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Are The Financial Bailouts A Good Idea?

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with several guests about what’s been on everyone’s mind: the financial meltdown and the historic government bailouts.

NEW YORK TIMES financial columnists Floyd Norris and Gretchen Morgenson discussed what bailouts entail. Morgenson said:

“The ugly thing about this is privatizing gains and socializing losses. So when things are going well, the managements make out, the shareholders make out, the counterparties are fine. All the private sector people do well. But when something goes wrong, when decisions are made that turn out to be bad decisions, the U.S. taxpayer has to take on the problem. And there’s something very wrong about that.”

Economic and political critic Kevin Phillips argued that both parties bear responsibility for the economic crisis and are unlikely to shake up the status quo.

“It’s been a bipartisan phenomenon. You can go back to the 1980s and say Reagan and George Bush, Sr. got a bubble started. Clinton got in and got an even bigger bubble going. And then George W. Bush with the biggest bubble of all. But it’s not that the Clintonites didn’t play. They did... The Democrats think it's going to be another 1933, they get in there [and] they can do all the New Deal stuff. My feeling is that they're coming in halfway and they're going to have to make hard decisions that are going to eat the Democratic coalition like a bologna sandwich.”

Some commentators on the left see a silver lining in getting the government involved in various companies. Welcoming what he terms “massive socialism,” Matthew Yglesias of THINK PROGRESS wrote:

“Isn’t there an enormous progressive opportunity here? ... If the government directly controls major financial institutions, that would give the new administration extraordinary leverage over the national economy... I think it creates a real opportunity for ‘socially conscious insurance underwriting’ or whatever you care to call it.”

But INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY contends that government social policy has been a major contributor to the economic mess:

“It was the Clinton administration, obsessed with multiculturalism, that dictated where mortgage lenders could lend, and originally helped create the market for the high-risk subprime loans... Tough new regulations forced lenders into high-risk areas where they had no choice but to lower lending standards to make the loans that sound business practices had previously guarded against making. It was either that or face stiff government penalties.”

What do you think?

  • Are the financial bailouts a good idea? Why or why not?
  • Do you want the government to enact social policy through the companies it has nationalized?
  • How do you think the economic crisis should be handled? Are your ideas politically possible?


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    Comments

    Power leads to influence and influence leads to more power.
    Nowhere in this equation is there a place for things that are right or wrong. Power and influence can bring good things and they can bring bad things.
    With their ruling in, "CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION
    COMMISSION" the Supreme Court has said that the government has no right to use possible outcome as a basis of what is considered constitutional.
    If this is true, the only avenue available for policing the power/influence equation, as it relates to corporations, is in the hands of everyday citizens. It is now our responsibility to do business with those we endorse and not spend a dime with those we disagree with.
    PS:The effect this ruling has outside the world of federal elections will most likely catch us all by surprise if we don't pay attention.

    Lesenswerter Post, danke.

    If PNC Bank has been charged by the SEC before in 2002, where is the logic of paying bail out funds to allow them to continue their fraud in 2009?

    The problem with the bail out is what too many already know, that leopards don't change their stripes. Like Madoff, how much fraud is necessary to hold banks accountable as custodians of private property they choose to lose, rather than to be accountable for?

    Good write up

    So, is anyone surprised that the bailout is going FOR those that caused, or failed to oversee the years of schemes to defraud?

    Paulson demanded $700 Billion in 48 hrs. or there would be great trouble. WELL, almost four weeks went by before any money reached the specially selected banks.

    Paulson demanded no oversight, but Congress caved slowly, and Paulson delayed so we would forget & let him do as he wished!

    Without govt. in the SUNSHINE these CRIMES will continue & go UNPUNISHED!

    PEOPLE MUST GO TO JAIL or we will never escape fraud schemes!

    JAIL the BASTARDS!

    Billy Bob
    florida, where the DNP denied out vote & no one cares!!!!!!! THANKS!

    Half of Bank Bailout Money Going to Shareholders. The Washington Post reports major US banks are on pace to spend more than half their bailout money on rewarding their shareholders. The thirty-three banks are set to receive some $163 billion in government bailouts. Half of that sum would go toward paying off shareholders over the next three years.
    The Bush administration touted the bank bailout as necessary to resume lending. But Treasury officials say the banks would never accepted loans if they weren’t allowed to redistribute dividends to shareholders. The rich are always clever enough and have enough control of the governments and markets and money to always somehow manage to get the Lion's share.
    Listen, you shall hear of the world's last ride of the rich to the rear! Now do you know who's the Beggarman or Thief?
    Ted Rudow III,MA

    Posted by: Bert C. | October 3, 2008 4:21 PM

    From: Anonymous9

    To: Bert C.

    Today 10/10/08 I am copying my entries I have offered on various Bill Moyers Journal weblogs when I saw your message.

    I thank you for sharing the words of Mr. Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. Your action and his words have added to my education in regards to human nature.

    There are so many good people who have good ideas and methods of doing the best by people and putting money second that I am amazed that no one in Government considers the wisdom of them.

    Most of what is wrong could be fixed by simple decisions that are not born of fear or greed. I refer you to Jean-Paul Sartre, who said “Sometimes the truth is too simple for intellectuals.”

    My purpose is not to belittle anyone but to say as much as it hurts those who were not villagent in their investments, I believe in the market finding its own equilibrium.

    Let me say up front that I am not a “Free Market” kind of man but I believe in a well regulated market that allows for the buyer and seller to know all there is to know about what is bought and sold. I further believe that Greed being a strong human emotion that it must be regulated.

    Having said this I speak of what we have not what I want. The free market is a very dangerous animal who hoodwinks the naïve on the way up and bights the hell out of them on the way down.

    What has made this market so dangerous is we have not had leader ship to begin with and now on the way down the Wall Street and Bank Businesses have found they can be paid for their losses by weak leaders being in a state of panic. The problem has grown bigger due to Main Street Business (several so far) finding out that they can be paid for failing also.

    Had the free market and it is not to late… been allowed to function as a culler of bad businesses as is its purpose, the bad business would fail and the good business would succeed not having to carry the burden of the failing brothers.

    The Federal Governments reaction is to through money at the problem as it always has but this angers and rightly so the public citizen and adds to the fear

    which is now rampant. That fear will continue because no one is telling the public what the Brokers, Hedge Funds, and Banks created… not what they did or how they did it. Freddy Mac and Fanny May are the worst of the problem and should be dissolved and the Morages given back to the original lender/bank that made the deal. This is the way Hudson City Bancorp, Inc. did their lending and they are one of the most solid banks in American and their stock considering the amount of fear is holding better then most stocks.

    This would at least be a start to sorting out the Housing Industry and Real-estate problems. I also agree with the idea put forth by others that instead of the Federal Government putting the Foxes in charge of the plan they have and are not making public. It would actually be cheaper to pay off every Morage in America then what they are about to lose. It won’t happen because the rich won’t stand for the poor to be out of debt. But just for a moment think of a country whose citizens owned their homes and all that money they were making would be freed up to oil the economy so to speak.

    Mr. Burt C. forgive me for being so long winded but you inspired my heart to speak. My hope is maybe it will help some one to see there is a better way then trying to prop up a failing market. It can’t be done because a Free or Regulated market will only stand on truth in communications and value in goods for sale.

    AIG's former owner, Hank Greenberg, was pushed out after being investigated by Spitzer (who is now conveniently absent). Now that the investigation is as good as dead and forgotten, he's interested in buying AIG back -- at this new reduced price -- and, of course, after he's gotten us taxpayers to pony up a few billion! Let's hear it for our new Trillionaire Back-to-Work Plan. We're really helping to reduce the unemployment rate now!

    Dear Mr. Moyer,The other night I was horrified to hear a casual mention on a news program of the pork barrel ear marks being hastily added to the bail out bill. Among the items mentioned were millions for NASCAR.
    This is unconscionable on the part of our elected representatives. Have they forgotten who elected them and who they are supposed to be representing? Please, could you spend some time on your program discussing this so that more people are aware of the travisty being brought against the American people by the very people who profess to be looking out for us?
    Is there any way to post a list of the ear marks and the person responsible for each that is included in the proposed bill?
    Sincerely, Anita Andrews

    Elison,
    The final paragraph of your post reminded me very much of the words of Charles A. Lindgergh Sr.

    "The capitalists all denounce the existence of socialistic tendencies of whatever kind, if they are held by the majority of the people. But they are socialists themselves, as their absolute control of concentrated capital will show. They form combinations and operate them for their joint advantage. Yes, that is socialism operated in the interests of the selected few. Socialism for them means their absolute control of the material products resulting from the toil of the people, the right to charge for the use of this material and to make of us industrial slaves. They are practical socialists in the interests of the few. But, they are filled with shivering horrors when the people suggest the practice of socialism by themselves, for themselves."

    The lack of oversight and transparency was the cause of the current problem and any solution must correct that first.
    Congress MUST also take the time to hear proposals from real independent economists before doing anything – which they have NOT.

    Any bailout must also be financed by the Wall Street profiteers who created this disaster, not by those of us struggling to earn a simple wage in real life. We should demand that the bailout be financed by a nominal tax on securities transactions, so that those who speculated us into this economic nonsense can start to pay it back.

    Dear Mr. Moyers:

    I have found your commentaries very enlightening over the years; they have shown me what was behind the veil on many occasions. However, nothing I have seen or heard on your show has prepared me for what I have been witnessing with this bailout.

    It is a shame. Most people I speak to seem to be reasonably informed. We all tend to agree that the economy has been in grave danger for the past six months. Most people I know have seen this coming for the past few years. That danger lurked when banks give $700,000 loans to families that make $60,000 a year . That something was off when banks send people that can’t repay their personal debts multiple credit card offers a day. We all knew there was going to be a day of reckoning. The only question was whether Bush would still be in office.

    Oh, and like most independent economists who are not beholden to Wall Street, we all agree that the purchasing bad paper from banks was not going to restore liquidity in the market. Knowing what the banks know now, why would banks resume making bad loans?

    But, I had been a Democrat, and I believed that it was corporate greed. I assumed that my good Democrats in office had learned their lessons from the administrations exigent demands to go to war in Iraq. Now, I have seen the true reality. There were no lessons. They are all the same… Dodd, Frank, Pelosi, Delay, Lott, McCain, and even, dare I say, Obama… they all fit in the same bag. They know who their masters are, and their masters are not the American people.

    And the media, my goodness, what a disgrace. We all knew that Fox News had nothing to do with news and all to do with propaganda. But, the New York Times. My goodness, they are censoring their editorial boards to hide the outrage of Americans.

    What are we to do? Where is the American future? It looks like genuine reform is imperative to restore a working system. Where do we go from here? And how do we get there?

    Wall Street is simply a glorified gambling machine. It would be beneficial to this country to destroy the activities of brokerage houses and their agencies.

    I am hopeful that this will be my last entry on the Bailout. All I said in the pass was to influence the bailout fail and the American Citizen vote out the incumbents.

    I am tempted to paste a Word Document I just composed for a friend but we are past the pros and cons.

    The facts are that the Banking Industry is extorting Trillions of taxpayer dollars from the Federal Treasury and Sectary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke blinked.

    There are already laws and regulations that could be used by congress to stop the extortion by the banks and to force the banks to do their job properly.

    This is why we have the Federal Reserve, to make sure there is liquidity in the banking system, safety in deposits, and to close banks that refuse to take deposits and lend money.

    If the banks are allowed to sell the bad real estate deals they made and to profit twice on their bad judgment then it will be up to the VOTER to vote out the incumbent and find a representative of the people.

    If the bill passes, we the citizen tax payer no longer count and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, will not exist.

    A Government of the Corporation, by the Corporation, and for the Corporation will rein supreme not by the will of the people but by the people lacking the villagence to watch and the courage to act.

    After the Supreme Incumbent Congress gives all the money to the Corporations the next domino to fall with be either the pension systems or the Social Security System. My bet is on Social Security as it is the big drag on the Federal Budget since the S.I. Congress raided the Social Security system for their pork barrel projects that now have a new name and left us with worthless I.O.U.’s that they never intended to pay back.

    By the time all the wealth has been transmitted to the Super Rich we will have received exactly what we deserved…… nothing!

    I feel fortunate in that I was able to put my money in FDIC accounts and no longer have a brokerage account or exposure to the market. I don’t need a loan and I don’t have to have anything yesterday. So I am lucky but my friends are still exposed and although I was unable to convince them or you the time will come when the above prediction will come true.

    If there is one fact I know it is that the Federal Government has looked for every way it could find to dismantle the SS program and take it away from the poor. The only socialism allowed in this so called democracy run by capitalist is for the rich on the way down in the stock market.


    I hope to hell that NO bailout action is taken by our wonderful leaders in congress. I see the whole mess as a result of unbridled greed on the part of business and the majority of the population not only in our country but also in the rest of the world. I am 77 yrs old and have been seriously hurt by the decline of my meager savings in the financial fiascos going on in recent weeks. I would gladly tighten my belt and reduce my finances even further in order to have things revert to a more reasonable level. It seems that all I hear is how damaging the situation is to the credit industry. It is this very thing that is the cause of our problem. The whole mess started with the advent of the almighty personal credit card. Anyone who can sign their name can get one or dozens of these pieces of plastic with no investigation as to their ability to repay the debt. An idiot could predict the outcome. The entire country is now in hock up to their ears with probably little chance to ever repay the obligations they have incurred. No matter what the politcos do,(they don't have an original idea among the lot of them) the situation will not be solved or even aliviated to an acceptable degree. These credit card companies should be more stringently regulated and individuals should be allowed to have ONE card with a level of credit that doesn't exceed their ability to pay.
    This would be a good place to start!!!!

    Our country needs our help.

    The financial bailout is a temporary band-aid. The only permanent solution is for America to get back to the basics of productivity: industry and agriculture.

    We have to build things and we have to grow things, and we have to purchase things we build and grow.

    Our families and friends need us to buy products manufactured in the United States. We have to start supporting our own economy and put an end to this $700-billion trade deficit.

    Yes, our annual trade deficit is the same size as the current bailout package.

    I’d like to recommend “Dollar to the Giant” on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUj8leZxmK8

    More than 5,800 views so far, with excellent ratings and thoughtful comments. Not bad, considering the material and YouTube.

    There’s some complicated stuff in this song, but the main ideas are simple enough:

    Buy products Made in USA. Support our own economy.

    Avoid products Made in China. Why should we continue to build China’s economy and destroy our own?

    It’s our choice—and our responsibility.

    Simple advice. But if everyone followed the advice in “Dollar to the Giant” there would simply be no financial crisis. We’d have money. We’d have factories and jobs. Our kids and grandkids would have a fighting chance.

    Please recommend “Dollar to the Giant” to everyone you know. If it gets enough attention, it could turn our economy around.

    Now, specifically about China and the bailout:

    As Thomas Jefferson said: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” A word of caution may in order so we aren’t, as “Dollar to the Giant” said, “led to every trap the giant made.”

    We owe $$$ trillions to the communist People’s Republic of China. Trillions.

    Why wouldn’t our Beijing bankers be putting enormous pressure on Washington right now?

    Good question.

    The only related discussion I know of was in the “South China Morning Post” and Reuters: “China banks told to halt lending to US banks”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSPEK16693720080925

    But not a word in the US media.

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the People’s Republic of China is driving US policy, both foreign and domestic.

    Our government has borrowed heavily from China. Our entire financial system has borrowed heavily from China. Most of our large multinational corporations are heavily invested in China. Lobbyists, associations, and advocates claiming to represent American interests are often heavily funded by these same multinationals with loyalties to China.

    Is it any wonder nobody’s talking about China’s role in the current financial drama?

    “The bankers jumped to the giant like little boys.” (From “Dollar to the Giant.” The lyrics are pretty darned good.)

    Some inconvenient truths: The People’s Republic of China is totalitarian and communist. We have long been political, ideological, and military adversaries.

    China’s official military manual “Unrestricted Warfare” advocates the use of “financial warfare—easily manipulated, concealed, and highly destructive.”

    Easily manipulated. Concealed. Highly destructive.

    This People’s Liberation Army manifesto says the United States, because we are the “world’s number one debtor nation,” would have “heavy economic losses [and] such an outcome would certainly be better than a military strike.”

    Their plan points out: “while we are seeing a relative reduction in military violence, at the same time we definitely are seeing an increase in political, economic, and technological violence.”

    Is it possible communist China is again at war with us, only this time we don’t know it?

    “Unrestricted Warfare” further recommends as effective modern weapons:

    “Rumor or scandal that results in a fluctuation in the enemy country's exchange rates”

    “throwing markets into confusion and attacking economic order”

    “Man-made stock-market crash” [China clearly proved this in Taiwan in 1996.]

    “Economic aid warfare: bestowing favor in the open and contriving to control matters in secret”

    Regarding this last point, China has been actively buying governments around the world, and support for their designs on our ally Taiwan. Costa Rica recently jumped on the Chinese bandwagon in exchange for $300 million:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/13/world/asia/13costa.html?_r=4&ref=world&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

    Some technical developments are probably worth mentioning. China has said that the US military is most vulnerable through its satellite communication. In subsequent missile tests, China shot down at least one of their own satellites. And now Chinese astronauts are walking in space. Of course, we should be concerned about these developments and China’s accelerating military buildup, but not nearly as concerned as we should be about our own thoughtless self-destruction.

    It may be too late for our politicians and bankers, but it’s not too late for actual Americans to pull together on this and get back to what built our country in the first place: manufacturing and agricultural productivity.

    Our country needs our help. It needs our money. The first thing we need to do is stop sending it to the People’s Republic of China and start sending it to Americans.

    We can rebuild our own economy by purchasing American-made goods whenever possible. The more American goods we purchase, the more our factories, jobs, and economy will grow.

    When you buy something made in China, think of it as a little act of treason.

    One more link to “Dollar to the Giant” before I sign off:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUj8leZxmK8

    Thanks for reading.

    Bailout Fails to Address Real Problem
    (The Bailout and the Real American Dream)

    The proposed bailout, even with all the additions and add ons of the past week, may indeed significantly reduce if not eliminate completely the losses of a great many financial institutions and speculating investors, thereby protecting the bulk of the gargantuan wealth they have amassed over these past many years, but it fails to address the root cause of the deeper economic crisis that we face and its impact on most Americans.

    Stated simply, by allowing the percentage of corporate profits derived from manufacturing to shrink to 10% and the percentage of corporate profits made “by shuffling money around” to rise to 44% by 2004, and by allowing US debt to climb from 2.4 trillion dollars in 1974 to close to 50 trillion dollars, today (Phillips, 2008), a great many of our financial “leaders” and all too many of our political “leaders” have sold us down the river in exchange for the privilege of amassing this wealth.

    Worse than that, thinking only of their short term interests, they have changed the USA. We are no longer the robust producer society we once were, contributing real goods and services – with real value – to the world economy.

    The USA has become a consumer society, where the biggest industry, finance, combines outrageously leveraged speculation with the exploitation of bloated consumer debt.

    The USA has become a country where the wealthiest have systematically engaged in financial speculation to become even wealthier, while the rest of us have been told, most pointedly after 9/11, that all we needed to do to help our country was to keep consuming.

    More recently, Americans were told (again by their president) to buy houses because owning your own home [translation: owning a mortgage] is the real American dream. As we now know only too well, a great many people were encouraged to take on low now / high later mortgages they could ill afford.

    THE REAL AMERICAN DREAM – OWNING OUR OWN BUSINESSES

    I would suggest that, today, the real American Dream in this capitalist society is to become a capitalist. That is, for many if not most Americans, the American Dream should really be owning our own businesses, whether micro enterprises, small enterprises, or larger business organizations, whether they are for profit, non-profit or “social” no-profit concerns. We need to be able to grow work for ourselves. We need to be able to make a living. We need to be truly productive of something other than leveraged financial paper (which is to say, debt).

    Three things prevent many more Americans from owning their own business, today.
    (1) It has become more and more difficult to gain access to the capital necessary to do this.
    (2) The environment (fiscal, regulatory and just plain business) has become less and less hospitable to micro and small business startups and their ongoing growth and development.
    (3) It doesn’t help that the myth has been systematically perpetuated that most people don’t have what it takes to be entrepreneurs.

    Any attempt to truly “rescue our economy” needs to directly address these impediments to capitalist initiative so that we can join together to make ourselves and our society productive, once again.

    What about the myth that most people can’t take entrepreneurial initiative? I would wager that most people reading this still believe this myth. But it simply isn’t true. It is a mistake to think most people aren’t able to be and don’t want to be entrepreneurs.
    This has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by the success of the micro-finance (micro-lending) revolution, lead by Dr. Mohammad Yunus, last year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, during the late 70s. Its purpose was to lend money to the poorest people in that country, mostly women, at comparatively low rates. Yunus dealt effectively and successfully with a series of obstacles presented by traditional banks, his country’s national banking system, and the ever changing winds of politics.

    Over several years, the Grameen Bank and similar institutions began to grow. By November, 2006, the micro credit explosion which those efforts spawned not just in Bangladesh, but in countries all over the globe, was able to reach and help 100 million families. The international consortium of micro-credit lending organizations has set itself the goal of reaching 500 million families, yes, half a billion families, by 2016. Most impressive of all, loan repayment rate at Grameen Bank, in 2007, was an incredible 98.6%, with the help of some wisely designed incentives and social supports (Yunis, 2007). So much for the myth.

    What about the inhospitable environment? America no longer seems very hospitable to micro and small businesses. As a current television ad all too vividly depicts, larger businesses, including and especially banks, and for that matter government, too, at all levels, have come to prefer to deal with a few big concerns rather than a great many smaller entities. More profit with less effort is their motto.

    We must change this. It simply is not in the best interests of the American family. We need to do whatever it takes to significantly alter the playing field so that America is again, or perhaps better than ever, a very great place for micro and small business development.

    We need streamlined regulations and paperwork for micro and small businesses, including many of the enlightened tax policies and small business investment and employment incentives that have been recently emerging. But we need to do so much more. We need a new kind of “anti-trust” legislation that makes it much more difficult for larger businesses and aggregates of capital to swallow up smaller entities. We should continue to encourage middle and large sized corporations to thrive, but no longer at the expense of everyone else. Win-win should be our motto in everything we do.
    And to deal with the third impediment to owning your own business, for most Americans, the difficulty most have accessing startup capital, we need to launch an effort that parallels the land grant initiative in the late 1860s. Then it was for the purpose of helping American farmers grow food. This time, we need to make it possible and much easier, for all Americans who wish to do so to grow work.

    To do this, we need to establish a huge revolving trust fund in order to support micro-lending on a massive scale, let’s say 700 billion dollars, in ten years or less, to pick a number out of the air, so that all Americans who have a reasonable plan to contribute something of value to our society and are willing to work hard to bring that plan to life can do so. That is, micro and small business loans should be available to Americans who would like to start or enhance a micro or small enterprise and who have a reasonable business plan to support their intentions.

