Equity in “bailed-out” banks should be granted to taxpayers as part of the plan to rescue America’s banking system from itself. Write, fax, or e-mail your U.S. Representative to urge them to for fight for bank equity to be part of the bailout, and for four other important improvements over H.R. 3997.
Sweden made bank equity part of the solution to its 1992 financial crisis when, according to The New York Times article, “Stopping a Financial Crisis, the Swedish Way,” by Carter Dougherty (September 22, 2008), Sweden was faced with an insolvent banking system “after years of imprudent regulation, short-sighted economic policy and the end of its property boom.” As Dougherty’s article elaborated:
Sweden did not just bail out its financial institutions by having the government take over the bad debts…. Banks had to write down losses and issue warrants to the government.
That strategy held banks responsible and turned the government into an owner. When distressed assets were sold, the profits flowed to taxpayers, and the government was able to recoup more money later by selling its shares in the companies as well.
“If I go into a bank,” said Bo Lundgren, who was Sweden’s deputy minister of finance at the time, “I’d rather get equity so that there is some upside for the taxpayer.”
The rather welcome failure of H.R. 3997 provides an opportunity for a similar strategy to be applied to the United States’ crisis, and for these four additional improvements over H.R. 3997, as outlined by a front-pager at Daily Kos:
1. Add bankruptcy judges’ ability to review and adjust first mortgages so that ordinary Americans stand a better chance of staying in their homes. 2. Put some real teeth in the caps on pay and bonuses so that Americans don't see this money as patching in the holes on executive's golden parachutes. 3. Bind the continuation of payments on this plan to Congressional approval after annual review, rather than having payments continue by default, so we—the taxpayers—only pay if the plan proves to be effective and continues to be needed. 4. Limit even further the Treasury Secretary’s power. It is paramount that the bailout provides for both review and revision.
Having failed to deliver victory in the War on Terror, President Bush is hoping for better luck in the War on Error. His goal is to limit damage from the egregious mistakes of sub-prime mortgages; his tactics are to carpet-bomb the banking system with federal funds. The upshot, in Jeffersonian terms, is that US taxpayers are about to be enrolled in an economic chain gang. ..... In place of rip-roaring markets, according to a Wall Street trader, America has embraced "trickle-down communism". This system involves the state paying "cash for trash" to benefit a few miscreants, and then hoping that some of the taxpayers' largesse will trickle down to the masses. ..... After Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans, Mr Bush's record on rescue missions does not inspire confidence. As for [Secretary of the Treasury "Hank"] Paulson, if he's so insightful, why, when he was earning an $18 million bonus at Goldman in 2006, did he not spot the radio-active dump piling up in his industry's back-yard?
The comments section following the article also yields an interesting contribution from one "James." He begins by referencing to Thomas Jefferson's opposition to a system of monetary poilcy now operative in the US and UK via the Federsal Reserve (photo, right) and Bank of England (photo, left) respectively,
whereby privately-held central banks are given exclsive licence to print a nation's money and lend it to the people...at interest. Income tax in the US was devised to pay the interest on these monies.
After the USA's independence from England, Several US presidents resisted various attempts by the (European-backed) bankers to instate a central banking system in the newly-liberated nation. [Later,] Abraham Lincoln famously rejected European banker's (sic) offers for loaned cash to fight the Civil War..., opting instead to ask...Congress to print its own money. The central bankers didn't like it because it offered them nowhere near the amount of money a debt-based currency proffers the issuer.
But in the end, the bankers got their coveted great deal, after the launches and demises of the First and Second US National Banks, by way of the Federal Reserve
which is neither Federal nor a Reserve. It is a consotium of private banks, with exclusive licence to print all the nation's money, and lend it to the nation at interest. What we are witnessing today is the culmination of years of preparation and planning by bankers and their vested interests to usher in a new era of global enslavement, the kind of which Jefferson (and others, including Benjamin Franklin) warned us about.
Jeremiah Stamp, Governor of the Bank of England in 1920's famously wrote: "It is easy to dodge our responsibilities. However, we cannot dodge the consequences of having dodged our responsibilties". He too, warned about the perils of central bankers and their intentions.
The Scottish are a practical bunch of folks--frugal and no-nonsense. But they're scratching their heads right now that so many Americans are considering voting for the same thing they've had for 8 years: an out-of-touch Republican with old answers that aren't right for new direction, new leadership, new challenges:
America could be on course to re-elect a Republican....a belligerent 71-year-old who can’t remember how many houses he owns, would happily nuke Iran and whose answer to global warming is to drill for oil in environmentally sensitive areas off the coast of America which don’t even have much oil....
4000 American soldiers have died [in Iraq] in the middle of an economic crisis largely caused by the investment houses that finance the Republican party.... McCain is not...a highly excitable politician with a notoriously short temper, who would bring his impetuous and confrontational style into American foreign policy. With the world entering a global economic slump, and old enmities raging in Europe, John McCain as President would be like a flamethrower in a fireworks factory.
Paul Newman, a great Hollywood leading man, a Democrat, along with his wife Joanne Woodward and fellow artists like his old friend of Gore Vidal a progressive and a champion for free speech, a philanthropist and a humanitarian (his Newman's Own product line has given over $200,000,000 to charities since he founded the brand in the 1980s), has died at the age of 83.
We are such spendthrifts with our lives. The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out. - Paul Newman
Paul Newman (born 1925) and Joanne Woodward (born 1930) were photographed here, soon after their marriage in 1958, with an unidentified little dog, obviously a treasured pet. Woodward, an intelligent and gifted actress, had a love of horses and dogs, and the previous year the couple had given their friends Gore Vidal and Howard Austen a pair of cocker spaniels they called Blanche and Billy. All four were working in Hollywood at the time, and they took a house together in Malibu Beach, where their dogs would disappear for the day, collected in the morning by a beagle who trotted down on his own from the north of the colony. The dogs would return at dusk, exhausted.
More than the films, more than the awards — finding out that I was on Nixon's Enemies List meant that I was doing something right. Nixon didn't like my campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy. But then again, he didn't much care for debate, dissent, or the Constitution either. I was proud to stand with Democrats against an imperial president back then. And I am proud now to stand with a new generation of Democrats against a president who poses what I believe to be the biggest internal threat to American democracy in my lifetime. - Paul Newman
Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. We try to practice the old virtues of 'faith seeking understanding' and hope that makes some amends. But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet, and the problem is not just your religious opponents but those who falsely claim you in support of their own interests. Good religion needs to work constructively with good science – and I dare to suggest that the opposite may be true as well.
"Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home--but not for housing. They are strong for labor--but they are stronger for restricting labor's rights. They favor minimum wage--the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all--but they won't spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine-- for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing--but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it." --- Harry S. Truman
The McCain-Palin campaign is trying to distract voters from the real issues. So, please help Obama-Biden focus on what the Republican ticket is trying to hide--namely that: *they've come out against the life-saving possibilities of stem cell research; *they don't even mention protecting equal pay for equal work; *they support huge tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans; *they've almost completely ignored the $10 billion we're spending every month in Iraq; *they make zero exceptions for a woman's right to choose -- even in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother. *they've picked a Vice-Presidential candidate who opposes even basic sex education, and whose Creationism belief shows her disregard for the rules of evidence and reasoning that we expect from even a small claims court judge.
If the Republican rewarding-weath-not-work, anti-science, moralizing, liberty-depriving ticket sounds like more of the same, that's because it is. John McCain is offering a third term of the disastrous Bush agenda--4 more years of the last 8 years. So it's no wonder his campaign would choose to focus on attacks instead of issues.