Sunday, September 28, 2008

$700B blank check with a slap on the wrist

Supposedly, the politicians have reached a bailout plan that both parties can agree on. The bailout is still $700B but divided into small portions just so Paulson doesn't spend it all on a shopping spree. A lot of really smart people are supposedly watching over Paulson to make sure he doesn't mess up. CEOs of companies that participate in the bailout can't get more than $500,000 for salary (boo f-ing hoo), and since the government gets a stake in these companies, politicians automatically assume that taxpayers will benefit on the upside, even though as we have seen in history mostly the rich, who never really paid tax to begin with since all their taxes were cut, get benefit from the government when it gets lucky.

And all that was not even the biggest problem I have with this bailout. As some experts have said, the bubble broke a long time ago, since summer 2007, and since then Paulson and Bernanke (FED) have poured hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars into the market to encourage lending, WITHOUT SUCCESS. Somehow, I don't feel like this bailout will work either. And it won't be able to cover up the stench the drives investors away for very long, because this bailout addresses everything but the underlying hole in regulation that allowed this mess to happen in the first place. This is not the first time the finance world behaved irresponsibly and have the poor majority of America pay for it, and yet our government has not learned to prevent these calamities from happening. How long ago was Enron? Tyco? Worldcom? This bailout said NOTHING about coming down on predator lenders, about revising regulations on how securities should be rated, etc.

I think it is clear, as CNN reported (90 no: 1 yes), that most Americans oppose this bailout. True, the reported ratio was before the bailout was changed, but I, for one, still oppose this bailout even after all the extra conditions were added, because it doesn't fix the problem at its source and it is extremely expensive. Yet, supposedly this bailout will be passed tomorrow. I have sent many angry messages to congress even though I don't have a right to vote, and I don't know what to do at this point. I only wrote this note in the hope that you will entertain the point of view presented here and be cautious about what this bailout promises. And, of course, if you know a senator, I hope you will tell him/her to vote no.

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