    It may surprise you to learn that Grameen-like organizations have been operating in the United States of America for some time, now. The Association for Enterprise opportunity (AEO) has over 500 member organizations. And they have granted about $300 million in loans to American entrepreneurs.

    As well, there is a micro-loan program at the U.S. Small Business Administration (the SBA). But Americans should be asking just exactly why it is that those who claim to believe in capitalism have put so much energy into trying to kill the SBA micro-lending program during most of the last eight years. Is their ideology elite capitalism (capitalism for the few), rather than capitalism for Main Street (capitalism for the many)? In the vernacular of the young: “What was that all about?”

    Despite the difficulties alluded to above (limited access to capital, an environment unfriendly to micro and small enterprises, and the still widespread, if mistaken, belief that most people aren’t capable of being entrepreneurs), today in the USA, it is small business, not big business, that has managed to become the true engine of employment. Small businesses create most new employment, already. The thing is, to make America productive again, we need to put that engine of employment on steroids.

    Along with a massive revolving micro and small business loan program, and a good deal of enabling legislation to make America once again hospitable to micro and small business development and growth, we would also do well to cultivate initiative in every sphere of American life, but most particularly, in the areas of work, learning and health. Probably the best example of this would be to set a new overarching goal for all of our educational institutions and programs, namely, to prepare every American to be self-employable as well as employable.

    At the moment, it is a bit bizarre. How can we call our country a capitalist democracy when most of our young people graduate from high school and even from college without ever learning very much about capitalism or active democratic participation or the organizing skills fundamental to both. They graduate without ever writing a single business plan or learning how to raise the capital necessary to get things going in a new venture.

    All too many fail to learn how to mobilize others into action. Most people never learn what is likely to contribute to a new venture’s success and what is likely to contribute to a new venture’s failure – or how to do the former and avoid the latter. It is as if we all lived on houseboats and refused to teach our children how to swim or how to fish. Should this make sense to anyone seriously committed to Main Street capitalism?

    At the same time, we need to prepare all Americans to take more initiative and more responsibility for their own learning. We need to prepare all Americans to improve whatever they are part of, using the tools of improvement science. And we need to prepare all Americans to take more initiative and responsibility for their own health.

    It is worth mentioning that these skills, the skills of initiative, self-management and entrepreneurship, overlap considerably. Enhancing and reinforcing them in any of these areas will strengthen their application in these other, related areas.

    And the health piece is more important than it might at first seem. Encouraging and supporting patient self-management offers considerable promise for reducing the cost of care for chronic conditions (the fastest growing portion of our healthcare dollar), even as it tends to improve health outcomes, and both patient and provider satisfaction.

    THE BENEFITS

    • Fostering an explosion of new micro and small enterprise development in the USA will contribute greatly to personal and family income.
    • It will also swell government revenues.
    • This should make it possible for us to be able to afford universal health coverage.
    • It might also make it possible to remove the healthcare burden from employing entities of all shapes and sizes, making all American business entities much more competitive in the global economy.
    • Universal health coverage would have an additional benefit, it would remove another major obstacle to micro and small business development, the risk of losing health coverage for one’s family members and for oneself.

    Full employment and self-employment need to come before or at the least at the very same time as universal health coverage and, eventually, steadily advancing home ownership. Otherwise we would be putting the cart before the horse. We need a sustainable way for individuals, families and government to pay for these things. Anything else is no less a false promise than a sub-prime, ballooning mortgage.

    In 2002, Kevin Phillips warned in Wealth and Democracy. that The USA was in very real danger of following in the footsteps of three other, once pre-eminent world powers (Spain, the Netherlands and England), during their respective periods of decline. Rapidly growing disparity between a privileged few and everyone else, and unbridled financial speculation were two characteristics he singled out as particularly salient harbingers of a similar fate. He updated and amplified that message in Bad Money. published in April, 2008. Just a few short months later, given the events of the past two weeks, his concerns can be seen to have been fully justified.

    To make America productive again, we need a new strategy, working from Main Street up rather than from elite capitalism down. We need to summon and creatively combine the resources of the entire American family in an all out effort to serve the best interests of the entire American family.

    So we must insist that any solution worked out to the current financial crisis must be combined with an altogether substantial national effort to unleash initiative in every sphere of American life, including and especially entrepreneurial initiative, so that we can produce real goods and services, make a living, and, if we want, take capitalist initiative.

    We should only buy into this bail out if it is combined with a commitment to making America the win-win society it seemed on the verge of becoming in the sixties and seventies, a nation where the entire American family can be productive, healthy and successful. Without this, the proposed bailout would only be one more in a long series of knee jerk bets on a failed policy, the policy known as “trickle down economics.” We must face the fact that trickle down economics doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked for the past thirty years. We must digest what it means that we are on track to lose more than a million jobs this year.

    For years we have seen the interests of the few served up in legislation masquerading as something serving the interests of the many. Enough is enough. This time we need to ensure that the interests of the many are at the very least combined with and outweigh the interests of the few. Or we should just say no.

    I forgot to say something about the other wealthy group in America. Even more so then the Forbes 400. They are know as the Fortune 500 and are know for being the largest and richest Corporations in the World....

    Yet not one has stepped forward to offer help to the Very Government and People who made it possible for them to take our labor and resources and thumb their noses at us when we need help.

    Root hog or die! And no there is no lipstick on the hog just the blood sweet and tears of every man woman and child that calls the USA home.

    Bailout gives tax breaks to manufactures of wooden arrows? True or false?


    Jason says:
    October 1, 2008 09:15 am
    Bailout BS
    How does the senate bill that's in place right now relate to the financial trouble on Wall Street? There are amendments in the for Coal Producers, Steel Furnace Credits, Alternative Energy/Electric Car Credits, Mental Health Parity and to top it off there's a credit for WOODEN ARROWS DESIGNED FOR USE BY CHILDREN!!!!!!!!! What BS. Any senator that votes for this should be immediately impeached.

    http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=75&sid=92487

    I'm supposed to be lobbying the Senate to pass the Extortion Payment. Sacks of Gold daddies had a tete-a-tete with us houseninnies at 7pm last night: 25% of our yearly gross as Christmas bonus if we get this corprolite ejected before the election recess. That's like 20K for me before taxes. I wish I chewed tobacco like Dub so I could ring their spitoon. If Judas had been real, I know how he would have felt. My wooden shoe is in the gears even if they sue me. Here's how my friend Jack describes the scam. I pretty much agree, but I think its an inside job just like 9/11.

    In order of importance and financial magnitude, here are the primary mechanisms of the current financial meltdown:

    1. Derivatives: Unregulated, unsanctioned gambling of principle players in the financial community, and as Warren Buffet says, they are heterogeneous transactions that are non-classifiable, that by drawing on credit, artificial money velocity, and the updraft of capital, amount to the minting of electronic currency (presently poorly understood, often based on complex computer programs, and unregulated). A longstanding similar speculation is currency exchange (“the carry trade”) and there is also a large bubble of potential debt in this sector.

    2. Hedging: Betting upon negative outcomes and their timing in order to offset unrealized increases in value. (Presently unregulated) They are especially prevalent as ancillaries to commodities trading.

    3. Credit Default Swaps: This is an insurance scheme in which primary players in the financial system guarantee the repayment of one another’s credit instruments. I suspect that they have even guaranteed the pay-off of one another’s derivatives. Credit default swaps amount to the minting of unregulated and unsanctioned money by creating renegade debt. They go far beyond customary mortgage insurance.

    3. Inflationary Dependent Mortgage Writing: Since #1, #2 and #3 are the gargantuan writing of electronic money (the largest inflationary engines ever created), they totally skew the distribution of wealth and credit, so that money value is funneled upward to fewer and fewer holders. When this reaches its ultimate potential, credit freezes up, inflation ends, and the value of everything drops. The result is the classic and inevitable inability to maintain the pyramid scheme of mortgage writing. Inflationary increases in real estate value could never have been expected to sustain such a gargantuan morass of wagering, but when prices began to moderate and fall the debacle was unveiled. A depression ostensibly initiated by stalled mortgage lending and foreclosure is actually a far larger and more dangerous business monster. (Legal but ill advised and poorly regulated) Greed far outweighed the mild effort to make low income citizens homeowners, in fact, the foreclosure and resale of property in inflationary times is profitable in itself and was only undermined by overarching speculation. Fees and commissions in a poorly regulated milieu accelerated the overextension of credit and liability. The mortgage market was maintained as an easy target for the unscrupulous because it was a little gold milling plant for the elite who hold almost all the wealth. Even had it been well managed and regulated a debt bubble would have been caused elsewhere by the speculative behavior of those holding large blocks of idle money they were desperate to wager. So, while mortgages are at the base of the debt bubble and legitimize it by the threat of general and widespread foreclosure, they do not represent a large portion of the debt bubble in this financial crisis.

    Summary

    By the turn of the 21st Century money value had been accrued into so few hands that new instruments of speculation had to be created in order to keep capital circulating. The wealthy class demanded phenomenal returns but wanted their increasing risks underwritten by the general public through the government. A political move to undermine government social supports and move to a purely laissez faire milieu was also afoot and coincided with the deregulation necessary to keep the wealth updraft operating. Derivatives are purely speculative transactions often based upon extraneous outcomes such as birthrates or weather events. Hedging is more market based and uses negative economic outcomes as a hedge against increased values. It is entirely possible that there are other classes of speculative contracting that have not yet been classified, revealed or described to the general public.

    The insuring of loans is a garden-variety procedure of modern finance. In a home mortgage the buyer is paying a fee to an insurance underwriter for protection of the mortgage holder. Insurers have been collapsed not only by defaults in mortgage portfolios, but also by bundled home mortgages, by commercial mortgages and by the innovation of insurance on the new instruments of risk described above. While the home mortgage load is estimated in the hundreds of billions, the commercial mortgage load may be much greater and the speculation load a magnitude above that. So you see, that while home mortgages are the most readily visible part, and the leading edge of this debacle, they represent only a tiny slice of the potential default pie.

    When this almost inconceivable reality is admitted it makes one wonder how a paltry bailout of 700 billion dollars can be of any help to such a polarized system of obligations. The wealthiest players hold almost all of the liquid assets as well as the debt obligations. These parties, mostly insensible corporate entities, have shown almost nil charity and common sense, but continue to demand payment from a working and commercial world they have brought to utter prostration. The world is unable to repay in a rigged game and now has lessened potential for playing due to limited assets and frozen credit. September 19, 2008 was the day the game ground to a halt and the winners began to hold the populace hostage and demand even harsher rules.

    The way out is to first admit what has happened. This rigged game has resulted in an escalating black hole of money debt. My 57 years of experience on Earth, along with reading, studying and conferring with others, leads me to believe that capitalism, once it reaches a superhuman scale, as enabled by corporate law, will always result in an unsustainable rigged game (partially because of the nature of power and because of the human tendency to cronyism and collusion) with the resultant hazards of fascism and mass murder. It was ironic that the fear of proton collision experiments at the CERN facility in Switzerland,
    that they might result in our subatomic demise, arose just as this crisis became undeniable. Maybe human consciousness, as a hedge against collective anxiety, transferred real economic fears into improbable scientific ones. No amount of mass can satisfy or negate a black hole but can only contribute to its intensity. This is a sound and rational analogy. The more money value and debt creation we pour into the financial debacle the worse the human situation on Earth will become. We must “starve the beast” just as corporatarian politicians schemed to do to our government. Corporate and executive welfare must not only be cut off but reversed into tax and penalty extraction from the wealthy class for the use of working people and to maintain those unable to work in humble but dignified security. That is “the plan” because nothing else can work now. A Depression with safeguards for human welfare and economic reforms and reorganization is a lesser evil than the cruel faschistic alternative.

    Posted originally by Jack Martin


    Jack and I encourage you to join us for a march on Obama's Inauguration, Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Your freedom and prosperity depend upon it. Allen Wrench's fears should not deter 10 million of us. If they attack us the country was not worth saving or living in anyway. beretco.op@gmail.com

    Brilliant Idea ! Steal from poor and give to the rich, Reward failure, eliminate risk and hold nobody accountable. The american people as a whole are not poor but the gap between the top 1 % and the rest of us is growing at an alarming rate. They say the greatest accomplishment of the devil was to convince the world he does not exist. Deception of neo-conservatives in convincing middle america and working class families that they represent their best interests is sad. The only thing these people care about are lining their pockets. The same holds true for democrats,they just have a different way of doing the same thing. Corruption has run riot. Washington is up to its ears in former lobbyists now in government and vice versa. What can I do as a citizen, send my congressman an e-mail, what's that gonna do?

    Thank you Congress, so far.
    Thank you Congress for not passing a “financial bailout bill.” This situation is too important to allow another “rush to war” as in Iraq. This time the war is being waged in our domestic economy and the credit markets here and driving markets abroad.
    We are seeing a culmination of the greatest transfer of individual wealth in this country from the low and middle classes since the “Great Depression.” Yesterday, the stock market threw a petulant tizzie because it didn’t get its’ way in trying to manipulate Congress. The markets, if left to their own devices, could correct this problem. But why should they? They are masters of bluff, negotiation and intimidation and have been getting their way from sympathetic administrations and congresses since the 1980s. Besides, their goal is to not only transfer wealth held by individuals and small institutions but to rob the economic future of this country.
    I am against a bailout bill. That said, I realize that there will be a bill passed. When it is I hope it contains the same strong conditions that would be in investment banker’s or commercial lender’s agreements and covenants. They can extract financial conditions from borrowers every day. Why can’t we, the American people?
    Conditions and covenants for a “financial bailout bill.” Please consider the following for inclusion:
    1. Arbitration: A congressional referee to rule on disagreements and interpretations between the parties. Decisions to be binding and penalties applied for defaults and delays in performance.
    2. Equity position: The Treasury assumes an equity position and held harmless from litigation and costs of defenses. This provision is widely accepted among banks and investment bankers’ financing agreements.
    3. Financing fees for a credit facility whether drawn on or not.
    4. Covenants controlling:
    A. Executive and board member compensation.
    B. Collateral valuation, protection and reporting. Minimum capital requirements.
    C. Defined “events of default” in existing and future loan and investment portfolios.
    D. Control of approval and use of derivatives as hedge positions or income “enhancements.”
    5. Bankruptcy judges to grant delays or relief based upon individual and family need and integrity. Our bankruptcy laws need revision back to their original intent of granting debtor relief under extreme hardship and incapacity.
    6. Regulation:
    A. Restore usury laws. Usurious rate of interest and fees (really interest) contribute to events of credit defaults and bankruptcies.
    B. Restore the Glass-Steagall act protections.
    C. Strengthen the supervisory scope of existing regulators, improve auditing, reporting and demand enforcement of rules and penalties.
    D. Require congressional oversight of the effectiveness and reporting of the bill.
    7. Public disclosure: Congress provide forthright reporting to the American public in a regularly scheduled manner, clear and concise reporting of the management of this crisis. I suggest using the Public Broad-casting System (PBS). Also, provide PBS full funding to remove undue commercial and other influences.

    Thank you for your kind attention to this most important issue and your tireless efforts.

    Sincerely,
    Gerald Morris
    Las Vegas, NV

    Bill, where are you, it is time for your voice to warn the people.

    We anonymous people of no name need you to speak for us, the citizen, the poor, the working, all of those who carry the rich on our backs and are watching… watching our savings our pensions, our insurance, our jobs all be reduced or lost.

    Lou Dobbs and Bill Moyers are the only two men in the media that have asked hard questions about the destruction of the middle class and the enslavement of the working class and neither has been effective. The executive branch does not lead any more, the congress if they pass any law it is bad for the people, the courts never cared for the people at any time.

    So, in time of need: need for leaders, we have none. In time for speakers, we have none. How can a people communicate with their government if they lack leadership and speakers of truth?

    It is well known the INJUSTICE of asking the poor to pay for the greed of the wealthy, but that is what our president, senators, representatives, treasurer, and federal reserve chairman all ask for in this time when it should be the Corporations, the Forbes 400 Richest Americans (all have over a Billion Dollars), the Wealthy Families and the Foundations who are asked to give their excessive wealth to get the Stock Market and the Banks out of trouble.

    But, have you heard? Not one Billionaire had stepped forward to offer America (the source of their wealth) a helping hand… no they sit on their haunches and wait like Vultures to swoop down and pick the very best parts and like a surgeon leave the sick and damaged part behind. The sickening Warren Buffett comes to mind. A despicable elitist mercenary charlatan whom all of Wall Street worships and sees as perfect. You cry foul and tell me I have no right…

    I give you the perfect wealthy man: “This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of wealth: First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and after doing so to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer, and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to

    produce the most beneficial results for the community – the man of wealth thus becoming the mere agent and trustee for his poorer brethren…. The man who dies leaving behind him millions in available wealth, which was his to administer during life, will pass away “unwept, unhonored, and unsung.” Bahauddin

    Buffett is so elitist that he had to give all his Billions to a man richer then him. He could not stand to see one penny go to a common citizen. And Bill Gates the other hero of the free market group, he has not stepped forward to help either. Have you wondered if the 400 are not worried about the state of the Market and Banks, why should the taxpaying citizen be concerned?

    Enough about rich and poor, in the end the poor will pay and the Federal Government if they do anything will just screw it up and it will be one more mess we the people will muddle through.

    No Bill, today I had to ask you one more time to here us in our wilderness and come to our aid but you have 6 pages of questions and thousands of people who want to put there answers on your many web logs. How could you find me in all this volume of thoughts and feelings (but not dreams)?

    So, for today I will make a prediction. If # 43 and the 15% approval congress pass a bailout for the rich on Wall Street and the Banks the result will be the beginning of the end for Social Security.

    The cost of the bailout will be so great and go on so long that the Federal Government by way of the president and congress will come again to the taxpayer and say:

    “We have spent all your tax dollars and borrowed all we can from the Chinese and Indians whom we made wealthy and there is no more money to pay Social Security. We are sorry but we felt war and bailing out the rich was more important then a program protecting you and we thank you for paying into it all your lives. That made it easier for the wealthy to transfer the money to their accounts while we spent the money you paid in on our pet projects. We have passed a bill declaring Social Security bankrupt and no longer viable.”


    You, you citizens who are so wrapped up in your own selfishness, and so self absorbed in you desires, and so in denial of your debt from your worship of consumerism, you are like pigs full of materialism, and you can’t or don’t care to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel is not the promise of freedom but the light of a freight train’ and your demise is eminent.”

    Along with the destruction of the Social Security System (the last hope that stands between us and abject overwhelming poverty) We the United States of America will self destruct into a third world country hoping for scraps from our creations of Capitalism the Chinese and Indians but they will have no reason to give us anything except low prices for what they want and high prices for what we need.

    This will happen because the USA puts money before people and stuff before matters of the heart and family.

    Right now at this point in time overpopulation, global warming, high oil and food prices seem small in comparison to the disintegration of our country from world leader to third world failure.

    Welcome to the future!

    Please publicize the removal of the “Mark to Market” rule and replacing it with 3 years average…this will solve the current issue with credit freeze immediately without any congressional approval. I feel that because of lack of undemanding the executive branch and congress are stealing from the public..Please, please publicize the removal of “mark to market” it is wrong.
    Safwat

    (from Fox News blog)


    *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

    Are you serious Safwat?

    It is wrong to have a real and actual accounting?

    C' mon guys. Would you like to run your own personal financial life on 3 year old averages of your bank balances?

    I am not in favor of more lies. I do not support doing away with mark to market. If some of you are looking for 3 year averages, some companies are not lasting 3 weeks nowadays. We don't need to be 3 years behind in our data. It is just another scam to try and not face the music of our defective system we have built.

    And what are CNBC's worriers now?

    The 700 billion will be hoarded by the banks and no 'quality' loans can be made so the consumer can't keep on keeping on. Sure liar loans can be made. They can keep on with the derivative crap shoots.

    But when it comes to quality investments...well it is painfully clear that AAA ratings are not the same as there were back in granddads day. Back then they had a modicum of ethics and honor. Accountants actually meant what they said.

    When we were in the darkest hours of the bailout meltdown, a commentator on CNBC complained how the 'poor taxpayer' will be stuck with all these bailouts. Then they backed off of their pity switching some of the blame to the taxpayer, for living beyond their means and consuming too much as a cause for Americas financial problems.

    We complain when the consumer stops spending, so the stock market doesn't tank.

    Then we blame the consumer for doing what we push them to do with ultra low interest rates, 24 hour advertising and loans that require no proof of ability that the loans can even be paid back aka "Liar Loans."

    investopedia.com/terms/l/liar_loan.asp

    America has been built on debt and spending. 70% of our 'economic heath,' better termed as 'economic sickness' is based on consumer spending. When the consumer can't compulsively spend any longer our economy collapses...we are not a healthy country. Without compulsive spending and conspicuous consumption we would fail as a country.

    In a TV commercial, Discover card was promoting endless consumption 'as a good thing' and they wished to do us a favor by helping us spend money better as we create more debt that we can't afford to pay.

    Do you see the insanity of all this?

    Add the rapidly approaching depletion of all fossil fuels and global warming to this pro consumption picture and we can see we have created a time bomb. Our whole system is based on an unsustainable model that will eventually collapse no matter how much money that is printed up by the fed.

    Well, the fed can do what it likes. After all, it creates money out of thin air. Used to be the fed at least printed money. Now all that needs to be done to create billions is to magnetize a silicon chip. This is what fuels the hard commodity people that want something tangible for real wealth.

    Wall street has degenerated into a greed fueled, legalized 24 hour crap shoot with the blessing and full faith and credit on the US of A behind it. It is like an alcoholic that has inherited a whiskey factory. More of their drug wont fix them - it only increases the sickness. Same with greed. Greed is never satisfied by attainment - it is only satisfied by contentment.

    In simpler times, we had stock and bonds to invest in. Most accountants did their jobs and earning did not have to be restated year after year and earnings were real. EBITDA had not been invented and our US dollar was backed by gold and later by silver.

    In 1973 stock options were added to the mix. Then the late 90's brought us internet day trading as a new way for the masses to gamble in the privacy of our own homes.

    Fast forward to 2008 and things have become much more complex when it comes to financial gambling. We've got interest rate swaps, total return swaps, equity swaps, forex swaps, currency swaps, constant maturity swaps, basis swaps, volatility swaps, credit default swaps, variance swaps and many more 'derivatives' to place our bets on.

    We talk of living in a sustainable world, yet our actions betray our true feelings. All we have to do is to look at the stock market to see what happens when growth declines even a little.

    Even if a company yields stable earning, but does not grow its earnings it is looked down upon. Stability and balance is part of a sustainable footprint, yet we shun such balance.

    With one breath we talk about cutting global warming and how we have to cut our dependence of fossil fuel.

    Then with the next breath we demand no cut backs in our standard of living, we must spend and consume above all else...build more, build faster, build bigger.

    The GDP must only go up, up and away...all the while this consumption just increases global warming and keeps depleting the fossil fuels faster and faster.

