
do its job and shareholders need tools to hold business
accountable to investors.
* Create a national strategy for jobs and growth. We’re shipping
good jobs abroad and losing our technological, innovative, and
economic edge. We can’t keep borrowing from foreign countries to
buy the goods they produce. We need a new strategy that moves us
to energy independence, invests in science and technology, helps
seed new industries here in the United States and tackles the
unsustainable imbalances with countries like China.
* Give working families a break. American families are
struggling to make ends meet. Health and education costs are
exploding, and people are working longer hours just to keep
their heads above water. Americans are spending more than they
save. It’s time to put the government on the side of the common
good, not the special interests — and make sure that Americans
have access to affordable health care, quality education and a
safe, clean environment.