    Sick...sick..sick mentality, buy more cars, build more houses and monstrosities of architecture, spend more but 'cut back' to save our dear fossil fuels. For all practical purpose we will be out of crude oil in 2 or 3 decades and possibly much sooner.

    Consumption is ingrained in us and we know no other way. And even if we wished to amend our ways, how could all our retirement funds take the hit?
    Our world population has grown to levels where it has passed the point of no return for supporting a sustainable human population as we know it today when it comes to their energy demands.

    And what does all that consumerism lead to?

    It leads to the mess we are in now and the bigger mess the world will be in once India and China pick up momentum to copycat the envious lifestyle that they have held in high esteem as the 'American Dream'

    Fueling the problem of consumption is the games the Federal and World banks play with interest rates. They manage the economies in ways to fuel consumption and mask the real trend.

    Witness the recent cries for Federal bankers to lower interest rates...so the stock market can go up...fueled by spending of the consumer.

    It is drug habit that Greenspan got us hooked on and we just can't get away from.

    Our economy is not based on sustainable health - it is based low interest credit to encourage compulsive spending, debt and living a life of constant consumption with a 'disposable mentality' when it comes to durable goods.

    All this consumption to artificially fuel our economy to make our retirement funds only go up contributes to more and more global warming and the depletion of our natural resources.

    Then the governments juggle the numbers to make the inflation figures seem artificially low, so everyone's retirement portfolio will make them happy so they will continue to buy and consume more...and on it goes....IT IS ALL WE KNOW and the bill is coming due soon!

    We must accept we have built a defective model for long term population support. We can only keep on keeping on as long as the crude is free flowing and affordable by the masses. Once we officially come clean with peak oil and accept responsibility as a country, we can at least be at a semblance peace with the outcome of our actions and recover a modicum of honor in the process as we restructure our country for a post carbon world.

    Until that time, we are living in a dream world that is rapidly becoming a nightmare. We have the tiger by the tail and cannot let go...but our grip is getting tired and all hell is going to break loose soon.

    Thoreau didn't think much of those that lived beyond their means and he said so in Walden.

    "Some of you, we all know, are poor, find it hard to live, are - sometimes, as it were, gasping for breath. I have no doubt that some of you who read this book are unable to pay for all the dinners which you have actually eaten, or for the coats and shoes which are fast wearing or are already worn out, and have come to this page to spend borrowed or stolen time, robbing your creditors of an hour. It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live, for my sight has been whetted by the experience of others; always living on the limits, trying to get into business and trying to get out of debt, a very ancient slough, called by the Latin - 'Res Alienum' or 'another's brass' for some of their coins were made of brass. Living, seeking to curry favors, lying, dying, and buried by 'other's brass'; always promising to pay, promising to pay, tomorrow, and dying today insolvent." (Quote shortened)

    P.S.

    Cue Madame Defarge!

    Forget the cultural wars, we are in the middle of a class war!

    Correction

    My earlier post should have read:

    Well, a few of the Reps and Dems seemed to dig deep and found some honor.

    My apologies for leaving out the brave Dems that helped the honorable Reps that defeated the reamout.

    Financial meltdown = we're broke

    America needs MONEY

    America needs MANUFACTURING to make money

    Money comes from industrial and agricultural productivity, not from services

    Manufacturing built America as it builds China today

    We must again support American manufacturing so American factories can create jobs and money to solve our financial crisis

    BUY PRODUCTS MADE IN USA. SUPPORT OUR ECONOMY--NOT CHINA'S. AMERICA NEEDS YOU

    Tell everyone you know about the YouTube video "Dollar to the Giant"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUj8leZxmK8

    It could solve our economic crisis

    Well spoken post Martha.

    You know, I never did hear how much our tax bill was going up to fund the reamout?

    Well, the Reps seemed to dig deep and found some honor.

    We will see how long these newfound ethics and concern for the taxpayer lasts.

    http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/fookisan/screwd08.jpg

    I am in favor of saving the US market, therefore I am opposed to this particular Bail Out.

    Why not set up a temporary competing bank with this money and provide funding to the
    market following the rules that should have been followed in the first
    place, including the erroneously repealed Glass Steagall Act? Warren
    Buffet and Goldman Sachs might be able to help with this.

    This proposed bail out is like climbing into bed with a malaria patient to cure malaria. It is like
    buying the largest wood frame house in the world without a termite
    inspection, a fire inspection, a seismic report, or a Title report. Bush
    tried to destroy the government with the IRAQ war and this is one big final
    pillage before running out the door.

    We have already heard that mortgage contracts and derivative contracts
    associated with this toxic debt were too complicated for Wall Street
    executives to understand. I have yet to hear that anyone in Washington
    understands what we are bailing out and if it is going to be enough and if
    it is going to work. That is because we have no idea what we are buying. This does not instill confidence!

    The old aphorism "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" does ring true. Both Democrats and Republicans voted against the bailout. Just in time for an election! Gee, what fun.

    This exposes the greed and larceny of individuals, parties, and goverment officials. The "values" of everyday people are so easily manipulated. The notion that the republicans may actually get an election bounce by objecting to plan provisions is sickening, thereby validating the plan in the first place. I think the only thing that will save us is for ordinary citizens to rise up and call a halt, stop being victims, stop retreating to the comfort of their beliefs and wake up and smell the coffee. Reading David Cay Johnston's Free Lunch prepared me well for this crisis - OF COURSE THIS BAILOUT IS A TOTAL RIPOFF! We are ripe for it.

    LONG-TERM SOLUTION HERE!

    Sorry - that's the headline missing on the 2 previous posts (just learning this blog)

    best wishes for understanding our global future - can you pass these ideas on?
    LONG-TERM SOLUTION BELOW HERE

    Further to post below

    the link to the Times on line debate with the "Money as Debt" Video from Canada

    http://timesonline.typepad.com/environment/2008/09/limits-to-growt.html?

    "Fascinating" said a Chief of Strategy in a Global Accountants Group

    The solution provided below would be a simple straightforward way to build stability into global finance and economics by offsetting from part of interest on new credit money which does not as yet attract a charge to the public purse - yet it is 20 times greater than the value form currency notes etc (see the original comment posted today).

    It is little different from shifting the value of currency creation into the public accounts which happened many years ago, but we are proposing it should be done incrementally and using the funds for global benefit. Our selfish societies need to shift this way before the poorer countries completely recover the whip hand as a result of our greed in shifting production to their country and living off both the false value of the imports and currency creation.

    OPINION The text of this piece can be shortened by distilling steps 1-3 into a cartoon or chart. The first two paragraphs set the context relating to last week’s London Times:

    In Friday’s Times (26/9/2008) a cartoon is shown: cash falling from the pockets as Bush’s finance professionals are strung out to dry. Yet professionals with the larger fortunes are only losing their un-invested cash – they’ve still got their main investments, many off-shore. This also applies to the UK as a big Finance Centre. Their concern is that numerical profit numbers from those are set to shrink as the global virtual economy shrinks, but our belt-tightening is not life-threatening as such shrinkage will be in other parts of the world. The speculators have had a role in driving prices up in cash and shares as Nicola Horlick (in the same issue ex hedgefund manager?) knows, but the focus should be brought more onto credit money CREATION, the subject of this piece.

    Nicola says we now need boundaries. Regulation has been talked of. Yes, but that’s not all there is to it – there’s a much more basic change needed. I’ve delved into some history of banking – and I’ve simplified the exposition below in Steps 1 - 3. Meanwhile, as Paulson goes down on his knees, a Corruption article in the same Times issue talks of the complexity of aid, lack of affordability of it and how a shift from infrastructure in Africa harmed jobs until the credibility of China was raised (and the question of their power again) by them intervening in Nigeria. Possibly they can do this more easily by “properly” accounting for quasi money (i.e. ”credit” = debt money, see Steps below). The world is an inter-related complicated place. But the simple “art” of money creation has still not been brought into UK quality newspapers, unless I missed that – don’t we need some articles on basic economics?

    Steps to understanding credit money instability:
    The art of credit money creation by commercial banks has been a mystery for most people – even more so now with their declining grasp of arithmetic. Also it seems, the complexities of academic theory have been obscuring the practicalities. If we properly understand the simple jobs then we’ve a good foundation on which to build the higher learning, but judging by the credit crisis there’s been a lack of basic understanding that allowed the virtual economy to become unstable and denied academics quick answers. Perhaps that’s why I was asked to contribute to the UK Treasury Select Committee (TSC) study of Globalisation and the Real Economy (No 14 2007) on the related issue of currency advantages, international trade and the environmental crisis. Interest was shown in an Environmental Tax solution - harnessing currency advantages while they still remain. Now we have a new and related challenge - rather than being distracted from the climate crunch by the credit crunch we have an opportunity to use the “Triple Crunch” (see Green ‘New Deal’ recently launched) to get a form of balanced economics into place.

    Our new suggestion - modified capitalism - could help to meet the environmental threats of climate change and assist a rapid transition to efficiency/clean energy, while providing a stimulus – a clear path for investment. Understanding credit money creation in steps and bold action to adjust its flow could be the key to softening the crunch. [See Steps 1 - 3].
    An end to “free money” to banks or any other players would allow a new tool for better stability: a credit creation charge to help avoid a severe “crunch” in the future after the crisis now continuing is resolved. Those who should have been in control of UK or international money creation could not see the crash coming and did not have the tools to deal with the situation. Much money was being made, tax raised and “wealth”. generated without an eye on the justice, environmental or the social issues which Obscured vision. For example, lack of time issues had grown, driven-ness that erodes the quality of life and education, minimising precious time previously more widely available for quiet reflection (this is best interspersed with experience). Those without the basic experience (who may also have not had the necessary overall view of what was happening to the real world, for example in the Bank of England, FSA, OFT and Treasury) were powerless when they should have been powerful. It is no good “railing against the banks” or against the corrupt without a practical solution. Effective ideas are sometimes given to those with basic experience of the wider issues rather than “experts”. After scouring the world we came up with this:

    LONG-TERM SOLUTION for STABILITY HERE!
    The best solutions are simple ones. Although demand for money can be governed by regulating interest rates upwards, such adjustment under the current system increases interest payments to banks which find their way back into the money supply, at the very time when a decrease is needed in the amount circulating (unless this interest and any new money can be directed into long-term investment projects such as large-scale insulation, renewable energy or sustainable transport). Currently there is no extra incentive to do this. But more fundamentally, why should banks gain an advantage from cost increases felt by other businesses? Wouldn’t it be better to direct some of the interest on the new money they make in the process of issuing loans and mortgages (some of the 20 X proportion of money in the Steps described below) towards the public purse for the anti-inflationary long-term investment projects? We only propose a modest adjustment as a first increment, but with a clear statement this could pull us out of the crunch because of confidence in the road map - confidence that this would build a fairer and more stable world - as the potential was recognised and the new system began to work (like China)..

    Under the STEERglobal credit money reform proposal presented to the UK Treasury in April 2007 it was suggested that an urgent need existed for a more stable investment structure for the public good on a worldwide basis, part of which could be to address the challenges of climate change. A solution was presented along with the Environmental Tax (ET) ideas published earlier under the Stern Review (lack of joined-up thinking or boldness stopped it, “waiting for the G8” but this is now no longer necessary even if it would be ideal). Simple diversion of the base rate of interest on any new money whether being made by big banks or by organisations such as GE Money, GM Finance, supermarkets etc is achievable at this stage of the credit crunch because such a move would create a climate of stability. This could best be done by allocating the revenue achieved into the local area direct to projects for the long-term public good in the area where the interest costs are felt. In this way the risk-takers gain some reward from better infrastructure in return for the burden of interest they must pay. That is, if this benefit is restricted to locally-raised finance. The larger-scale loans such as those raised by private equity might be subject to the same credit creation charge but instead be collected to a central government fund and distributed direct to the larger-scale projects such as sea/tidal generation barriers. Private equity would then gain extra security as ET helped the rest of the world.

    We estimate that in times of reasonably stable credit money conditions there would be a benefit to the public purse of between £3-5 billion in the UK for the first year just from the normal practice of issuing housing loans and collecting the base rate – currently 5%. A mechanism for commercial credit in the way described above would mean that a lot fewer interest rate adjustments would be necessary, allowing better planning for businesses. There are other reasons for implementation of CCC/CMBA as well as ring-fencing some of it for an Environmental Tax along the lines of last year’s TSC paper. Announcement of such a measure internationally at least for the G8 would create enough confidence to soften the “triple crunch” (Climate-Energy-Credit) avoiding a lot of the pressure for regulation.

    I appeal to those on both sides of the Atlantic to help get these proposals in front of the relevant people in a from they and the general public can understand. Are the Steps below clear?
    Ian.Greenwood@STEERglobal.org +44 (0)121 449 0278

    Please advise on how this gets on and send back any proposed text for checking – thanks

    POSSIBLE CARTOON/CHART – How Credit Money created conditions for a Crunch

    STEP 1 (in our simplified banking history) [CARTOON or CHART for steps 1-3?]
    Banking was invented over 300 years ago. Gold, bullion, sovereigns etc were kept for safekeeping in vaults. Paper receipts were issued and became the convenient source of currency – private banknotes. Bankers became used to issuing double the number of receipts over and above the deposits they held – 100% free money. Let’s call that X, so 2X worth of currency was in circulation.

    STEP 2
    Loans and mortgages became popular. On the basis of a secured loan more money could be issued – fractional reserve banking. Bank of England created to help stability, prevent “runs” and guard against panic/unscrupulous bankers. About an additional 2X became the norm – known as “bank money” or “credit money” and more recently as “Money as Debt” (quasi-money in China). When the Bank of England was nationalised as late as 1946 (other countries were ahead of England on this) the X worth was recalled and re-issued with the King/Queen’s head printed on it. Commercial Banks kept on issuing what had become the 2X proportion of free money and had the X worth of paper money that had become their “right” taken away. Total money in circulation came to a total of 4X. The demand for money was regulated by capitalist/consumer demand, the commercial banks and the Bank of England/Treasury working together.

    STEP 3: Leading to the CREDIT CRUNCH
    “Prudent” banking was not without its woes for the economic system. For example in the late 1960s-early 1970s a construction boom helped to fuel inflation of property prices. Later, demands by unions and high oil prices created the conditions for “stagflation” which was repeated in the Major years after the “bust” in 1990-91. Never was the free money created by banks targeted as a factor (or at least not anywhere that I have found). The creation of credit money became a “lost science ” and was glossed over. For example, my son did economics at a top university and when later questioned about his understanding of credit money he recalls being rapidly moved on from the basic questions. From 1946 – 2006 the amount of credit money grew from 2X to 20X and beyond until we had the unstable and unsustainable situation and the crash we are now witnessing – unless we can soften this by rapidly inventing some new tools. {Note: Part of the decline in the proportion and value of currency to the public purse can be attributed to the growth in electronic money. Also the finance facility (leveraged loans) for international banking must also have had a big part to play}. [END OF CARTOON].

    NOTES:

    1. Even if property “values” are coming down. If one buys a house for a house-worth of money, selling it returns a house-worth back – indicating an inflated (or deflated) value of money in that sector.)

    I sincerely believe that anyone interested to check this out as a road map to progress will find this to be suitable for any political persuasion, being fair and just for a global future.

    Why should the taxpayer be told he/she has to buy something that is 'toxic', a 'chaotic mess' and of unknown value. (Evidently not much value considering these are the assets that have brought Wall Street to a critical stage)
    FredieMac, FannieMae, Every Bank that issues mortgages, Every mortgage company, Every credit union have UNDERWRITERS. There are thousands of retired UNDERWRITERS (that probably could use some extra income). Why not take a look, a sampling, at these
    packages of mortgages, and:
    1. Determine how many solvent;
    2. Determine how many 30-60-90 delinquent;
    3. Determine how many lost cause.
    Look at the ratio, determine the loan value and then talk about purchasing this deal.
    No time? Sky is falling? Looming mushroom cloud? Sound familiar???
    Every politician, with the exception of the Administration team, says we have to do something...it might not work...bad times still coming...DON'T THROW OUR MONEY INTO THIS MESS. Be vigilant and take the time to assess this situation. Don't be pushed into another 'Iraqi-stylized situation'. Your constituents, the people who sent you to Washington to represent us, demand that you do just that. Let private business take care of private business. Bad times coming if we don't do this??? Look around you, Washington, the bad times have been here for some time: Unending war, flood victims still struggling, balancing the home budget a REAL challenge; new administration coming, neither of which demonstrate overwhelming support. Don't break our backs...we will remember what you do now, when we vote at the next election. But here's a thought: stand up against this administration's last great fiasco, and stand with the American people.

    IF YOU ASK ME , VOTE FREE ,

    BEFORE THE FEE , TURNS INTO A DEGREE ,

    PEOPLE FREE , ARE FIRST TO BE ,

    BROKE TO SEE , REALITY ,

    THE MIRACLE FREE , IF YOU ASK ME ,

    GRAB THE PEN , WRITE FREEDOMFREE ,

    AND WIN NEW FREEDOM FREE ,

    BACK AGAIN .

    After this week, we know for certain that we can afford universal health care and sustainable, living minimum wages. Anyone, who voted for the bailout of the incompetently run financial institutions and regulatory agencies and who says we cannot afford what we need, is clearly a liar.

    I oppose the proposed bailout plan because it's inherently dishonest. It presumes the guys on Wall Street have America at the center of their interests, when in reality they have only their own personal wealth and power at interest. These people engaged in fraud and Congress abetted them when it winked at oversight and removed the usury laws. Now we're going to save them at the expense of the already distressed public?

    Clearly we have to right the country's boat; just as clearly we ought to let Wall Street's boat sink. It is important not to confuse any financial institution with its senior executives. I disagree with Barney Frank that we want to curtail executive bonuses. Rather we should fine them into the same condition as those who are loosing their homes and unable to get medical care and adequate nutrition for their children. Why should they not share the consequential pain of their excesses and fraud?

    I also disagree with Hank Paulson about using these people as experts in pricing questionable assets. If they know so much, how come they made this mess in the first place? How could using any of these so-called experts to price Uncle Sam’s newly acquired assets not be conflict of interest? It's a massive, multination shell game perpetrated on the globe. The whole mess is arrogant and shameful. If we want the way forward to lead even to the smallest redemption, we must do the right thing, and bailing out the culprits is simply not the right thing. The time is past for partisan politics, unless we're prepared to loose the entire country.

    This crippling of our economy comes at a very bad time in international relations. We are leaving the door open for the energy rich nations of the world, such as Russia and Nicaragua, possibly allied with China, to mount an economic attack on us that now appears distressingly likely to succeed.

    Posted by: Anita
    NO BAILOUT....let the bubble explode..let "civilization" as we know it colapse....
    It's unsustainable.
    Dismantle Globally
    Renew Locally
    This culture is insane & it's killing the planet

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Well spoken post Anita

    The main problem is we have built our society on steroids. We have built an artificial, non sustainable model for our world. There is not much alternative either way when it comes to billions of people.

    http://dieoff.org/

    Do we make gargantuan hell hole cities and pile every one in these concrete high rise monsters? Or spread the people out and use some fuel to cart em around?

    Either way we are sunk.

    I posted about population control to another group and one responder commented "if eating babies is right I want to be wrong."

    Well, I have no answer as to how to go about pop control, but I can see we have too many people in our world for the limited resources that are available.

    If the world was a perfect entity, no, the gov should not dictate pop control...but we are far from perfect.

    Our future existence on this planet will demand some form of pop control, but I think nature will take care of that problem in the not so distant future.

    And in the big picture, we can't fix the problem, we can only postpone the inevitable. But buying a little more time would make things much more livable in the not so distant future than the current path we are headed in.

    The world is in a death spiral and politicians as well as industry are pretending this problem does not exist. We can only blame ourselves, for it is just how we have built our world over the years....too many people, living outside of natures intended balance and not an infinite supply of energy to fuel all our demands.

    It would be one thing if we all reverted back to rural living, burning trees for fuel and housing and living within our comfortable means allotted to us by nature, as our ancestors did back in the day. But 7 billion people can't burn the trees!

    The public just won't not go for pop control...too UN-American...goes against our religious upbringings...too controversial and all of the rest. I can hear the cries now...Communist!...Atheist!...Baby Killer....Hitler....Impeach the President!!!!

    I think nature will help us humans out with that hard decision - for nature does not discriminate nor find the truth too controversial or provocative or opinionated to be true. And in the end, nature will settle the dispute of population control with even handed justice by removing excess population just as it does with all its species, ever reminding us all that nature does not bow to man...it is always man that bows to nature.

    Posted by: Anita
    NO BAILOUT....let the bubble explode..let "civilization" as we know it colapse....
    It's unsustainable.
    Dismantle Globally
    Renew Locally
    This culture is insane & it's killing the planet

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Well spoken post Anita

    The main problem is we have built our society on steroids. We have built an artificial, non sustainable model for our world. There is not much alternative either way when it comes to billions of people.

    http://dieoff.org/

    Do we make gargantuan hell hole cities and pile every one in these concrete high rise monsters? Or spread the people out and use some fuel to cart em around?

    Either way we are sunk.

    I posted about population control to another group and one responder commented "if eating babies is right I want to be wrong."

    Well, I have no answer as to how to go about pop control, but I can see we have too many people in our world for the limited resources that are available.

    If the world was a perfect entity, no, the gov should not dictate pop control...but we are far from perfect.

    Our future existence on this planet will demand some form of pop control, but I think nature will take care of that problem in the not so distant future.

    And in the big picture, we can't fix the problem, we can only postpone the inevitable. But buying a little more time would make things much more livable in the not so distant future than the current path we are headed in.

    The world is in a death spiral and politicians as well as industry are pretending this problem does not exist. We can only blame ourselves, for it is just how we have built our world over the years....too many people, living outside of natures intended balance and not an infinite supply of energy to fuel all our demands.

    It would be one thing if we all reverted back to rural living, burning trees for fuel and housing and living within our comfortable means allotted to us by nature, as our ancestors did back in the day. But 7 billion people can't burn the trees!

    The public just won't not go for pop control...too UN-American...goes against our religious upbringings...too controversial and all of the rest. I can hear the cries now...Communist!...Atheist!...Baby Killer....Hitler....Impeach the President!!!!

    I think nature will help us humans out with that hard decision - for nature does not discriminate nor find the truth too controversial or provocative or opinionated to be true. And in the end, nature will settle the dispute of population control with even handed justice by removing excess population just as it does with all its species, ever reminding us all that nature does not bow to man...it is always man that bows to nature.

    I thought I watched PBS, but I guess I have been watching CNBC.

    Would an alcoholic be fixed if he inherited a whiskey factory CNBC?

    Would a limitless supply of free alcohol cure what ails him?

    Or would it just increase the sickness?

    One of your CNBC commentators chewed out Rick Santelli telling him there is 'no time' for discussion of ideology in the bailout crisis. We must have the $700 billion NOW!

    You at CNBC seem to think that if money is just thrown at the problem all will be fine.

    If there is no time to change the underlying sickness in our broken capitalist system, how will more alcohol fix the alcoholic...or in this case more money fix the dishonest, greedy thrives of Wall Street CNBC?

    Every once in a while CNBC offers some words of wisdom other than the poker playing, crap shooting, compulsive gambler mentality of trading that you promote.

    Rick Santelli offered one such pearl of wisdom when he said the powers that be in America need to 'take their medicine like men' and stop trying to avoid the penalties of their financial shenanigans at all cost. To avoid taking their medicine is just making matters worse.

    Fix the underlying sickness before you loan out a dime. Take your medicine like men CNBC as well as thieves of Wall Street.

    Don't give taxpayer money out, not a dime - loan with high grade collateral and interest. But only loan if absolutely necessary. Put the rich, greedy, lying bastards of Wall Street on the line CNBC and not the taxpayer that can hardly make ends meet.

    Paulson had over 30 years on Wall Street. Paulson is said to be worth half a billion dollars and we never heard a peep of warning out of him until the crisis was full blown.

    This seems to be a case of honor dies where the interest lies CNBC.


    Would an alcoholic be fixed if he inherited a whiskey factory CNBC?

    Would a limitless supply of free alcohol cure what ails him?

    Or would it just increase the sickness?

    One of your CNBC commentators chewed out Rick Santelli telling him there is 'no time' for discussion of ideology in the bailout crisis. We must have the $700 billion NOW!

    You at CNBC seem to think that if money is just thrown at the problem all will be fine.

    If there is no time to change the undying sickness in our broken capitalist system, how will more alcohol fix the alcoholic...or in this case more money fix the dishonest, greedy thrives of Wall Street CNBC?

    Every once in a while CNBC offers some words of wisdom other than the poker playing, crap shooting, compulsive gambler mentality of trading that you promote.

    Rick Santelli offered one such pearl of wisdom when he said the powers that be in America need to 'take their medicine like men' and stop trying to avoid the penalties of their financial shenanigans at all cost. To avoid taking their medicine is just making matters worse.

    Fix the underlying sickness before you loan out a dime. Take your medicine like men CNBC as well as thieves of Wall Street.

    Don't give taxpayer money out, not a dime - loan with high grade collateral and interest. But only loan if absolutely necessary. Put the rich, greedy, lying bastards of Wall Street on the line CNBC and not the taxpayer that can hardly make ends meet.

    Paulson had over 30 years on Wall Street. Paulson is said to be worth half a billion dollars and we never heard a peep of warning out of him until the crisis was full blown.

    This seems to be a case of honor dies where the interest lies CNBC.


    Bill, your programs are immeasurably informative, thorough and accurate. Please keep up the great work -- we need you more than ever in this day and age of media mediocrity and societal ignorance.

    one good thing about the bailout you know who your friends are. both mccain and obama support a bailout. the media is bringing out all the stops to convince us that we will all have to pay for their mistakes if they don't get 700 billion soon. they brought out buffet , bush now mccain and obama. they keep repeating that it is necessary to save the entire global financial system blah blah blah. maybe they should have thought about that earlier. if banks can loan with the 700 billion they can loan without the 700 billion. i don't see any difference. they used the same tatic to sell us on going to war. i love the whole thing about if we don't get 700 billion you will lose your job. in other words we will need to keep our jobs to pay for the 700 billion. i don't know that sounds like slavery.

    Posted by: no-bailout

    *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

    Have you ever know a rich man addicted to wealth ever become satisfied? Do they ever given up their life of money grabbing and say, "yes, I have enough and am not interested in making more money?" Or do they keep grabbing and working to get more money until their dying day...even grabbing for control of money from the coffin?

    Greed is never satisfied by attainment. Greed is only satisfied by contentment. Once attained the desire for more is just raised to a higher level of greed maverick.

    Politicians are the lowest of the low - egomaniacal hypocrites and haggard shells of humans that spin webs of deceit to entrap their prey with so many lies you politicians dream up to screw the American public.

    http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/fookisan/ASSUME30PT.jpg

    Posted by: CJ in OK - This isn't a Rescue. It isn't a Bailout. It's Blackmail! Credit isn't going to just dry up, it's going to be cut off if we don't pony up the $700 billion.

    Since our so-called representatives don't have the guts to stand up to the blackmailers, I offer up the following suggestion to my fellow citizens: STOP SHOPPING! Cut up the credit cards. Pay off debt. Do you really need a new car? Maybe you can fix up the one you have. You really don't need a new cell phone every two years, do you? If you do need something, try to borrow it. If you can't borrow it, buy it used. If you can't buy it used, buy it locally from a locally owned and operated business. Buy produce from your local farmers market. Grow a garden. Have yard sales. Use your imagination. Figure out new ways to get what you need that don't line the pockets of these bastards.

    Contrary to what President Bush and his corporate overlords would like us to think, it is not our patriotic duty to shop. If we all cut back on the amount of money we spend, If we all spend only within our means and NOT on credit, they WILL feel the impact. We'll each be better off financially and maybe we can find a way to break the stranglehold the corporate overlords have on our democracy. Stop Shopping.

    *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

    ABSOLUTELY CK!

    You don't need to revolt...you need to strike!

    I talked with Grady about this. But you also need to get a National Citizens Oversight Committee going to oversee these strikes.

    For instance, if the citizens are dissatisfied with this bailout decision, you would group up at your National Citizens Oversight Committee. The committee would put it to a nationwide citizens vote. They would tell the gov to rescind whatever Citizens Oversight Committee voted down. And if the gov did nothing within a short time the Citizens Oversight Committee would call for a strike and stay on strike as long as it took to change.

    The citizens would have to be prepared with the usual survival type of supplies. But even if a small portion of citizens strike, the county would have major problems. Just airline pilots striking could do it. Or poop plants workers. Or even the lowly consumer...if they STOP spending. Lets just hope the electric power guys don't get pissed and strike!

    A snip from my earlier post goes into some detail on this subject.

    "...we must be careful about what we are revolting against, as what we replace it with may be worse than what we have destroyed, so keep that in mind.

    If and when America is ready for a revolt over the travesty of American political system, all you have to do is to follow the lead of our politicians and DO NOTHING.

    America can be shut down by the citizens - just by doing nothing and go on strike.

    When it comes down to it, we are dependent on strong government to keep the invading armies at bay. But everyday life is NOT dependent on the politicians flapping their jaws and blowing hot air out their ass.

    What we are dependent on is each other and our cooperation at making life livable from the lowest shit shoveler and up the ladder to the highest doctor or airline pilot.

    But coming back to reality the citizens of the US of A are...IMPOTENT and COWARDS. They will do nothing but keep taking it in the rear from their beloved political deities."

    So, I have given you a surefire recipe for change...but as I mentioned above there is no guarantee that the change you seek will always be for the good.

    So any committee must be 'able to accept that they are not omnipotent and perfect' and they may have to backslide into what they were fighting against as the lesser of two evils.

    Just thought I'd share an article a friend sent me this AM on the Bush Administration and OCC:

    By Eliot Spitzer
    Thursday, February 14, 2008; Page A25

    Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in
    consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of
    predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were
    misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to
    consumers' ability to repay, making loans with deceptive "teaser"
    rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with
    undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These
    and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on
    home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices,
    if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.

    Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the
    Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect
    American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align
    itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.

    Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national
    crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I
    joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill
    the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together,
    state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered
    into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in
    predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including
    New York's, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices.
    ad_icon

    What did the Bush administration do in response? Did it reverse
    course and decide to take action to halt this burgeoning scourge? As
    Americans are now painfully aware, with hundreds of thousands of
    homeowners facing foreclosure and our markets reeling, the answer is
    a resounding no.

    Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers,
    it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent
    states from protecting their residents from the very problems to
    which the federal government was turning a blind eye.

    Let me explain: The administration accomplished this feat through an
    obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the
    Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War.
    Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For
    140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure
    they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a
    few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as
    a tool against consumers.

    In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC
    invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal
    opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby
    rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that
    prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection
    laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so
    egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general,
    and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

    But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even
    slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In
    fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible
    discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC
    filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.

    Throughout our battles with the OCC and the banks, the mantra of the
    banks and their defenders was that efforts to curb predatory lending
    would deny access to credit to the very consumers the states were
    trying to protect. But the curbs we sought on predatory and unfair
    lending would have in no way jeopardized access to the legitimate
    credit market for appropriately priced loans. Instead, they would
    have stopped the scourge of predatory lending practices that have
    resulted in countless thousands of consumers losing their homes and
    put our economy in a precarious position.

    When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and
    recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent
    homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The
    tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged
    as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in
    their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power
    of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state
    legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else
    on the side of consumers.

    The writer is governor of New York.

    This isn't a Rescue. It isn't a Bailout. It's Blackmail! Credit isn't going to just dry up, it's going to be cut off if we don't pony up the $700 billion.

    Since our so-called representatives don't have the guts to stand up to the blackmailers, I offer up the following suggestion to my fellow citizens: STOP SHOPPING! Cut up the credit cards. Pay off debt. Do you really need a new car? Maybe you can fix up the one you have. You really don't need a new cell phone every two years, do you? If you do need something, try to borrow it. If you can't borrow it, buy it used. If you can't buy it used, buy it locally from a locally owned and operated business. Buy produce from your local farmers market. Grow a garden. Have yard sales. Use your imagination. Figure out new ways to get what you need that don't line the pockets of these bastards.

    Contrary to what President Bush and his corporate overlords would like us to think, it is not our patriotic duty to shop. If we all cut back on the amount of money we spend, If we all spend only within our means and NOT on credit, they WILL feel the impact. We'll each be better off financially and maybe we can find a way to break the stranglehold the corporate overlords have on our democracy. Stop Shopping.

    Lots of talk about the American public bailing out Wall Street. $700B? Hmmmmm.

    Not one word about exactly where that's gonna come from. China, perhaps?

    And dry your tears, y'all. Those poor desperate Wall Streeters whose foolish mismanagement initiated the debacle won't REALLY have to give up very much...UNLESS they're required not only to forfeit salary and parachute, but ALSO to dismantle massive (possibly) hidden bank accounts and offer their executive deferred compensation accounts and other assets as recompense for their past wrongdoings.

    For $700B, Prevent the Plunder from Happening Again

    Identify the politicians whose policies contributed so mightily to our financial crisis (though Kevin Phillips is quite right that this mess is not only the making of the Republicans).

    Cf. an excellent, if slightly dated, Mother Jones article on one of the principal architects of this credit crisis.
    David Corn. "Foreclosure Phil. " Mother Jones 1 Jul 2008: 41-43. Research Library Core. ProQuest. East Los Angeles Coll. Lib., Monterey Park, CA. 25 Sep. 2008

    For $700B, Reinstate Consumer Protections

    We must reverse the trend of Republican financial and economic policies that continually erode consumer protection and instill nefarious incentives in the marketplace.

    Mother Jones outlined this sorry story well in the following article:
    Nomi Prins. "Where Credit Is Due. " Mother Jones 1 Jul 2008: 38-43. Research Library Core. ProQuest. East Los Angeles Coll. Lib., Monterey Park, CA. 25 Sep. 2008

    Where's the Reform?
    Obama-Biden & the Democrats are failing us if we do not exact reform of the Republican financial policy disaster for this bailout of the plutocrats.
    Else, what's the point in having a Democratic majority and Presidency?

    Please read article to understand the depth of the injustice that is about to be inflicted on the american people.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson09252008.html

    one good thing about the bailout you know who your friends are. both mccain and obama support a bailout. the media is bringing out all the stops to convince us that we will all have to pay for their mistakes if they don't get 700 billion soon. they brought out buffet , bush now mccain and obama. they keep repeating that it is necessary to save the entire global financial system blah blah blah. maybe they should have thought about that earlier. if banks can loan with the 700 billion they can loan without the 700 billion. i don't see any difference. they used the same tatic to sell us on going to war. i love the whole thing about if we don't get 700 billion you will lose your job. in other words we will need to keep our jobs to pay for the 700 billion. i don't know that sounds like slavery.

    I live on less than fifteen thousand dollars a year. I don’t shed a tear that some rich person making forty thousand a year can finance a new Ford Focus. I just don't caer!

    All the apocalyptic imagery distorts the situation. I think we need to stabilize financial markets,but the debate ought to be about how we do this. I don’t hear the president or his secretary of treasure answering this crisis in a creative way.

    NO BAILOUT....let the bubble explode..let "civilization" as we know it colapse....
    It's unsustainable.
    Dismantle Globally
    Renew Locally
    This culture is insane & it's killing the planet

    Don't you think that putting Henry Paulson incharge to oversee the bail out plan is like asking a fox to watch the henhouse? Do you know how much Mr. Paulson made as former CEO at Goldman Sachs?

    Wikipedia has stated the following
    views expressed by Paulson as Secretary of the Treasury.


    "In August 2007, Secretary Paulson explained that U.S. subprime mortgage fallout remained largely contained due to the strongest global economy in decades.

    On July 20, 2008, after the failure of Indymac Bank, Paulson reassured the public by saying, “it's a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation.”

    On August 10, 2008, Secretary Paulson told NBC’s Meet the Press that he had no plans to inject any capital into Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.[24] On September 7, 2008, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into conservatorship."

    If the Fed pays "Hold to Maturity" prices for collapsed OTC derivatives that will never recover, that would represent an outrageous premium to their true value.

    If the Fed pays what the collapsed OTC derivatives are presently worth, they could do the entire bailout for one Rupee.

    You know what is about to happen. God help us all!


    I read today in Business Week that the Bush administration warned of "DIRE CONSEQUENCES" should the congress delay or impose limits on the treasury (in order to continue its massive bailout of Wall street).

    I seem to remember those same two words from Mr. Bush a few years back regarding a poor backward Middle Eastern nation, that supposedly had wmd's and was ready to detonate them in Los Angeles.

    Oh, how Mr. Bush sounds just like the boy who cried wolf too often.

    I am amazed that the same folks who stampeded us into massive debt 6 years ago are back at it, using the same tactics! Again, their presentation (“trust us, there is a threat”) has been taken seriously, as legitimate, without question. Everyone is busy weighing the pro’s and con’s of a proposal concerning an impending threat. How is it that this administration maintains the public trust after being continuously discredited? Where is the “collective memory” with regard to how we became the proud owners of broken pottery? Are we totally incapable of implementing a vote of “no confidence”?

    forgot to ask one question. Why does Main Street need Wall Street?

    Wall Street is a bunch of greedy dishonest people who live off hype. What would we really lose if Wall Street failed and went away?

    Have we made no progress on how to produce goods and services and pay a fair tax with out having to support the greed of Wall Street?

    What is wrong with our Universities that they can not innovate and give us a better system then GREED?

    If anyone believes what #43 says tonight, I question their maturity and experience with Executive and Congressional Leaders.

    The bailout is not a bailout it is a chance for the super rich to sell the same worthless real and non-real property. It is a scam that they put together knowing that Senators and Representatives both would cave in as #43 spread fear and misled the people as he has over and over and Congress went along with him every time.

    So what makes you think any of this will work out for the taxpayer? More taxes and money losing its power to buy goods and services.

    Paulson and Bernanke both know the Federal Reserve can supply money to the banks to be lent for loans of all sorts and types but, they would rather scare the public and force them into a bad deal and don't for a minute look for congress to protect the tax payer/you as all they are doing is covering themselves so it looks like they tried to keep us out of harms way.

    It ain't true. They are in the pockets of the rich counting their money and worried about their jobs.

    So, just know this one thing. When #43 starts talking the truth won't be what is heard. No one who wants to be above the law tells the truth about anything.

    My question to you America is why can't we live a good life without loans? If we did only the banks and Wall Street would suffer and I think they are exactly who should suffer.

    But they got you into debt and they will tell you that you will loose everything if you don't listen to them, the same people who screwed you and now what seconds.

    I'll take my chances with no bailout and let the (there is no word despicable enough to name them) sink or work their way out of the mess of their own doings.

    I say further to them, No Loan, not now not ever.... I hope enough people who had to stand up and pay their way feel like I do.

    Jack, Grady, Jim Bullis: I finally came across your comments on energy technology and financial sex, lies and real estate. I thought I'd invented the notion when Obama came out with it a couple weeks ago--energy innovation is the new dotcom fuel for our troubled economy. There must be so many great ideas out there, if only they weren't being stifled by corporate bullies. We absolutely need some legislation to encourage innovators and somehow prosecute the stiflers.
    For some years I've sensed that there were all these rope-a-dope strategies being used by the high-finance realm to suck the life out of our paychecks. Thanks, Grady, for articulating that so well.

    Is there anyone here who's surprised or shocked by any of this? It makes me so sad; we've been preaching that the economy is unstainable for years now. I'm gonna just hide out and cling to my music and my religion.

    I'll just say one more thing. Anyone who votes for more of the same is an idiot.

    Jack Martin and Fran G, thanks for joining in the idea that getting our industrial capaity working would be a better way to bail out the country. Maybe people with good jobs would not need to default on their mortgages.

    How might we get the presidential candidates to think about this approach?

    And Jack, you have Miastrada car idea right, except there is no serious battery problem since the car uses such a small amount of energy. Thus, it can go a long way on cheap batteries, and it can go even cross country with a 16 hp diesel running an electric generator. All of this is cheap. The key is making the car aerodynamically efficient, but other things have to be done right also. The result is a very different automobile.

    I am now completing design details that should give motorists much better crash protection than possible with conventional car configurations.

    This is the message I sent one of my senators. The other one is beyond redemption.

    Until yesterday, I had no idea in how much contempt Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., and Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman and for the Congress and the people. Their plan deserves contempt and rejection. These men have not proposed anything other than a raid on the American people’s pocketbooks.

    Do not support their plan without Senator Reed's proposal for warrants and also without a minimum wage based upon on a sustainable income. The banking lobby is in control, not the people.,

    I have voted for you every time I have had the opportunity to support you. I will not vote for you if you support the Paulson/Bernanke raid on the treasury.

    No to bailing out the rich so the CEO's that destroyed the companies can walk away with their millions.

    The poor have already paid the penalty and saw this coming long before the middle class and rich did. Savings? When every last dollar goes to survive - savings are a joke. Retirement? 3 jobs at 20 hours a week do NOT get you retirement plans. Living out of their means? Yeah - putting food on a table is definately living beyond your means. Health care is the emergency room - but in my area you better have wallet in hand. So, we take them out of the equation.

    The middle class are doomed - they just are now beginning to realize it. It's too late for them too.

    So - who do the bailouts truly profit? Corporations - and the heads of those corps - not the lowly office staff. Those were 'downsized' years ago.

    Let the corporations fail. Let the American people wake up to how the government has bowed and groveled at the feet of lobbyists who cared nothing for the People.

    Bail them out - and they learn nothing but that any greedy decision they make won't hurt them - their wallets are protected. So - bad management will continue because Uncle Sam is there with the checkbook - and the slaves work harder to earn his gold.

    Other countries Shouldn't trust our goverment, our corporations, our financial industries - don't keep dancing to the top 1% of the population. But then......... shall we look at the millions our politicians make? So - it is their own wallet they are protecting on the backs of the hard-working American. Is this the Christian way we keep hearing about?

    I contemplate this - the markets collapse - the rich actually begin to worry about their millions, and the average American who is the true backbone of this country finds ways to survive. Barter systems still work. We learn to work as a people again - and not as individuals out to get theirs by sacrificing their neighbor.

    We say we want a small government - then ask it make decisions that make the US more a communist or socialist nation. We preach democracy while denying our own people democracy.

    Enough is enough! What happens when the next bail out comes - and the next - and the next? Big Brother needs a new pre-occupation. All it will take is 1 country who owns most of our business' and debt walking up and saying 'Pay Up'. But I fear the saying is true -money talks. The America I love is dying. :(

    Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., left, and Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, deserve from the Congress and the peole at least the same contempt that these two men have for the Congress and the people.

    Before yesterday, I had no idea how out of touch these two men are with the life of common people.

    Help Police!
    There is a bank robbery in progress.
    No it is not the banks that are getting robbed, but rather it is the citizens of America that are getting robbed by the crooked banks. The bank robbers have found accomplices and are cleverly disguised as members of the Bush administration and also members of congress.
    Please stop them before they get away with it all! Its our future, somebody please stop them!

    =
    MJA

    I was inspired to write a poem by this crisis. I call it "Credit Crunch Crisis"
    or "The Ballad of Joe Blow & Joe CEO"

    ============================

    Joe CEO made lots of bad bets.
    Joe CEO ended up with bad debt.
    Joe CEO says government is bad.
    But Joe CEO doesn’t follow his own fad.

    Hungry & Poor? Get out of line!
    Joe CEO is running out time.
    You see, Joe CEO is TOO BIG TO FAIL !
    As for Joe Blow… that’s another tale.

    Joe CEO is now in the sunny Caribbean.
    Sipping piña colada and watching the scene.
    But Joe Blows of the world have a role to fill;
    We are the ones stuck with the bill!

    Copyright © 2008 by Kofi Garbrah

    The New World Order Bankers have been manipulating the whole economy to strip the middleclass and poor of all their resources and keep them enslaved. Just like their Oil/Energy Companies do to keep us using their slimey oil and chocking coal. Consider this...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhL5VO2NStU

    The above link is to a 90 min. + talk that Dr. Boussard gave to Google fishing for $200M to do a demo power plant with this technology based on the Farnsworth Fusor and Irving Langumier's Monatomic Hydrogen Generator but with Magnetic confinement.

    Enjoy!

    Michael Couch

    There a couple of reasons why this bail out is just a bad idea even if I thought we could trust Wall St and the Government.
    First and most importantly is what is going to stop Wall Street from coming back for more. Hadn't we heard before that it would stop at Bear Sterns, Fannie and Freddie, This crowd knows a free lunch when they see one and they just keep coming back for more.
    More importantly, if they think a set of reverse auctions will work in this bail out plan they are dead wrong, and it will cost taxpayers 20 to 50% more than blind bids with a right of refuseal. I have been in purchasing for 20 years and reverse auctions only work for simple goods and services and in complex situations they are invitations for collusion. Aren't these securities so complex even Wall Street can't figure them out? It sounds like an invitation to wholesale fraud.
    If this goes through as it stands now the fix will certainly be in.

    There a couple of reasons why this bail out is just a bad idea even if I thought we could trust Wall St and the Government.
    First and most importantly is what is going to stop Wall Street from coming back for more. Hadn't we heard before that it would stop at Bear Sterns, Fannie and Freddie, This crowd knows a free lunch when they see one and they just keep coming back for more.
    More importantly, if they think a set of reverse auctions will work in this bail out plan they are dead wrong, and it will cost taxpayers 20 to 50% more than blind bids with a right of refuseal. I have been in purchasing for 20 years and reverse auctions only work for simple goods and services and in complex situations they are invitations for collusion. Aren't these securities so complex even Wall Street can't figure them out? It sounds like an invitation to wholesale fraud.
    If this goes through as it stands now the fix will certainly be in.

    What this I hear?

    The lying rhetoricians are now talking about bailing out the banks with their bad credit card debt?

    I thought the excuse for charging 18% to 24% interest rates was to compensate the banks for risky cc loans?

    Now they want the usurious interest rates guaranteed?

    One old timer on PBS news came up with a solution that sounded novel in this day and age of giving money out for free.

    He said loan the money to Wall Street, take collateral back and charge them interest. He said test it and don't fall for the lies.

    I support testing not more lying.

    Remember Paulson was at Goldman Sachs for 32 years. If he is such a genius why didn't he say something about the meltdown before this?

    Begin in haste...repent at leisure.

    Posted by: Grady Lee Howard - Allen Wrench: I may have misjudged you as a one note Johnny, harping only on peak oil and your survivor mentality. Your afternoon post (first one here) was nearly as instructive and thought provoking as Bill's segment. While I disagree with you about lower class working people over-consuming being a significant part of a corruption and collusion debacle I see now that you are capable of being part of a discussion to help us derive workable tactics and solutions. I look forward to working with you on, and possibly off, this blog.

    The bailout as structured is "wrong." There are people hording a great deal of wealth and property who, over the last several days, refused to aid a system that has been a bonanza for them. The lack of liquidity was due to the elite wealthy stuffing their gold and currency under the proverbial mattress. I believe the appropriate counteraction is a tax revolt, a ten million taxpayer Inaugural march on Washington, and a targeted boycott of particular offending firms. How do we go about that, Mr. Wrench?
    Remember, active peaceful dissent is patriotic.

    *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

    Nice to hear from you Grady. I've been busy so please excuse my delay in replying to you Grady. I don't always get round to reading all the blogs, so if someone else addressed me and I did not respond please forgive me.

    I don't have all the answers Grady. I am just simple philosopher that likes to comment on what I see. But defining the problem is half the battle, so lets see if we can shed more light on this topic.

    And yes, peak oil is my favorite topic. I was most grateful for learning about it in 10 / 07 and wished I had been enlightened upon that subject much earlier. So I try to enlighten others in the hopes that they may prepare for what is ahead. You see, I'm not as generous as you Grady as you pay for staving artists to live. My donation is just in educating others that they may restructure their lives instead of digging their grave deeper.

    And I will readily admit I may be wrong with my forecast Grady. I put no timeline on it anyway - I just see it ahead. We're doing something near to impossible, which is to predict the future. Tons of IF's, AND's and BUT's that could happen. We just don't know. As futurists we try to anticipate future events and the direction the world is headed in and as survivalists we try to prepare for those circumstances.

    I used to be of the nature of demonstration Grady, but the police force is so militarized nowadays it is hard to resist against their heavy handed tactics unless extreme violence is used on the part of the demonstrators. We can see this recently with the political convention and what happened to the lady reporter who was not even fighting (from what I heard).

    And pretty soon we may all be microwaved if we demonstrate!

    See:
    wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Denial_System

    As the saying goes ... it is hard to fight city hall ... they are big and we are small. So they will still end up kicking ass with their armor plating, faces shields and the like. And they seldom pay any price for the injury they cause to the citizens Grady.

    BUT, not to lose hope Grady. Much more can be done without doing hardly a thing. But it takes an organized effort and everyone has to be on the same wavelength. And that is the problem - getting everyone to work in unison.

    A snip from my earlier post goes into some detail on this subject Grady.

    "...we must be careful about what we are revolting against, as what we replace it with may be worse than what we have destroyed, so keep that in mind.

    If and when America is ready for a revolt over the travesty of American political system, all you have to do is to follow the lead of our politicians and DO NOTHING.

    America can be shut down by the citizens - just by doing nothing and go on strike.

    When it comes down to it, we are dependent on strong government to keep the invading armies at bay. But everyday life is NOT dependent on the politicians flapping their jaws and blowing hot air out their ass.

    What we are dependent on is each other and our cooperation at making life livable from the lowest shit shoveler and up the ladder to the highest doctor or airline pilot.

    But coming back to reality the citizens of the US of A are...IMPOTENT and COWARDS. They will do nothing but keep taking it in the rear from their beloved political deities."

    To illustrate how dependent we are one each other let me give you some examples Grady.

    In my local coal is a big power source for electric. They mine coal, ship it bay barge and train to the power plants. If the mineworkers strike the power plants shut. If the barge captains and train engineers strike the power plants shut. If the coal is still delivered to the plants but the electric workers strike the power plants shuts. And even if the coal gets delivered and the power plants keeps producing, if the truck drivers strike, the Krogers gets no supplies.

    And we can go down the line from airline pilots to the people that process poop and pick up the trash.

    But lets say none of the workers care than much to strike, then the consumers go on strike and stops consuming ... then the gov may get the message. But it takes constant effort from its citizens. As soon as the pressure is off, the gov will go back to old ways and they start opening up their zipper. So, as soon as the gov starts making motions to screw the public, the pubic goes on strike with their job...consumption.

    No violence, no hassles, just stay home and relax and tend the garden Grady!

    BTW Grady, why don't you come over to Peak oil dot com forum? It's a nice forum, we don't have anyone that writes with your style.

    Good Luck

    AW

    "When the sun rises I go to work,
    When the sun goes down, I take my rest,
    I dig the well from which I drink,
    I farm the soil that yields my food,
    I share creation, Kings can do no more."

    Ancient Chinese, 2500 BC

    Posted by: Nick Durr - I'm in my early 20's and I fear for my generation. How can we tell them the truth when they are living stoned in a fog of electronic noise? How can we help them understand when they laugh about taking out large student loans? The relevance of the larger world seems to excape many of my fellow students... But once this situation has played its course, how do we help them fight back when all the they know is 'Facebook Activism?' Is it too late to revert from the unquestioned consumption of a information from misleading media and government?

    *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

    ...stoned in a fog of electronic noise?

    Well, Nick, you bring up legitimate worries. I am impressed you are thinking about such things at your age. I didn't get tuned in or more appropriately 'tuned out' until I was in my 40's. Now, maybe we are talking about different things here, but I am referring to Walkman, iPod, TV, radio as well as the noise of city living hustle and bustle.

    As an offshoot to my simple living work, I now use the practice of "voluntary solitude" to give me a more peaceful life. The same way I pick and choose which complexities of living I allow in my life, I now do the same with noise and commotion.

    I first learned of this concept when reading a book by the granddaddy of backpacking Colin Fletcher. He described the benefits of pure solitude by walking alone. It occurred to me I was addicted to noise and commotion.

    I felt like my mind was going to explode some days. Music and noise kept repeating in my brain all night and my sleep was fitful. I had the TV or radio blasting all day. It didn't matter if I watched it or not, I just liked the noise.

    I had the radio or CD going whenever I was driving. Even on the trail when hiking or biking, I had on earphones and at the pool a radio blaring. My mind was full of noise and I could never seem to get any escape with noise even in my sleep.

    Once I started with voluntary solitude and shut off the noise, I went though a period of noise withdrawal for a few days, but gradually could see things were getting better. Sometimes our peace is disturbed by other means than noise. I've seen persons going out to be alone in nature and they bring their computer or paperwork with them.

    Maybe they have removed some of the fuel for their stressed life but cannot let go of it all and must still feed their addiction even while in nature. Be aware of peace disrupters in your life, irrespective of whether they make sounds or not.

    Whatever the area of mind abuse - a sick mind that is constantly busy cannot heal itself without rest. Nor can that mind think rationally when it is sick. Meditation on nothingness (zazen) helps quiet a "sticky brain" that seems to hold onto everything.

    Friedman was a scourge on modern society that the world no longer has to endure. Even Adolph Hitler had the common decency to remove himself from the planet after his rein of terror.

    Many public figures are calling for punitive resolutions that use our system of laws to punish bad behavior that has put the future of our country at risk. No one will ever have any confidence in our financial system if we don't show our willingness to punish illegal players in key positions.

    Mr. Moyers, Please have someone on the show discuss the theoretical underpinnings of our economic system (going back to Friedman & the Chicago School) to evaluate the role these ideas have had in shaping policy and contributing to the current crisis. People need to understand that the collapse wasn't an inevitable disaster but evolved from particular policies based on certain goals and assumptions. If those were wrong, they need to be corrected. Are there viable economic theories emerging to replace Friedman's?

    I'm in my early 20's and I fear for my generation. How can we tell them the truth when they are living stoned in a fog of electronic noise? How can we help them understand when they laugh about taking out large student loans? The relevance of the larger world seems to excape many of my fellow students... But once this situation has played its course, how do we help them fight back when all the they know is 'Facebook Activism?' Is it too late to revert from the unquestioned consumption of a information from misleading media and government?

    The "architects" of the futures markets represented this entity by animals: the Bull and the Bear. This was to underscore the point that both are immensely powerful and difficult or impossible to control, (sounds kinda exciting!).

    One of these animals becomes transfixed on red fluffy towels waved in front of it; the other will pull the tailgate, doors and backseat out of your locked Grand Wagoneer to get that stale baloney sandwich left inside….

    It’s just their nature.

    If you think it’s wise to allow these types of animals to roam inside your basic finical framework looking for wavy pretty fluffy cloth or nosing around for a bag of Cheetoes crunchy snacks (?!)…uh well…that’s your business.

    Oh wait a minute …now it’s our business (taxpayer bailout) ??!?!

    - Olaf Brescia / Sacramento, CA

    I'm a regular watcher of the Journal. In reading about the proposed $700 billion bailout and the AIG loan, I keep hearing that the final price tag may be mitigated by the sales of the loans, properties, and other assets the government acquires. I've emailed Paul Krugman asking if anyone has done an analysis of the final costs of the S&L bailout and whether the RTC was able to meet its administrative costs by comparable sales.

    You could do us a huge service to have Krugman on your show again to address this question.

    It feels like We the People are being expected, once again, to pay the cost of corporate mis-deeds and enabling policies with no regard for results they inflicted on individuals. A bailout may be necessary to prevent a total economic collapse, but I'd like to see the perpetrators of this mess (both private and public sector) bear some personal responsibility for their actions. At this point, my only hope is that their golden parachutes and excessive compensation consists of now-worthless stock options.

    09/22/08

    Bill,

    Say it isn’t so, have you heard that the very people who made this mess will be paid to sell the liabilities the second time and make a second fortune and to beat that the Treasury is going to let them keep the Billions they made the first time round.

    We the people, who will be picking up the tab, are not consulted to see if we would like to let the Mercenary Bastards fail and we would choose to let them and we would also send them a bill for the whole entire mess.

    If we were asked what we wanted the majority would say free health care, free education, and all the roads and bridges fixed and all the water and sewer facilities brought up to the latest standards. We would want Clean Air, Clean Water, and last a prison system big enough to keep all the Violent Criminals locked up forever.

    Guess what Bill; we could have all seven (7) for the price of bailing out the rich’s most despicable people in America. I give you the 1%. Yes we are asked to pay for the 1% elitist mistakes and then pay them to do it all over again.

    The second tragedy is that we could have had all seven for the same amount that we have had to pay for number 43’s war. He is willing to spend 10 Billion on death buy not one penny on the tax paying poor.

    So, what is it going to be, number 43 is once again trying to scare us the citizens into acting in his rich friends interest and to hell with us.

    If you want to know what brings tears to my eyes and causes me to breath fire and lose my rage, it is the Congress, both the Representatives and the Senators. These gutless wonders of guile will talk and have their meetings and in the end they will give in to the rich 1% and their cronies the 9% who do their bidding and we the people will be raped and violated by masters of propaganda.

    Shucks, in a week we won’t know what we are paying for, who we are paying, but we will know it is us who will do the paying. Oh yes, I heard a right smart guy on radio say that instead of bailing out the rich, Congress should pay all our mortgages’ then we could spend that money on consumerism and the economy would be rolling right along… of course that leaves out the rich and Congress will never stand up to the rich.

    It makes me want to throw up when I think of all the good people who work hard and the children who deserve a happy childhood and a good start in life and how we all got cheated out of it by the most immoral unethical scum in our country. They have no conscious and sleep well at night. They have only hubris avarice and a desire not to associate with the very people they use for the fodder to keep their financial misery

    running. And in real life the rich never get their come-up-ance… what they get is Trust Funds and Foundations to keep their power which they never use for the good of the Majority.

    Free Markets will not stand. Billionaires do not live in Democracies. And Capitalism on the way up and Socialism on the way down SUCKS!

    Bill, is there no way you can incite your colleagues in the News World to stop supporting the rich and start reporting on what the congress really does? We need the news of our Country not the world. We need you and those like you to care.

    What is so sad is my only hope is not for a solution but a stalemate in congress where # 43 doesn’t get to screw us one last time before he leaves office.

    Well, isn't it odd that Secretary Paulson was an executive from Goldmanm Sachs. I think that any legistation should insure that he receive no pension or benefits from that institution that is in any way more than the pension of the highest paid civil servant in the Federal Civil Service. And any bailout ought to make certain that the federal govenment pay only a small percentagoe of the value of the bad debt that it buys--as assume no more than ten cents on the dollar of the lowest estimation of that value by an independent panel of retired citzens living in a small town on the Oregon Coast.

    NO! NO BAIL OUT!!!

    LOCK UP!
    That is what we want!

    From all vice-presidents up, including The Board of Directors, of any company seeking a bail out, they should be referred to
    OUR Justice Dept.

    All lending institution players that promoted ARM mortgages, and lowered qualifications for loans that have gotten us to this point should have their homes, cars, money, pay, 401Ks, IRAs, vacation homes taken from them for starters!

    OF COURSE who would pay the millions, & millions to the National Political PARTIES so they could get elected and allow this to happen again? Remember the Savings & Loan bail-out!

    How can anyone of good concious NOW vote Republican or Democratic?

    Our ELECTED Officials DO NOT care about us--just getting elected!

    Billy Bob, Florida, where the DNP took away our vote

    What would any of the plans now being proposed hope to gain? The restoration of the market to its former, absurdly inflated, values? What would that accomplish, aside from the need to repeat the whole painful process over and over again indefinitely?

    And if not that, then what? If we set the precedent of the government stepping in whenever the market shows signs of instability, then we are stacking the deck to make a mockery of the whole idea of market risk. AND risking runaway inflation every time.

    Sorry, but I see no alternative to simply letting go. Hold onto the trillion being earmarked for the bailout. It can be put to much better use AFTER the system fails.

    Current affairs should make plain to all that wealth extraction and social turmoil are made possible through the enforceable use of contracts and the inflated value of money as a medium of exchange versus a reliable store of value. It is well past time to void the contract we have made with our central bank and the commercial banking system in toto. They have enjoyed a free ride as mortgagees and creditors for too long.

    The relationship between the Treasury and the Federal Reserve is REDUNDANT hence INEFFICIENT and UN-ECONOMIC. The Secretary of the Treasury's explicit job is to guarantee the value of our currency. How long ago was that responsibility abandoned?

    Economists (should) know full well that in an ideal market with perfect information
    - something a few economists suggest is ironically already nearly true of financial markets - there would be NO NEED for financial intermediation. In other words, financial intermediaries exist because of asymmetric information, or incomplete and inefficient price transparency. So, assuming a need to keep large finanicial institutions solvent or sufficiently liquid means you are assuming and guaranteeing OLIGOPOLISTIC "competition." But it's profoundly worse than oligopoly over mere market share. This is oligopoly over the money system itself! (Will Mr. Moyers please give me a call? How about an average public citizen and high school teacher propounding the dysfunctions of our political economy?)

    Most people, including deficit hawks, should know this, but it bears repeating: our national debt is the base of our money supply. Merely reducing or eliminating our debt is irrelevant to "solving" our economic problems because were we to do so, we would face the kind of contraction that NO ONE has the political will to manage: a REvaluation of our currency (where less will get you more - Huh? How?) AND A DEVALUATION OF ASSET VALUES WORLDWIDE! We are conditioned to thinking that a financial global meltdown will result in something akin to the suffering of the 1930s. And it might too, because we have constructed a global money system that feeds on itself by recycling debt and producing systemic inflation. Milton Friedman himself noted that the Great Depression was precipitated by the Federal Reserve's reduction of the money supply by nearly one-third.
    The modern (post 1913) world financial system cannot afford corrections; it must
    manufacture them! That is why the Fed is obviously more concerned with deflation than inflation! Deflation is all but impossible...unless it is used to force a greater consolidation of interests to institutionalize a "managed" economy that is totally unresponsive to REAL economic production and REAL redistributions of wealth.

    I am reminded time and again of a quote of Thomas Edison, that wiley and shrewd laissez faire capitalist:

    "It is absurd to say that the government can issue a dollar bond yet not a dollar bill. Both are promises to pay, yet one fattens the pockets of usurers while the other serves the people."

    OUR MONEY is being handed over to private shareholders, private citizens and profiteers as securities because they tell us that we cannot have the use of our money at reasonable rates of interest until they have had the use of it first!

    It is so outrageous as to make all talk of same-sex marriage, abortion and war mere sideshows and chatter. The biggest fraud and swindle in world history is being played out right before our very eyes (again,) yet even the critics and skeptics cannot seem to find their voices. This is far worse than "privatizing the profits and socializing the risks." This is about the meaning of risk: transforming slavery into work and calling ownership production demands those with no assets to bear all of the risks and turn over their sweat for a fraction of the equity of others. What else is that but unfair, unequitable and unjust? And this inequity demands the overproductive use of the earth's resources (environmentalism anyone?)...especially the overproductive use of human beings as production units, mortgagors and tenants.

    With the great zero-sum game constructed by our monetized commodities exchange system, the only way for future people to purchase anything, including their own leisure, is to BUY it from those who have it to own, sell or rent today.

    The just and measured response to an agreement that disproportionately favors the rentier class is to refuse the obligation - exercise that human right to cancel an unjust debt by discharging it outright. That's correct: it is time to stop worrying about our debts and consumption habits. I think a strong case could be made for default on the grounds of an intergenerational redistribution of equity. There is no reason that younger generations or those yet born should be coerced and prodded to get an education and produce commodities (including more income-producing grandchildren) all for the sake of balancing payments and ensuring the smooth transfer of title over the world's wealth from one inheritor to the next, or from one owner to the next purchaser.

    As "radical" a solution as this may sound, it is also the most simple and most just. However, it does pose some problems for the imagination. What kinds of political-economic-financial institutions should be allowed to flourish, and at what scale? What would a money system in which the public was accountable to itself rather than a part of itself look like?

    As you know investors have suffered losses in the stock market in the past few months. Unless a bailout of investors is done very quickly, people will just stop trading!!

    We need to make their investments whole again to the price levels their stocks had a few months ago.

    It is not something I would normally recommend, but it is better than the alternative!

    Correction, in my letter to my congressmen, replace the word "responsible" with "irresponsible" in the first paragraph.

    Sorry,
    Jeff

    After watching your show on Bad Money I was so flabbergasted about this I wrote my congressmen the following letter:

    Dear Honorable Senator Harry Reid,
    Dear Honorable Senator John Ensign,
    Dear Honorable Representative Dean Heller,

    I am absolutely angered that Fed Chairman Paulson and President Bush are trying to rush, with my tax payer money, a 700 billion dollar bail-out for the predatory loan industry. If this must be done to prevent disaster then I want you to take your time and do it right by implementing strict regulations regarding home loans and include all other loan products like credit cards as well so this does not happen again. THE ENTIRE DEBT FINANCIAL INDUSTRY MUST BE HIGHLY REGULATED TO PREVENT CORPORATE GREED IN THE FUTURE. Do not rush this 700 billion dollar bail-out through! Instead, take you time and do it right! Because this can never happen again, I will not stand for it! Time and time again it’s clear that when regular banks and financial banks do well the big profits go to the CEOs and when they become greedy and create and push responsible products like these predatory home loans, We the People have to bail them out. I will not stand for it anymore!

    Also, right now banks are denying people the ability to re-finance their bad high interest loans into lower interest flat rate loans because homes are being appraised for less than what the home owners paid for them AND Banks are charging exorbitant interest rates even though the Fed rate is very low. Because of this, I want to see in this $700 billion bail out bill a provision for home owners that have one of these bad high interest loan products to require the Bank to issue a mandatory re-financing with a
    locked-in flat low Fed interest rate so they don’t loose their homes.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Jeff Poss

    “FRESS HOT FROM THE OVEN”!
    On Friday, the government said it would use a $50 billion
    Treasury fund to provide government guarantees for money market
    mutual fund accounts. However, in a significant revision
    announced late Sunday [09-21-08]

    “the Treasury Department said it would only guarantee funds
    that were in the accounts as of last Friday, indicating that money
    deposited after that date would not be guaranteed”.

    REMENBER “NO ONE HAS LOST A PENNY”!

    Our system is collapsing. As Mr. Phillips said, it's based on lies, fraud and deceptions. The financiers at the top are desperately trying to save it, lurching from bail out to bail out. They're are sticking YOUR fingers in the dyke, hoping to save themselves by letting the you pay the $700 billion bailout. The stock market is nothing more than a gambling casino. It feeds the greed of people who worship the god of money.

    Be of good cheer! This is the end of a totally corrupt system, a dead industry. LET IT GO. The ending is the same whether it's now or later. A new era will rise from the ashes of the old.

    A golden era lies just ahead. It will foster purposeful living, cooperative effort, and will lead to brotherhood, trust, justice and peace.

    Only someone whose stature is that the Buddha, the Christ, the Mahdi, Sri Krishna, the Messiah can speak to the hearts of all men and women at once so that trust may be born and so that we may realize that we are all ONE. Open minded? Find out more about this paradigm shift:
    www.share-international.org

    If Wall Street has a problem we have to drop everything, make a decision in days (no time to allow Congress to adequately debate), and throw unprecidented amounts of money at the problem with no real guarantee it will solve the problem.

    If millions of families are losing their homes we can take our time, minimize the problem to the media, blame the borrowers, and only after it is politically expedient will we attempt half-hearted measures only to wait for a year or more to see what happens and then throw the results into the partisan blender where they can be argued over for even more years.

    This clearly illuminates the priorities of the government and the people/institutions who bought them. It is only fair to make Wall Street wait in line for Congress to reach agreement including proper regulations and regulatory bodies -- let them know what it feels like to be a citizen. It will also effectively penalize those who would attempt to hide unflattering facts until the last minute or their bonus checks have cleared the bank.

    I very much enjoyed your guest, Kevin Phillips. It was very illuminating.

    Are the financial bailouts a good idea? Why or why not?

    No, they are not. Former President Reagan got it right. Government is not the solution. Government is the problem.

    Do you want the government to enact social policy through the companies it has nationalized?

    No, I want them to liquidate them and put any profit toward debt reduction.

    How do you think the economic crisis should be handled? Are your ideas politically possible? Let those living on annuities, retirement plans, and other entities learn a lesson in economic reality. Proved a bare minimum welfare net for those who cannot live without their financial crutches.

    Set up a government agency to provide mortgage and other credit. Yes, of course, they are.

    Jack: I thought I was Craig Ferguson and you were David Letterman. Z can be George Lopez telling how Grandma beat him. Everyone has their own sob story. Jack is a sainted pauper and I'm an indentured court jester. I hope M-S takes over Wachovia soon because I hate this job and need a change. I hope they headquarter in NYC and dump all these Charlotte Crackers.

    They always say they gonna "create jobs", I thought God already "done dat." (fisherman, shepherd, prophet, king, warrior, carpenter, thief, beggar, farmer) He done real good on thief, see how it's propagated.

    Z: So now I'm your late night alternative to Cr-r-r-eig Fugusun, shaking his appendage into the camera. Yea, I like gur-r-rills, that's right! Am I a pirate or a patriot? Real estate brokers can't be, because they're parasites. Good night, tapeworm. Sleep well on your mattress of greenbacks.

    Grady, You O'l sea dog, I could not agree more with your latest diatribe. the reality is nothing going to change. Ride the wave! I believe in the American people and the constitution as written. Screw the government and the so called elite. Were on different sides of the fence but I still think you are a great patriot. Exchange w/you later. Z

    My take on the whole situation is this.

    If the authorities are somehow able to keep the wheels on this wildly out of control situation, I think this presents a more serious situation than if we just took the tough medicine and allowed the financial crisis to unfold entirely. Here's why. If in fact, the authorities manage to fix or significantly patch the problems, the world will continue upon it's path towards infinite growth. The better the conditions are for growth, the sooner we will rub up against the inexorable, geophysical limits to growth. The most apparent and near-term limit is our energy paradigm. The peaking and subsequent decline of global oil extraction, which is essentially here now, will cause far more hardship around the world than will a derivatives fuelled meltdown. If I were Paulson, Bernanke, or whoever's calling the plays, and I was aware of Peak Oil, I would let the system unfold, because, essentially, it would buy us some time to address the real problem - the limits to growth.

    The only solution to a problem is to address the root cause of it. Infinite growth in a finite world is impossible. Period. This is the real problem.

    Why censor? This is PBS.
    Where is the money?
    From Times Online
    September 21, 2008
    Fury at $2.5bn Lehman bonus
    Nomura and Barclays table bids today for US giant’s London operation as bank’s administrator likens collapse to Enron
    John Waples and Danny Fortson

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article4795072.ece

    How Financial Madness Overtook Wall Street, by Andy Serwer and Allan Sloan
    http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1842123,00.html

    Zoltan: Maybe you can't see it or add the figures from where you stand knee deep in foreclosures but the real estate bubble in bad loans was not the only bubble, nor was it the main cause of this meltdown. It is a convenient scapegoat, a way of involving the public. New instruments of finance, illegal activity and elite collusion, fraud against the government underwriters of mortgages by business, rampant deregulation, poor management of investment risk at institutions, weak oversight by regulators, off-shoring of deals, wild currency trading, computer manipulation, short selling, and outright fraud and embezzlement continue playing a big roll in engineering this 2nd Great Depression. The Engineers lifted not a finger to stop it, though this tiny minority controls most of the world's money and assets, and receives most of the income.

    Old satirists used the device of a floating cloud city to illustrate an hubristic elite. The metaphor provides a powerful analogy today. Without a social contract, without the convention of money, what is suspending them now?

    I was really impressed by what Ms. Morgenson said: privatized profit and socialized losses. Unfortunately, this perfectly describes what's been happening here.

    I agree that AIG was simply too important to let it go under, but sometimes some pain must be inflicted to teach everyone a good lesson that they won't forget.

    The government has now sent out the message that companies and speculators can go about as before and if something goes wrong, they may rely on the government to bail them out.

    I sell my share of Real estate in SoCal. When the market was on fire we were selling houses to people who obtained loans through outright fabricating the income they earned. These parasites (banks/security dealers) bought them (liar loans) en-mass. They inturn sold them on the world wide market to greedy simpletons who snap'd up the packaged securities thinking they could not go wrong, (being backed by real estate, they were told by the salesman of the day) expecting huge returns. Now I am selling so many foreclosures I have to turn off my phone. God bless the American taxpayer. You live in a free country...as long as you do what you are told. Thanks again. Z

    The legislation now being crafted to buy impaired mortgages and mortgage backed securities from the financial services industry should more clearly define and, in turn, reward the risk being assumed by the American taxpayer. In the corporate world, warrants (which provide the right to shares of a company’s stock) are sometimes used to compensate the lender for assuming a disproportionate amount of risk, and indeed risks that at the time of the loan are not clearly understood. In fact, warrants were used as one of the most significant structural elements in the Treasury’s takeover of AIG.

    I believe that the $700 billion facility that is being considered by Congress should also incorporate this feature, reflecting the substantial burden and risk being assumed by the American taxpayer. The use of warrants would, in turn, help to compensate for the vagaries of valuing the mortgages and securities that will be bought by the Treasury in that they provide a second channel (i.e., independent of the results of the Government’s work-out efforts) for rewarding us for the risk that we have assumed. In other words, we would benefit from the improved fortunes of the financial services industry as it returns to health…… with that health presumably reflected in higher stock prices, a nearer term possibility with the elimination of all of that bad debt that we the taxpayer now own.

    Furthermore, the prospect of shareholder dilution could cause the banks to be more discriminating in their selection of the securities that they sell to the Treasury, keeping those with even slightly better prospects to be worked through themselves, minimizing the size of the pool (and the funding requirement) that would be laid off on the rest of us.

    And finally a related point. The use of warrants would force boards of directors to determine whether or not the sale of distressed mortgages to the Government is in the best interest of current shareholders, or if with better management and systems they could work their way through this mess without intervention.

    My sense of the legislation now being considered makes it look as though everyone should jump aboard this white knight. In my opinion, it should not be that easy.

    Fran G.: You also noticed Jim Bullis as I did several months ago. He is in California where he designs high efficency vehicles. He has tried to interest the government and the military in his high speed bullet-shaped vehicles that sit higher (than current types) above the roadbed or track. He is stuck on the same battery problem as is GM. Grady Lee Howard suggested to Jim several months ago his bullet cars could be powered by a cantenary (overhead electric lines)when on superhighways and by battery on streets. Jim's ideas are a far reach from Mommy vans and muscle cars, but show the direction we might travel if we were to insist on the extravagance of individual cars. I have suggested to Jim that his cars be rentals we all could use as needed.

    The main thing Jim Bullis correctly understands is the urgency of restoring domestic manufacturing activity with vital innovative energy- saving products. Under present conditions innovative (outside capitalist parameters) financial schemes such as worker and community ownership and management might also be required. Rules and mindsets fearful old- capitalist-fashioned people hold dear might have to be implemented. The Bailout certainly opens the door to pragmatic experimentation in the financial realm, now that conservatives and capitalists are violating all the ideals and principles they recently held so dear (or did they really?).

    Americans live by the most rapacious of capitalist ideologies; yet, those same plutocrats and oligarchs truly risk nothing when they gamble in that public funds, the dollars created by the actual productive labors of the working class of Americans, can be freely tapped to reimburse them. Americans are largely a class of mules and donkeys doing the work that makes rich speculators richer even when those "capitalists" bleed the nation dry and expect the workers to pay it off.

    Now that we are nationalizing these huge corporations we are no different than China: the practice, the reality of the nation bears no resemblance to the self-delusive rhetoric of the nation. Americans in general are so profoundly ignorant of their own "system" that they are fooled by all the metaphors that are used to whitewash the actual structure of power and finance in their own country. In general they are quite willing to "bail out" the system when in fact this is tantamount to directly financing the irresponsible gambling of their ruling/wealthy class.

    Insane.

    Only for a Price! These businesses have obviously not learned any lesson from the junk bond bailout, the S & L bailout, Enron & World Com. I want payment from evey CEO and Accounting Firm & executive who knowingly took the path of greed and high risk. When do they start forfeiting their personal salaries per Sarbannes Oxley Act? Wasn't that supposed to prevent recurrence of Enron? When the gov't finds people growing pot they take away their homes and all their assets. When is the govt going to do the same and make those who got rich off of risky deals and pulse loans, & consumer credit? If the money is given with no confessions signed, no requirements for fiscal openness & no PAYBACK WITH INTEREST to the gov't, we are enabling the financial sector just like a drug addict who cannot be trusted to reform.

    All good business decisions have a clear & positive monetary RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI). No taxpayer money should be spent without making these companies sign confessions and ensuring we taxpayers get an ROI for these loans & bailouts. They can even make the companies pay back by levying a tax on the entire sector until the payment with interest is returned to taxpayers.

    Bill -
    The Man Who Saw The Credit Crash Coming -

    Just listened to Charles Morris speak of his book, "The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash" - his book published in March 2008 predicted the credit crash. Mr. Morris wrote the software for investment banks and predicted the crash would come in Summer 2008 warning the public with his book.

    The Trillion Dollar Meltdown explains how we got here, and what is about to happen. If you can, I would appreciate you having Mr. Morris on your show. He appeared on Business Week - video here:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2713952180767819856&ei=ZbrWSM6fC5KKqQOypLDHAg&q=charles+morris+meltdown&vt=lf&hl=en

    Also here he was on National Public Radio indicating he warned many financial individuals and banks and was ignored.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89123972

    Thank you for your programs.


    They all fail to mention that the S&L banking failure and bail out was caused by the SAME mix of deregulation-free market that caused the current crisis.

    And who was directly involved? McCain and Alan Greenspan, who wrote a report that Lincoln Savings and Loan was 'sound', right before it failed.

    McCain stalled the investigation for two years.

    I'm with Yglesias. However, unlike him, I know exactly what needs to be done:

    First, let the system fail. Do NOT pour more billions (or trillions) into it. Let it FAIL. AFTER it fails, your billions (or trillions) will go MUCH farther. And by letting it fail, you will have accomplished a truly bloodless revolution.

    A market failure would in itself be a great social leveler. Since the super-rich insisted on the freedom to "play" the "free" market according to their own rules, they can hardly complain when their little game (aka gamble) fails, and they lose their shirt, just like any other sucker in any casino anywhere in the world. So the first phase of our socialist revolution will have been accomplished simply by letting the "market" take its course.

    Next, we use our billions (or trillions) to do all the things we should have been doing in the first place: restore our decaying infrastructure; develop alternative sources of energy; create decent paying jobs; house the homeless and dispossessed; create the sort of social safety net that would make the loss of everyone's pension or retirement account beside the point. Oh and while we're at it -- develop a chain of rehab centers for those hopelessly addicted to OPM (Other People's Money).

    I recently watched an article on Bill Moyer's Journal (September 12, 2008) titled "Free Speech or Foul- Is the shock talk on talk radio effecting our political discourse?" http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09122008/profile.html
    The beginning of the story talks about a murder that occurred in July, 2008 at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universal Church http://www.tvuuc.org. The story then discussed whether the mentally deranged man who did the shooting was affected by listening to and reading inflammatory material from Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0730/p02s06-usec.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Knoxville_Unitarian_Universalist_church_shooting

    What struck me emotionally watching this story was seeing how much my church, (Columbia United Christian Church) www.cucc-md.org
    is like the church where the murders occurred. Like TVU, we welcome people of all political faiths, sexual orientations, races and genders to our congregation. Our Church Prayer of Thanksgiving is

    Thank you, Living Christ, for inviting us and people of all spiritual paths, ages, mental and physical abilities, races, economic levels, political perspectives, sexual orientations and fellowships into this community of love and healing; and for always being present with us in the breaking of bread.

    According to a sworn affidavit by one of the officers who interviewed the perpetrator, the perpetrator stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country. My congregation is largely comprised of people who are more to the left on the political spectrum, and if it wasn't for geography, could have been a choice for the actor's assault.

    It would be inappropriate to blame Savage, O'Reilly, and Hannity for causing the murders at this church. There were a number of factors, including poverty, desperation, mental illness, marital issues, and the ability of this sick man to obtain firearms, which all contributed to this tragedy .But it would also be inappropriate to let those who use inflammatory political discussions that dehumanize and alienate those who disagree with them off the hook.

    In Miguel Angel Ruiz's book, the Four Agreements, he nails the effect of negative communication/ Ruiz equates hateful speech to a virus. Like a virus, hate messages spread and mutate. They become part of the being, and part of the society.
    Modern communications provide a rapid delivery system for the virus of hate. The sheer number and scope of our communications provide multiple transmission vehicles for infection, with pinpoint accuracy. And the orators of hate recycle their messages for TV, print, email, and the Web.

    As a society, we are titillated by the aggressive argument. Whether it's Jerry Springer or Michael Savage, we just love to watch a good fight. A strong position argued passionate by a persuasive person tends to strengthen our beliefs when we initially agree with the message.

    The problem is that our political rhetoric has gotten past the point of civil discussion or oration. We have moved to incendiary and inflammatory commentary that serves not just to alienate us from each other, but also to dehumanize our neighbors as the irrational, moronic, treasonist enemy. And a very small portion of this population takes this too far.

    The one thing that people on the Right and the Left have in common is that both groups love this country with a passion. In general, the Left's passion is directed towards taking care of the poor, making sure the environment is safe, and justice towards the lower and middle classes. The Right focuses on having a strong defense, personal liberties, strong personal values, and freedom to achieve.

    The Right and the Left need to see that their focuses are not mutually exclusive, in fact, they are complimentary. Our respective parties and the media focused on our highlighting and even exploiting our differences, and using these differences as a wedge between us. Ruiz calls how we filter our view of our world as "the dream" in which we live. The "our neighbor is our enemy" dream is dangerous and counterproductive. We need to adopt the "we all care" dream.

    There are those who would argue that free speech is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. The Supreme Court has determined that indeed it is, and they've also determined that drinking alcohol is a right, owning a gun is a right, and choosing to terminate a pregnancy is a right. But with all of these rights come responsibilities. You can own a gun, but you have a responsibility to use it carefully. You can drink, but you have a responsibility to protect the life of those around you by not operating a car while intoxicated. You have a right to terminate a pregnancy, but you also have an obligation not to use abortion as a primary means of birth control.

    The last example is also an example that shows that the law doesn't necessarily need to define what a responsibility is. I'm very sure that both sides of the Choice/Life argument would agree that a forced termination of a pregnancy is a difficult and tragic event in a woman's life. It's self-evident on both sides that abortion should be as rare as possible.

    Speech can be informative, speech can be motivational, speech can be exciting. Speech can also hurt, incite, and manipulate people. Speech is a tool, and like most tools, it can be used to destroy or to build. It's a tool that is protected by our Constitution, and like that protected gun, it can be used for good or evil.

    The responsibilities associated with free speech fall both on the sender and the receiver of our right. The sender has a responsibility to be civil, truthful, and respectful of those who receive the message, as well as those who don't want to hear the message, to the best of the sender’s ability. It's OK to be forceful, and to have an opinion, but it is wrong to manipulate or deceive, or anger people by attacking them or as equating their beliefs as being non-American. The receiver has an obligation to determine the context of the information being recieved, the motivations of the speaker, and an obligation not to repeat things are offensive and not true. A receiver has an obligation to correct the record, if something is incorrect, if not directly, by at least talking to those around them who discuss the message. Finally a receiver has an obligation to turn off messaging that is of a corrosive nature.

    The sponsors of speech also have a responsibility not to support speech which takes the low road. A commercial sponsor who avoids this responsibility, even outside of ratings, transfers the toxicity of this speech to their brand, their goodwill, and their shareholders.

    History has shown time and time again that it is abuse of our rights which causes restrictions on our rights. Every Columbine results in people who want to restrict the rights of people to own violent video games and guns. Our right to free speech gets more restrictive every time a riot breaks out. If you love America, if you love our rights, then you are obligated to use them in a correct way.

    As a Christian, my responsibility goes beyond this. My speech should be a reflection of Jesus, who told us that next to loving God, treating our neighbors as we would want ourselves treated is the essence of Christian life. Those who receive my messages, no matter where they are, are my neighbors.

    What is truly unfortunate to me is that if the actor in the Tennessee church murders would have come into Tennessee Valley Unitarian to ask for help, he would have undoubtedly met with open arms by that congregation. I know he would have been welcomed in mine, and hopefully in yours.

    Seems to me that the U.S. Citizens, along with our government, have forgotten the law of supply and demand (when supplies, money and commodities, become abundant, people tend to misuse goods.) If the congress would have kept the interest rate higher and limited the amount of money supply to the financial institutions we would not be in this dilemma. Instead the government chooses to interject a greater supply of money into the economy thru rebates and not regulate the mortgage and banking industry. Hence the greed flourished and now we must continue to live with the mistake. In short: It is the Congress of the US which is to blame for the financial meltdown. They are like a bunch of four year old kids arguing over who has the biggest lollypop. They fiddle and fuddle while out economy fails!

    Seems to me that the U.S. Citizens, along with our government, have forgotten the law of supply and demand (when supplies, money and commodities, become abundant, people tend to misuse goods.) If the congress would have kept the interest rate higher and limited the amount of money supply to the financial institutions we would not be in this dilemma. Instead the government chooses to interject a greater supply of money into the economy thru rebates and not regulate the mortgage and banking industry. Hence the greed flourished and now we must continue to live with the mistake. In short: It is the Congress of the US which is to blame for the financial meltdown. They are like a bunch of four year old kids arguing over who has the biggest lollypop. They fiddle and fuddle while out economy fails!

    Look, I think it is simple. Divide the national debt between the top one percent of income recipients and divide that by ten. I figure that there are about 340,000,000 legal residents.

    Are we looking at an amount between a mere $32,000 and 33,000 per year surcharge for ten years. Someone check my mathematics.

    That is nothing for the super rich. They can pay off the national debt and still enjoy being rich and not bother the rest of us.

    See, it is all so simple. We can let these special patriots wear special flag lapel pins.

    Look, I think it is simple. Divide the national debt between the top one percent of income recipients and divide that by ten. I figure that there are about 340,000,000 legal residents.

    Are we looking at an amount between a mere $32,000 and 33,000 per year surcharge for ten years. Someone check my mathematics.

    That is nothing for the super rich. They can pay off the national debt and still enjoy being rich and not bother the rest of us.

    See, it is all so simple. We can let these special patriots wear special flag lapel pins.

    Gretchen Morgenson is right on to say top executives who got bailouts in the millions when they left their failed investment bank firms or insurance cos should be forced to return those dollars to the US govt Treasury. If the "parents" were not minding the store and let the "kids" play with other people's money then its the parents who should be made accountable. Just like pit bull owners whose dogs attack, bite, or kill people. It sends a loud and clear message to reformers, investors, brokers, bankers and all Wall Street players that the game is real with real consequences for their own pockets. It's the same idea as having to follow the laws of driving a car. Drunk drivers lose their priviledges because they are accountable for risking and/or hurting others. Get it? The financial markets are no different. They should be requied to play by the rules and when they don't they need to pay the price. No excuses like "I didn't know", "I didn't see it coming", or "It was OK because there was no regulation." They all saw it coming. It was clear for the past 2 or 3 years that the markets were out of control, debt was a national life-style, and the investment houses were selling derivatives that no one knew how to do the accounting for. Get real! These people should not be let off the hook.

    Solution:

    Why not create a Federal government agency similar to the FDIC that can step in and provide the interim financial liquidity to customers of financial institutions that are on the brink of failing. This way, liquidity is provided to people and companies on an interim basis until such time that they can transfer their financial relationship to another healthy financial institution. Such an arrangement would allow us to avoid bailing out senior management and investors, e.g. let the poorly managed financial institutions fail. Finally, we can avoid putting tax payor dollars at risk by going out and buying assets to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars and wonder if we'll get 100 cents on the dollar. This type of action protects our healthy borrowers and our economy, but, not the incompetent senior management, Board of Directors, and invetors of the failing financial institutions. I would also charge this entity with the authority to go after the senior management and Board of Directors of failing financial institutions and prosecute if illegal activity was found to be the root cause.

    That's my final two cents on this matter.

    Re: Jim Bullis, Sept 20
    I like your positive solutions. This is more the American Way than the griping that most of us have fallen into. (I'm so tired of whining, I'm starting to bore myself.)

    I see one drawback. I looked out at our little city street yesterday, and out of 30 cars I saw TWO regular sized sedans. All the others were big vans and SUV's. Even with the high cost of gas, people are choosing big autos. Those who coveted a monster before are apparently delighted that the price has been reduced!

    I wish we could find a way to make people want what's good for us. We're all preaching to the choir here. Does Rush Limbaugh have a blog? That's where we need to take these messages.

    THE WEEK THE WORLD SHOOK

    Wow Did you see what happened this week? The US government acted swiftly and decisively to build a complete long range electrical transmission infrastructure to connect the windy plains and the sunny deserts to the population centers that need cheap, clean energy. They also installed tens of thousands of giant wind generators and covered hundreds of square miles with photo-voltaic cells and Sterling generators.
    No, wait. I got that wrong. It seems the 5% of the people who control 90% of the wealth were getting a little worried about an “investment” they made. They decided they could make a lot of easy money by selling overpriced loans to people who couldn’t afford them to buy houses that were way overpriced. When it became clear that the whole deal was turning out about as well as any reasonable person would have expected my God the world was coming to an end. The Stock Market was down 25%, oh, my At this point it helps to remember that it is not even a bear market until it’s down 20%, and we were continually told that we are not in a recession and that “the fundamentals are sound”. But, it quickly became clear that this was such a world shaking disaster that in just a few days just a few people decided that we Americans should spend a TRILLION DOLLARS to try to undue it. Remember that a trillion is a million times a million. About $6,500 for every tax payer in America just for this bailout. We couldn’t possibly let the laws of capitalism work on these important folks because if they lost a lot of money they wouldn’t be able to sponsor their great ideas like the dot com bubble and the oil bubble. I wonder what they will think of next. It wouldn’t be moral for us to let them lose their money because, to be fair, wingtips don’t have bootstraps.
    To put this into perspective we need to remember that for many years just about every responsible scientist has said that we are killing the Earth(and therefore ourselves) with our fossil fuel consumption. We are destroying our economy by sending all our wealth to the oil exporting sheiks and borrowing more to finance a perpetual war to keep them in power.
    When our political leaders are questioned about these problems that threaten not only the American way of life but also human life on this Earth they mumble something about it not being practical at this time. Now we see that for the same amount of money it is much more practical to bail out some extremely dumb rich folks than to save America and life on Earth. If we as a species can’t make better decisions than this perhaps the Earth will be better off without us.

    Richard

    CONSIDER THIS!

    From USA TODAY Editorial Sept 19, 2008:
    "Forget for a moment sophisticated financial explanations of what went wrong and look at the campaign score card: Among the nation's 100 top political donors since 1989 are 10 of the nation's biggest banks and investment firms. Their employees showered lawmakers, political parties and presidential candidates with $170 million... While the money flowed, financial institutions generally got what they wanted in Washington..."

    WOW! $170 Million dollars! A lot of money! And given over almost two decades... Citizens can't possibly compete with that!

    REALLY?

    WAKE UP AND THINK!!!!

    There's a POWER in SMALL money, LARGE numbers & Immediate Feedback that may not have occurred to you...

    ENABLE POLITICAL MICRODONATION!
    www.Chagora.com

    These corporate greedy poor excuses for humans have taken the constitution and made a mochery out of it.

    The Republicans have gotten everything they have wanted and Congress has gone along with them.

    We say it is the politicians and corporations but corporations are run by people, greedy money hungry people. Our current regime has allowed our jobs to be sent overseas, given tax breaks to the extremly wealthy and the oil companies, sent money to other countries to "help" them through their crisis, allowed us to be screwed over by insurance and drug companies, they continue to pour money into a space program (for what reason?) and an illegal war, waste millions of dollars on black water, millions earmarked for the war have come up missing and on and on it goes. Then they have the odacity to demand that the average citizen pay for their unfettered out of control "leadership".

    I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! HOW ABOUT YOU? I SAY LET THEM FIND THEIR OWN WAY OUT OF THIS MESS. IT IS NOT "OUR" MESS IT IS THEIRS. THEY SHOULD ALL BE SENT TO PRISON FOR THE CRIMES THEY HAVE COMMITTED AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THEY SHOULD ALSO HAVE THEIR MILLION DOLLAR SEVERANCE AND RETIRMENT PACKAGES TAKEN AWAY. WE SHOULD ALSO HAVE ACCESS TO THEIR OFF SHORE ACCOUNTS. ANYONE GOING TO DUBAI SHOULD NOT PASS GO AND GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL. I HATE THEM ALL. IT IT TIME FOR A REVOLUTION AGAINST THE WEALTHY!

    How do you think the economic crisis should be handled?
    If the Congress, Senate and the Justice System did their work, duties, responsibility and
    accountability, we would not have ongoing war and trillion dollars debt bail out
    for rampage corruption!
    The deregulations over the years is the prime reason, and Congress and Senate turn
    blind eye and rubber stamp everything, intent - run the country into the ground!
    In mean while as the deregulations went in effect the public is powerless to stopped
    them! The public under the Constitution do not have right and do not have privilege to
    express their “WILL by participating in the process of POWER”! Do not have right do
    express their “WILL on ALL ISSUES”, such as WAR, BAIL OUT, LAWS, ECONOMY,
    JUDICAL SYSTEM, HEALTH CARE, SOCIAL SECUTITIES, PORK BARREL
    PROJECTS, PENSION, EDUCATION etc.
    ARE YOUR IDEAS POLITICALLY POSSIBLE? YES!
    There is no quick solution. Total or partly Nationalization of the economy and bail
    out, leads to greater problems later! Prime example was Eastern and Central Europe
    after WORLD WARII!
    It is “POLITICALLY POSSIBLE” only when the people are “empower to participate
    in power” to express their “WILL on ALL ISSUES”! The trust in a government
    representation through representative such as the Senate, Congress, president etc. is gone
    forever, as far as I am concern. To solve the crises for a long period of time I believe the
    CONSTITUTION should be amended.
    THE CONSTITUTION SHOULD EMPOWER THE PEOPLE to PARTICIPATE in
    “the process of power” by being able to “EXPRESS THEIR WILL ON ALL ISSUES”.

    The comments of Kevin Phillips and Andrew Bacevich are very similiar. US consumers and the US government has taken on too much debt, and this level of debt can't be sustained.

    Unfortunately, not many scholars or economists or politicans are saying what this level of debt really means.

    It means the end of American society as we know it with captilism and free enterprise and a lower standard of living for most except for the very few at the top of the food chain.

    There is some good news about it though, and that is the US will not be able to afford many more wars to spread democracy.

    The serious question, however, is will American be able to have the funds to defend itself?

    The bailout is the "no end in site" solution. We need a better way.

    Back in January we had a discussion here http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2008/01/assessing_the_economic_growth_1.html about how to stimulate the economy. Some were saying we should have massive public projects like during the depression. I tried to make the case that it would be far better to use our industrial base to build innovative products, thereby putting us back in a manufacturing leadership position in the world, thus providing good jobs for Americans.

    Now we are realizing that the American financial system is in terrible shape as well. I contend that it will not be permanently fixed without reactivating our domestic industrial base. Otherwise the banks will continue to lend money to each other and make high interest loans to unwitting people who have not a reliable basis to repay such loans. And now, the big news is, that the US Govt. will buy the bad loans. How do they think this will end?

    It is possible to build high efficiency cars that are completely new and not at all like the conventional auto industry product. If adapted in large numbers, these would solve much of the oil dependence and global warming problem. I am suggesting that we rapidly adapt industry to produce millions of such cars with a wartime production attitude. Thus we would also restart the economy.

    It is an essential premise that the cars produced would be high efficiency cars and not just conventional products. It is also an essential premise that we not get confused by marketing deceptions where electric motors and batteries are stuck in basic cars with the pretense of making a big difference, when in reality such modifications will only shift the energy source from oil to coal. Unlike wind and solar, where large capital investments are required, the cost of the high efficiency car solution is naturally funded as people buy new cars. No taxpayer participation needed.

    When I say "we" should adapt industry to this new form of production I am thinking the general public. That general public needs to know that there are better alternatives to choose from, and then to demand products that are really different.

    Some such possibilities are being entered in the Progressive Automotive XPRIZE competition and can be seen at http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/prize-details/loi-contenders . Solutions like this could lead us out of the mess instead of on into an ever deeper disaster.


    This bailout is insulting!

    I'm beginning to feel that the rich have turned the tax collecting system into their personal mad money account.

    Between Halliburton and this corrupt financial system, it seems that the American taxpayer is being made the victims of a wholesale gift.
    How can they find this money for them in a blink of an eye, but they can't find a third of that money to secure a health care system that will take care of cancer patients like myself rather than force us into a life of financial insecurity!

    Is it time to storm the castle yet?

    Posted by: Joy “

    You make a great point. We ought to expect no bailout without full health coverage for all Americans, visitors with green cards, and anyone else legally in the United States. Wage restrictions on any one working for or with any institution that receives a bailout ought to be demanded. Robert Rubin and Phil Gramm types must not be engages officially in any part of the bailouts.

    The ease with which our political leaders provide for this bailout appalls me. It exposes the lot for the crooks that they must be. Stop all proceeding on the bailout until we get universal health care, restoration of progressive taxation (or elimination of payroll deductions), and restrictions on excessive compensation in any of the ostensively nationalized financial institutions. Anti-usury, and elimination of credit card debit for all overdue accounts. Oh, and nationaization of Halliburton.

    This bailout is insulting!

    I'm beginning to feel that the rich have turned the tax collecting system into their personal mad money account.

    Between Haliburton and this corrupt financial system, it seems that the American taxpayer is being made the victims of a wholesale grift.

    How can they find this money for them in a blink of an eye, but they can't find a third of that money to secure a health care system that will take care of cancer patients like myself rather than force us into a life of financial insecurity!

    Is it time to storm the castle yet?

    Dear Bill,

    We watch you religiously (and I know you have a strong progressive faith background!) every week. You are one of the few beacons of light and reason in these difficult times.

    One gripe: In this week's stories on the economy, there was no mention of military spending, in particular this debacle in the Middle East. We've spent about the same amount of money there as in these bailouts. Isn't there a link between excessive military (not defense) spending and our current economic woes? Please, do what you can to make that issue more prominent in future stories about our economy.

    Keep up the good work. We're about the same age and I too come from a faith background, but one expressing itself in the kinds of issues you believe in. I'm glad you got back to journalism. Retirement was tempting I'm sure, but you were somehow pulled back into the fray - and we're grateful.

    Paul Whiting
    Billings, Montana

    Bill,

    I'm a media activist that admires your work, but I'm very sad to see you engaging in the same political bigotry as the corporate media show towards Independent candidates.

    Consumer advocate and Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader predicted this crisis years ago and he has a 10 point plan to cool off the financial markets crisi, but you want have him or any of the Independent candidates on your show.

    Please show us that Amy Goodman isn't the only show where we can here from the only unembedded and Indepedent candidates.

    The Green Party has the first all women of color ticket. Why is that not worthy of coverage?

    You and your producers are better than this. Please live up to your responsibility to give fair coverage to important voices that will certainly be a factor this election.

    I'm an Ohio voter, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore! Don't marginalize my views and the only candidates that are talking about real solutions to the Corporatocracy.

    When I was growing up after WWII, blue collar workers, many of whom were veterans, built their homes with loans from the FHA. The loans were government backed and reasonable. Only later did I discover that they were only available to white people. Still, it enabled many people of modest means to have decent housing.

    When I attended college in the sixties, I knew many people with student loans whose modest interest rates were guaranteed by the government.

    Then, I'm not sure when, banks were handed all this business.They charged predatory interest rates to people who were least able to afford them, and when they fell behind, the rates often went up.

    To extend that kind of "help" to minorities and other socially disadvantaged people is doubly cruel. The real social advantage was given to banks, not their customers, and now we are bailing them out. Frankly, I hope there is a movement to refinance some of these ridiculous loans in line with the incomes of the people who were conned into them. It will keep a lot of people from becoming homeless, and banks, not individuals, will learn to live on a tighter budget.

    I consider this "bailout" to be the last straw! I had a small conservative mutual fund in bonds and such for 18 years that started with $500 and got to $1000 over that time. Now Bush and his rich buddies have stolen ALL OF IT from me!!! I lost everything yesterday!! This is all about the rich getting richer and basically killing the middle and lower class folks like myself. It is bad enough we the people are already footing an impossible debt because of the illegal wars and the out of control raining of prices on everything, especially basic needs!!! It' getting impossible to buy groceries!!!!! THIS IS FACISM!!! I AM SO OUTRAGED!!!
    It used to be possible to live on a cash basis. Now days one can not afford basic needs in groceries, medicine, etc and is forced to live on credit cards!!! IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!!
    Now Bush and Cheney and their friends are getting even richer. Now Bush and Cheney own 80% of AIG, that means they will be getting money from that!!!
    Capitalism is Facism!!
    I think Gretchen Morgenson put it really well: "The ugly thing about this is privatizing gains and socializing losses."
    I'm so outraged now (its been building for a while)that I used to be a person of peace and find peaceful solutions to everything...now, thanks to this regime, have given up on peace. Now I think the only answer is violence (its all they understand). The bail outs will not work. They will only make things worse! What needs to happen is another depression!! Bring on the breadlines, soup kitchens and riots in the streets!

    I agree with the postings above that claim the corporations really run the country for their own benefit. A commentator recently said "They know they have to let us vote every four years so they spend tons of money to influence our choices. No tactic is too ugly to retain power." I think publicly funded elections is is the start of the answer. Keep the corporate money out of elections. Politicians not beholden to corporations can legislate to control them and their financial empires.

    I too feel sorrow for the burden pushed on the taxpayers by these selfish greedy people.

    One part I don't fully understand: I read references that we (the US govt) has to support these big institutions because if we don't the INTERNATIONAL FUNDERS will stop investing in our economy; stop lending us money. It is a matter of keeping the faith with other nations, like China, Japan, mid-East oil rich nations, etc. Is this a major reason behind the bail outs also? If so, how can we stop borrowing so much from them and get our national and personal financial lives back in order? Consume less oil? Consume less imports? I'd like to see more exploration of this facet on your program. As always, love your show and the integrity of your guests and topics. Please keep up the good work.

    Does anyone remember how this started? Does anyone remember how the price for a house escalated beyond the reach of the average American family?Who did this?Not the buyer. It was Wall Street speculators.It was Wall Street GREED.They squeezed so much blood from the turnip that it collapsed.They should not be bailed out with our money unless the price of housing is adjusted to be affordable to the average American.Itwas their fault prices went out of control. It was Congress's fault for doing nothing to stop their unbridled greed. The taxpayer SHOULD NOT bail them or Congress out UNLESS the American citizen can once again
    buy an affordable house.

    Many economists and other people, including Congressman Ron Paul, believe that the Federal Reserve System (quasi public central banking system) and the lack of gold standard behind our money are also problematic with our current monetary policies.

    Some economists criticize the Federal Reserve System’s expansionary monetary policy in the 1920s, arguing that the policy allowed misallocations of capital resources and supported a massive stock price bubble. They also cite politically motivated expansions or tightening of currency in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Even Ben Bernanke agreed that the Federal Reserve made the Great Depression worse.

    One major area of criticism is the failure of the Federal Reserve System to stop inflation. Will inflation now become much worse under the government's financial bailout of Wall Street?

    I am hoping your future programs will address these issues.

    None of what occurred this week should come as a surprise. Iraq, Katrina, and now the financial sector meltdown are all examples of just how grossly incompetent and damaging this administration has been. The bill now coming due after years of rapine behavior will be staggering, and it has been shifted squarely onto the backs of the US middle class.

    Democrats have absolutely been complicit in bringing about current conditions. But they have in large part been following the lead of Republicans, who for the last quarter century have dominated public discourse. The result has been a normalization and acceptance of astoundingly selfish behavior that may take us many years, if not decades, to recover from.

    Perhaps the only good to come of the other shoe yet to drop – the spiraling unemployment that must accompany the deepening downturn – will be that free market ideologues and their mouth pieces in the media will finally be exposed and discredited in the eyes of ordinary Americans.

    Companies are now run by folks who do not have a personal stake in them. They did not start the company or help build it and many times are not part of the community where they are located. They are hired guns who are looking for their best interests and their's alone. Excutive retirement packages are being rewritten almost upon their arrival. It is sad that this type of greed continues to florish. We have had plenty of warnings in the last twenty plus years. We are all to blame for allowing these folks to behave this irresponibly. Legislators need to be voted out, Judges fired, the Press needs to quit looking for sensationalism and doing some real work, Stockholders need to be more aware and we all need to be more financially aware and prudent. We all need to quit being conned and grow up. We as Americans and taxpayers deserve better and should demand it.

    Bill,
    My head is still spinning from this week's Wall Street financial meltdown, as well as, our government just recently buying Freddie and Fannie, etc. What this all means to our national debt, which includes entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, and how this will effect Americans, is still unfolding and appears very dismal for the years ahead.

    I am very angry that for several years our Congress and various Presidents have allowed our country to race to the bottom. Yet, voters keep voting these bums into office, which they don't deserve our vote and confidence in. I am hoping that voters will have had enough now and have woken up to our national nightmare and vote these do nothing incumbents out of office to save this country.

    Corporations are to blame here, too, for their lobbying and taking over our government with elected officials. We need need election reform to allow for public financing of our elections.

    I watch your program faithfully and I am always informed. I hope you will provide your viewers before this upcoming election with how this financial meltdown happened. You have done programs on the fraud and predatory lending of mortgage and credit. However, a program on Congress passing legislation that led to this mess.

    The shattering of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 under the Clinton administration that allowed for the separation of commercial and investment banking; the Community Reinvestment Act in 1995 that requires home ownership opportunities to under-served populations and commercial loans to small businesses, etc. It is my understanding that President Bush, as bad as he is, tried to get Congress to do a regulatory overhaul of the housing finance industry but Congress didn't want to.

    I look forward to your future programs as more information unfolds. Thank you, once again.

    Bail outs are setting a bad example. While I'm all for saving peoples pensions and 401ks from going down the tubes, they do nothing to prevent it from happening again, nor do they punish the folks that created the mess. Many, many wall street execs took millions in salary and bonuses knowing that they were selling lemons. There needs to be accountability and a price to pay for lying, cheating and stealing. Without it, nothing will change.

    Isn't there a Wall Street mentality that has a vulnerability that needs to be controled? I believe, there is a type of psychological complex described in which the drive for success becomes obsessive and inevitably leads to tragic endings, like Napoleon's ever growing ambition led him to his own demise. Concepts like "growth," "expansion," and, indeed, "success," seem to bear a kind of intrinsic unsustainability or insatiability that is prone to disaster. I think that describing it simply as "greed" will not help us find the solution.

    Gretchen Morgenson was right on most things, except on two points. When she says 'call me a bleeding heart but I feel sorry for the victims of the predatory lenders'. Excuse me but people with no job that buy a $400,000 house with no money down shouldn't be surprised 2 years later when they can't afford the balloon payments. They are just as much to blame. Also Morgenson implies that 'after 10 or 15 years of free markets that didn't work we need a new approach'. Another near-sighted observation. You can't say free market capitalism doesn't work when you refuse to prosecute obvious cases of fraud. Free markets do work when you enforce basic laws and contracts, and ensure floating prices.

    Fantastic program last night. Thank you again for the interviews.

    The bailouts might let us transform our political economy. In that sense, they are good. The aim of policy in the institutions we now now must be for the weal of all. The highest pay that anyone should be allowed to receive in our society is no more than ten times the minimum wage. I do think this is politically possible. Once we own AIG, it should belong to every citizen. The institution ought to be to improve the lives of all people and not to feed the greed of a few speculators. Those guys failed. They ought to be out of the picture. AIG now belongs to Joe Sixpack.

    This is just the old mining or mill town on a global scale. Now the owners want to rob our workers' coop to keep the vicious cycle going.

    Let's all join Johnny in a chorus of "Sixteen Tons":
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boXa8c6OuRQ

    I wish a journalist would ask:

    What visionary project (other than the emergency overhauling of the banking system) that you introduce during your administration will come to fruition fifty years from now, and how will it improve the lives of Americans?

    For John McCain: If you have been a maverick in Congress for 30 years, and you have not been able to persuade your fellow Republican Representatives and Senators that your way of thinking is right on some key issues, what leads you to believe that you will be successful getting their cooperation, as well as that of Democrats, now? In what way will your leadership break the logjam recently apparent in Congress?

    I am confused about your campaign slogan, “Country First.” What do you think is being put first at the present time? What do you think should be second after “country”?

    For Barak Obama: Are you a black man or a white man? Why do you call yourself a black man when your mother was white?

    Do you believe that President George W. Bush exhausted the diplomatic possibilities for avoiding war in Iraq before going to war? Had you been in his position a year before the Iraq War, would you have handled the situation differently?

    For John McCain: You have said in previous interviews that the job of Vice President entails inquiring about the President’s health and attending funerals of third world leaders. Do you expect that Sarah Palin, as Vice President, would have additional responsibilities? How would her responsibilities compare to those of Dick Cheney?


    I could go on forever…Thank you for letting me get these off my chest.

    Susan Sissman

    I wonder in all this mess with AIG (and the others) what happened to Sarbanes Oxley and the allegedly more rigorous oversight requirements in the post Enron world ?

    The crisis in the financial sector should not be attributed to the greed of the financial sector, although every last banker may indeed be greedy. The greed, however, is secondary part of the problem. The primary part of the problem is that the financial sector in the U.S. and in most of the world since the early 1990s is capitalist, i.e., the firms that comprise the financial sector are profit seeking. Because of this these firms, whether they are full of greedy people or not, cannot primarily organize the structure of the firm and its activities to perform the 'function of finance', i.e., the efficient and prudent reallocation of money capital resources from those who do not need them to those who do, which is absolutely central to efficient functioning of capitalism. Rather, these firms must primarily organize their activities to maximize their profit to compete with other firms, which many times (and the past 8 years is a perfect example of this) places their activities in a position that runs contrary to the activities required to perform 'the function of finance.'

    What must be understood from this is that there is nothing essential at all about having a financial sector that is capitalist. The financial sector can be run by the state or other non-profit seeking configurations. Until the early 1990s, almost half of largest European banks were state run. The fact that they were privatized was, as is almost always the case, a rip off of public wealth and resources for the benefit of the few.

    The problem with such a suggestion, of course, is that it threatens the class prerogatives of the financial classes, who have a great thing going, extracting enormous quantities of wealth from the productive economy.

    Nevertheless, whether a solution that is politically viable is available, the problem itself is quite clear and should be recognized and acknowledged. Otherwise, a solution will never be found.

    Bill,

    Have you heard, the Federal Government of the people, by the people, and for the people, just informed us that our latest opportunity to serve is now?

    We the poor taxpayers have the privilege of paying for the mistakes of the rich who as a group made Trillions of dollars and now want to keep it all while we pick up the pieces and since there will be no penalty they are free to do it all over again.

    The next time will be the third time and in the American Game of Baseball that gives them a Home Run.

    It is so funny that the American Voter is so stupid as to think the same people who destroyed the safe Financial System we had in place and dismantled the Regulations that protected it over the past 30 years are now going to Reregulate the rich and for what reason will they act, what is the motive to protect the poor and middle class now that we are paying the bills and letting them keep their jobs (which by the way they retire at full pay), why should they care about us when the rich pay them so well not to.

    There are no poor or middle class people on the Congress, it is true that compared to Senators the Representatives could be considered Step Children.

    The more I watch the thieves work their magic the more I am amazed by their guile. (Treacherous cunning; skillful deceit.) In case you wondered.

    Boy, talking about Congress with out cussing is a real adventure in Vocabulary. We who complain about the injustice of our government become better English students.

    Where are my heroes? Bill, I thank you for giving me a chance to write. You are among the few living and the only one I know who gives the poor a soap box.

    Back to Bailouts… in the truth that comes in the middle of the night when there is no one to impress and no one to know what you truly believe it will come to you and me that the Federal Government is not capable of Righteousness, it will always oppress the poor and serve the rich and this is the best example of that in 40 years.

    The righteous way to justice for the taxpayer is for Congress to send the bill to the super rich. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, the Walton’s, and all the other Billionaires and it would not hurt the ½ billionaires to pay for the mess that made them almost Billionaires. Sorry I must be dreaming….

    Bill, it is time to go, to say so long to a life we grew up with and face a new world of recession, unemployment, foreclosures, and most sad the loss of dreams. We have a big
    bill to pay now and no one can be happy at having their pockets picked by the very people who they elected. But I am sure that you will have a new subject for us to seek to understand so until then God Speed.

    I wonder if politicians would voluntarily accept a 15 percent pay as a memorial to vanishing middle class.

    Loved the show as always Bill.
    You are one of very few on TV that talk about real issues and have guests who actually know what they are talking about.

    Bail Out? WHo has the Golden Parachutes?
    The taxpayers who will have to fund this bailout are getting the Shaft, while the CEO's get the gold. When they start hanging the perpetrators from the lamp posts on Wall Street, we might get the situation under control.

    “The #1 rule of both Vegas and Wall Street is that there’s no such thing as a sure bet, so never bet more than you’re willing to lose,” my dad said. Turns out he was pretty smart. How many people still want to cash in their Social Security accounts to bet on odds of better returns on Wall Street? Or lend your Social Security account to bail out Wall Street's financial wizards? Let's see a show of hands for the economic principle of "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

    Well, if we make this loan deal, let's impose some closing costs. Mark all of our childrens' student loan accounts "paid in full," as well as the balances due on the credit cards they never should have been issued. I want a law enacted requiring the same signatures for credit cards that are required for the FAFSA.

    The current "housing crisis" underlying this Wall Street mess will not end when today's students graduate carrying mountains of debt into a shrinking job market. And from the looks of it, the only thing they're likely to inherit is their parents' unpaid debt.

    I do not understand why so many are calling this socialized capitalism or socialism. It is just the latest manifestation of the new corperatocracy, government of the people, by the corporations, for the corporations. Just take a look at how many people in Treasury and the justice dept., not to mention the World bank and IMF, come directly from Goldman Sachs and return there. Or how many of our highest government offices are held by people from the oil industry.

    "Tough new regulations forced lenders into high-risk areas where they had no choice but to lower lending standards to make the loans that sound business practices had previously guarded against making."--I suppose that he is arguing that they were forced by quotas to make these bad loans? One wonders when one reads comments like this if the person writing them believed them. That is hard to imagine. Basically he is saying that we destroyed the financial markets and foreclosed on millions of homes because we gave loans to black people. This person truly has no shame.

    Reinhold Niebuhr stated “the most significant moral characteristic of a nation is its hypocrisy.”

    When it comes to the suffering of middle-class Americans, there is, and will be, precious little help. The Republican hypocrisy that is running rampant these days is truly a sight to behold. These are the same people who worshiped at the alter of Reagan several decades ago, i.e., getting big government off the backs of average taxpayers. Of course, their target was the social welfare function of government. Exempt was the business welfare function of the government that they depended upon to make them and Wall Street even richer. Today it is more of the same. Where is the focus on the people who really need a safety net right now? There is none. Read last night’s headlines…Dow Rises 370 Points as US Plans Financial Rescue Package. Wall Street is rallying because “big government” is about to dump this mess of Wall Street's creation on us, the American taxpayers. And the cost? Billions, if not trillions, of dollars. Free enterprise for the middle-class, socialism for the rich. I am not surprised at the current spectacle of socialized capitalism. Appalled, but not surprised, at being stiffed once again by the “free lunch” crowd. So much for getting big government off the backs of average tax payers.

    And as for the Obama and the Democrats, are they any better? There has not been a dime’s worth of difference between both parties. What we have instead is a Washington one-party government with its all too cozy relationship with the moneyed interests and their K Street shills. Yesterday’s Congressional Democratic leadership’s positive response to the proposed bailout smells like more of the same. I am suspicious of Obama’s pinstripe relationship with Robert Rubin, et. al.. As Kevin Phillips said last night, the difference between Franklin Roosevelt and Obama is the financial money.

    Yes, “the most significant moral characteristics of a nation is its hypocrisy.” And hypocrites only end up fooling themselves. There are plenty of those these days.

    The Government is telling us that bail outs of financial giants like AIG, Fannie and Freddie are necessary to prevent our financial system from meltdown. I am against bail outs but am worried about the consequences of not doing anything. Have any our so called experts said anything about it is ok not to bail out? And, I don't mean politicians, like McCain who is likely not to know more about the economy than ME. I agree with Kevin Phillips that this crisis is a bipartisan thing but I don't think he can argue against any politician supporting bailing out AIG is doing so under the influence of Wall Street unless he can assure us that we can afford these Giants fail.

    My fellow citizens: If this Repubican government is going to be "pragmatic" and NATIONALIZE selected Wall Street financial organizations overnight (without citizen approval), let's insist "conservatives" NATIONALIZE our OIL (yes, all that offshore Drill, Baby, Drill U.S.A. oil) and use it to bail out the U.S., ie us. They could inform Congress overnight they're going to be pragmatic and also help US, since we are in a CRISIS. For how can the 99.8% of US keep ourselves solvent and pay for the bailout of the .2%? (You know it's sort of not talked about that some countries -other than Venezuela- nationalize their energy resources for their country's benefit.) Then oil from Alaska drilling wouldn't all be sold to Japan this time. Why let subsidized Big Oil sell our black gold extracted from Federal land abroad, so that they can make big profits? - particularly when we might require it for our survival needs and be too bankrupt to buy it. If the Feds sold our NATIONALIZED OIL to CHINA, maybe we could REDUCE OUR DEBT to them. Then we could pay for a civilized social safety net to meet the 2000 election Bushit promise to fund the "Social Security Trust Fund." If this present government is taking Tom Friedman advice to "be China for one day, but not for two days", let's nationalize some other energy companies in that one day (like P.G.& E. and other energy companies who swooped into California, stole our enormous surplus, ousted an elected governer, put in a Republican to prevent justice for their looting, left prosperous California in the red with a budget deficit.) Sound familiar? On a grander scale Wall Street has tanked our economy, looted our treasury, weakened our national security, and destabilized the global markets. This 9/15 Wall Street Meltdown threatens our homeland security more than the 9/11 Trade Center Meltdown. How can our next president deliver to US health care(Big Pharm safe), social services safety nets (Ideologs happy), education, infrastructure, reforms, conduct foreign policy, manage Iraq & Afganistan, etc.? New leadership better be smart, thoughtful, strong, stable, resourseful, flexible and healthy to lead us out of this mess to a hopeful future that resembles our constitutional democracy. In closing I want to say I am grateful I have a good enough education (I was even educated in private conservative Texan and California Christian colleges) to know that nationalization & socialism isn't communism, so technically I shouldn't sign off as your "fellow comrade,", but I am tempted to do so to highlight the quantum shift that has taken place overnight in the U.S.E (Enron) or U.S.S.G (Stupid Greed), which could wisely stand for Smart Green. May the US create a new sound economy and perhaps save our nation from the fall that cometh after the OIligarchs/ Accomplices/Lackies/Dupes commited alot of deadly sins. They should repent, reform, contribute to the common good or be ousted to the oblivion they deserve.

    Why is it that only the Democrats are talking about helping homeowners, laid off workers, and the poor? There are two competing economic polices, the supply side, trickle down, and the consumer, bottom up, models.

    For the past 30 years, Republicans have reduced taxes and subsidized the wealthy and big businesses in the hopes that the wealthy and big business will create jobs and supply goods for consumers. In reality, this has not happened. In a global economy, money can be invested and companies can create jobs anywhere in the world. The wealthy and big businesses have money to influence government to their advantage legally. As money is taken from the many to give to the few, the rich have gotten richer and the middle class has gotten poorer. The wealthiest 1- percent has more net worth than the bottom 95 percent. When the consumer can not afford the goods, it does not matter how many goods are available.

    One of the rolls of government is to provide for the general welfare. The bottom up policy purposes that all citizens should share in the prosperity of the country they help to build. When consumers purchase goods, they create jobs to replace the goods and make them available to other consumers. Of course this transaction generates profit and taxes to support society, therefore money travels from the bottom up to owners and investors. Since people need food, water, housing, and other consumables, this is the base of all economies. It is the responsibility of government to provide a fair playing field and care for the unfortunate. Which brings us back to the question. Most Democrats believe in the bottom up policy whether they know it or not.

    Ross Perot has said, “ When you destroy the middle class in this country you destroy America.” The Republican Party’s trickle down policy has not helped the middle class. It has only helped the wealthy and big business. We have seen the Republican Party’s trickle down policy to solve the economic slow down due to real estate, and mortgage problems. After a year of tinkering, trickle down does not work. It is time to implement a bottom up solution that will work.

    Dr. Robert Reich has said, “The only way Wall Street's meltdown doesn't spill over to Main Street is if policymakers begin to pay adequate attention to the people whose wallets really keep the economy going, and who merit more help than the Wall Street tycoons whose carelessness and negligence have put it in such jeopardy.”


    Why is it that only the Democrats are talking about helping homeowners, laid off workers, and the poor? There are two competing economic polices, the supply side, trickle down, and the consumer, bottom up, models.

    For the past 30 years, Republicans have reduced taxes and subsidized the wealthy and big businesses in the hopes that the wealthy and big business will create jobs and supply goods for consumers. In reality, this has not happened. In a global economy, money can be invested and companies can create jobs anywhere in the world. The wealthy and big businesses have money to influence government to their advantage legally. As money is taken from the many to give to the few, the rich have gotten richer and the middle class has gotten poorer. The wealthiest 1- percent has more net worth than the bottom 95 percent. When the consumer can not afford the goods, it does not matter how many goods are available.

    One of the rolls of government is to provide for the general welfare. The bottom up policy purposes that all citizens should share in the prosperity of the country they help to build. When consumers purchase goods, they create jobs to replace the goods and make them available to other consumers. Of course this transaction generates profit and taxes to support society, therefore money travels from the bottom up to owners and investors. Since people need food, water, housing, and other consumables, this is the base of all economies. It is the responsibility of government to provide a fair playing field and care for the unfortunate. Which brings us back to the question. Most Democrats believe in the bottom up policy whether they know it or not.

    Ross Perot has said, “ When you destroy the middle class in this country you destroy America.” The Republican Party’s trickle down policy has not helped the middle class. It has only helped the wealthy and big business. We have seen the Republican Party’s trickle down policy to solve the economic slow down due to real estate, and mortgage problems. After a year of tinkering, trickle down does not work. It is time to implement a bottom up solution that will work.

    Dr. Robert Reich has said, “The only way Wall Street's meltdown doesn't spill over to Main Street is if policymakers begin to pay adequate attention to the people whose wallets really keep the economy going, and who merit more help than the Wall Street tycoons whose carelessness and negligence have put it in such jeopardy.”


    Why is it that only the Democrats are talking about helping homeowners, laid off workers, and the poor? There are two competing economic polices, the supply side, trickle down, and the consumer, bottom up, models.

    For the past 30 years, Republicans have reduced taxes and subsidized the wealthy and big businesses in the hopes that the wealthy and big business will create jobs and supply goods for consumers. In reality, this has not happened. In a global economy, money can be invested and companies can create jobs anywhere in the world. The wealthy and big businesses have money to influence government to their advantage legally. As money is taken from the many to give to the few, the rich have gotten richer and the middle class has gotten poorer. The wealthiest 1- percent has more net worth than the bottom 95 percent. When the consumer can not afford the goods, it does not matter how many goods are available.

    One of the rolls of government is to provide for the general welfare. The bottom up policy purposes that all citizens should share in the prosperity of the country they help to build. When consumers purchase goods, they create jobs to replace the goods and make them available to other consumers. Of course this transaction generates profit and taxes to support society, therefore money travels from the bottom up to owners and investors. Since people need food, water, housing, and other consumables, this is the base of all economies. It is the responsibility of government to provide a fair playing field and care for the unfortunate. Which brings us back to the question. Most Democrats believe in the bottom up policy whether they know it or not.

    Ross Perot has said, “ When you destroy the middle class in this country you destroy America.” The Republican Party’s trickle down policy has not helped the middle class. It has only helped the wealthy and big business. We have seen the Republican Party’s trickle down policy to solve the economic slow down due to real estate, and mortgage problems. After a year of tinkering, trickle down does not work. It is time to implement a bottom up solution that will work.

    Dr. Robert Reich has said, “The only way Wall Street's meltdown doesn't spill over to Main Street is if policymakers begin to pay adequate attention to the people whose wallets really keep the economy going, and who merit more help than the Wall Street tycoons whose carelessness and negligence have put it in such jeopardy.”


    No the government should not bailout Wall Street. But it has become quite apparant that our government is in fact run by Wall Street and therefore can do nothing else than sell out each and every American to save big business. The bigger question is what are we as American citizens willing to do to fix this? We need to take back control of the government and make it as the founding fathers invisioned it to be: "of the people, by the people, for the people." (Abraham Lincoln) NOT of big business, by big business, for big business!
    Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." So what can we do? Have a tax revolt? March on Washington? Vote for Ralph Nadar? I do not believe there is a politician in Washington who is not being controlled by big business. We should throw the whole lot out and take back our country. How about sepperation of government and business? New laws that make sure the special intrests are dictating public policy. We have been sold down the river due to the greed and coruption that has taken over our country. They have run up a huge bill and now they want us to pay it. I say no! Take back our country and return it to the great democracy it once was!

    Imagine having a government official visiting your home and demanding that you sign a promissory note for $100K for each of your family members, e.g. you, your spouse, and your little boy and girl? In fact, image putting the pen in the hands of your children and asking them to sign their names (as best they can since many may still be learning how to sign their names) and then look them straight in the eyes and explain to them that it's okay since the guy in the blue suit simply wants to have you agree to pay a certain sum of money over the course of several decades so the guys in the pin stripes standing behind him can relax knowing that someone else's kids have involuntarly agreed to pick up the tab and they won't have to return the money they took from certain investors nor serve any time in prison for questionable activity. You continue to explain to your kids that they should be okay since they won't feel the cost directly. Rather, Mommy and Daddy will just put less money into their college funds, the schools they attend will likely have fewer teachers, the city will have less civil servants to protect them, and so on, but, in the end, the money won't be coming directly out of their pockets. Instead, they'll just receive less of what they put into the system over the course of several decades. Therefore, they shouldn't feel a thing. Afterall, it's only paper...

    Imagine having a government official visiting your home and demanding that you sign a promissory note for $100K for each of your family members, e.g. you, your spouse, and your little boy and girl? In fact, image putting the pen in the hands of your children and asking them to sign their names (as best they can since many may still be learning how to sign their names) and then look them straight in the eyes and explain to them that it's okay since the guy in the blue suit simply wants to have you agree to pay a certain sum of money over the course of several decades so the guys in the pin stripes standing behind him can relax knowing that someone else's kids have involuntarly agreed to pick up the tab and they won't have to return the money they took from certain investors nor serve any time in prison for questionable activity. You continue to explain to your kids that they should be okay since they won't feel the cost directly. Rather, Mommy and Daddy will just put less money into their college funds, the schools they attend will likely have fewer teachers, the city will have less civil servants to protect them, and so on, but, in the end, the money won't be coming directly out of their pockets. Instead, they'll just receive less of what they put into the system over the course of several decades. Therefore, they shouldn't feel a thing. Afterall, it's only paper...

    I love the comparison to Great Britain circa 1914, from the height of world dominance to rationing, bread lines and a staggering economy. Yet they survived. Americans could use a little rationing of goods of their own. It could possibly cure our obesity epidemic.

    They say that every generation blames the one before. The one thing in common over the last 16 yrs is that the nation has been led by baby boomers. The economists and leaders of that generation preach consumerism to no end. It is practically a religion. They have tried to destroy our spirit right down to the celebration of the birth of Christ. Try and read a newspaper between November and New Year's day without being bombarded with stories on how the economy is going to collapse if you do not spend money buying things people do not need before Dec 25th. Well, the economy collapsed anyway. It did not work. The losses had to be socialized, so much for capitalism. Just the other day on CNN there was a talking head preaching how our economy cannot survive without consumer spending. Well, we are going to find out. We get attacked by terrorists and they say you have to consume to be patriotic. We are having economic downturn and they send you a check to go out an consume some more. Then they do it again after it failed the first time. We are facing a crisis on Wall Street and they say go out and spend to save the economy. What kind of leadership is that? Makes me want to throw up.

    So we are left with a choice to go back to a pre baby boomer in McCain or a post baby boomer in Obama. Both of them have their downsides. I read in Time that it will probably be decided by women voters who decide at the last minute because these women have been too busy taking care of their kids and aged parents and working a job to pay attention to all that has happened so far and therefore have not yet decided.

    I do not fear for myself or my family because I know we are strong enough to handle whatever it takes. Our worth is not determined by the material things we own.

    Again, thank you Bill Moyers for this report. I think Gretchen Morgenson is right...get after these people who made millions to pay back for their greed...start from the lowest to the highest person in this corporate ladder. If I understand it right, these same greedy people will still be in there after this bail-out.

    THANK YOU, BILL MOYERS, for having the only intelligible program this week on the economy. I had been wondering why the "financial products" people were gaining so much ground lately, vs. industries with actual products.
    You are my Walter Cronkite!
    And thanks for making the segment sufficient length to have actual content.
    --Kevin Phillips is dead on. I just ordered his book, at the risk of being commercial.
    -There MUST be some way our "government by the people" can handle the economy, so separation of state and business is maintained while damping the oscillations of the system. Why not throw some economists, mathematicians and physicists into a room together?
    -I agree with many positions of RON PAUL: that the current federal government is basically unconstitutional (which may be a fine point nowdays) and consumes way too much of the GNP.
    -It would be nice to fix the economy and also cut back the Feds to a 1950 percentage of GNP (10%?)
    We don't need more federalized industries or agencies.
    -Basically I feel: The cold war is over; why hasn't the government been returned to the people?
    -Why do we still need the DHS (a bad joke on the Bill of Rights), NSA, DEA, CIA and alphabet soup of agencies running our government in secret committees, and declaring unending strawman "wars on drugs/terrorism" as in '1984'?
    -Why hasn't Congress performed its constitutional duty in declaring or NOT declaring war since 1950?
    -Why do we still need 20,000 nuclear bombs? Accidents happen.
    Where is the cold war 'peace dividend'?
    -We need actual citizen's policy input to the government, not K street input.
    -How about direct internet voting on issues and elections?
    -How about equal free TV time mandated for all serious political candidates, to keep them from taking lobbyist money?
    --THanks again for your fantastic reporting!

    I wouldn't be so quick to assume that this "breakdown" of our economy is triggered by the so called mortgage failures. Although it is a serious problem, especially for the families thrown out onto the mean streets of the USA without a safety net, because welfare is no longer part of our society; I think this entire debacle is a set up.

    A "set up" you ask? Oh yes. I think it is a set up by the "corporatist" people in the current administration, the description "corporatist" being today's polite word for "fascist".

    You must ask yourself with complete common sense the following question, "What do you get when corporations and governments meld into one and become one and the same?" What happens to the people? Do they become commodities, to be rated and relegated according to their worth to the corporate state? Have we seen this model before? Did it have a name? Oh yes, it is better known as a Nationalist Socialist model. Hitler had such a state and if you were Aryan it worked quite well for you. If you were NOT Aryan, well, they had grades and gradients, jobs and ovens depending on where you fell on the racial scale.

    How long before this happens here in America? Are you aware that each state in the union ALREADY has a compound capable of imprisoning at least 20,000 people? They were built by the "Homeland Security" Department and they're manned and ready to go. Most of the less intelligent of our citizens think they were built for capturing illegal workers from other nations who come to steal their precious jobs. But I think it is far far more ominous.

    Our borders are closed without a passport now. May I see your papers please? Remember the old yarn to travel? People are tracked by GPS via their cell phones and our every conversation is tracked by a gigantic gigabyte computer program known as TALON, and it is run by the SECRET GOVERNMENT that has been operating the USA for 50 years now.

    We the people are not governed by a Congress we elect and the system our founding fathers put into place. That has all been relegated to the Pentagon and to the NSA, the CIA and a dozen other secret military divisions operating for our "protection" against possibly thinking, and living free.

    The only question left is WHEN will the hammer drop; and who is going to the ovens?

    I have every reason to believe our current Congress is going to deliver the final denouements this weekend and complete the sell out of our people to this monstrous regime who are preparing to steal another election that the MEDIA will not report.

    Meanwhile I pray for the survival of my own family, and my friends and loved ones out there across the nation. We have fought the good fight and continue to man our positions.

    We are in deep deep trouble and the nation still refuses to recognize it.

    A small note of recognition we may all have seen before. WHAT does Bush do when something horrific is happening? I mean like the demolition of the twin towers or the bombing of Iraq, or any of 1000 heavy duty shocks we have been through, like some of the anti constitutional bills he rammed through his rubber stamp congress?

    He disappears. He is not heard from until the people clamber for him to come out and explain. He pops in, reads a prepared statement, and disappears again. It's a pattern. And he is repeating it this week. This has his fingerprints all over it.

    Kevin Phillips is right! We need a national narrative of how the last three decades led to financial crisis; the parties who were culpable; and a dialogue that asks serious questions and assigns responsibility.

    Once all Americans know why this happened (who profited); we will then have a better sense of whether a bailout is as neccessary as the Federal Reserve, Wall Street & the Treasury say it is?

    We have already had three decades of informational asymmetry; its time to get on the same page as Americans

    Who decided on my behalf and that of my family. To reward these major corporation for their beyond serious lack of the socially responsible actions. By this I mean, how can I in good conscious. Steal from you to make me richer. The company that I work for has lost so much business and it's not related to the housing fiasco. That we have had to lay alot of people off. We are the middle class {the dying class} we were going to work every day day in day out. Now that unfortunately many of my coworker have lost their employment. Who is going to help them out. Most people do not have the option of making a gross mess and have someone else clean up. The mortgage has to get paid. Kids eat ,The car need gas it does not run on Air, tried it it didn't work. I have a salary that I am very happy with, but the Federal government says I make to much money. So my tax bill is high. I am so frustrated with the present situation that I can't even talk or write without getting getting a little mad. I guess what I'm trying to say or write is. I set my budget to where I live with in my means. Why do I have to give them my very hard earned money and most definitely our kids and grandkids. To fix a mess that I could not have been less involved. How about we stop passing the buck and pay for our own mistakes. I feel better, Mr. Moyers thank you for your informed opinion, Because I don't see this type of information on regular news media outlets.

    Who decided on my behalf and that of my family. To reward these major corporation for their beyond serious lack of the socially responsible actions. By this I mean, how can I in good conscious. Steal from you to make me richer. The company that I work for has lost so much business and it's not related to the housing fiasco. That we have had to lay alot of people off. We are the middle class {the dying class} we were going to work every day day in day out. Now that unfortunately many of my coworker have lost their employment. Who is going to help them out. Most people do not have the option of making a gross mess and have someone else clean up. The mortgage has to get paid. Kids eat ,The car need gas it does not run on Air, tried it it didn't work. I have a salary that I am very happy with, but the Federal government says I make to much money. So my tax bill is high. I am so frustrated with the present situation that I can't even talk or write without getting getting a little mad. I guess what I'm trying to say or write is. I set my budget to where I live with in my means. Why do I have to give them my very hard earned money and most definitely our kids and grandkids. To fix a mess that I could not have been less involved. How about we stop passing the buck and pay for our own mistakes. I feel better, Mr. Moyers thank you for your informed opinion, Because I don't see this type of information on regular news media outlets.

    Bill Why do most of these post fall back on this stuff about loosing homes over and over 3% not 50 or 20 it's 3% it is bad news
    but how many of the posters would be lending there cash out to some one that you know ca't pay it back it's another realty you don't have good creidit and 20% you simply have to waite and save more it will come in time.

    One of the causes of the current blow up is the Regan Tax revision in 1986. It massively dropped the tax on high earners. Along with the invention of stock options, it now became profitable to get rich in just a few years because now you could keep it. The focus of senior management went from the long term health of their company, since the retirement was such a large part of their overall compensation, to short term. Management did anything to jack up the stock price short term so they could award themselves bonuses and cash out their options. Once they'd got their millions, they no longer cared what happened to the company in the future. Is it any surprise CEO pay went thru the roof and the company pension has disappeared?

    INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
    Is also the one screaming the loudest about Russia selling military hardware to Iran.

    http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=306630278233962

    New Axis Forming?
    INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

    Posted 9/18/2008

    Foreign Affairs: Russia has disclosed that it will sell military hardware to Tehran that will protect Iran's nuclear facilities. The time left to halt the Iranian nuclear threat has thus grown that much shorter.

    I haven't looked for any articles regarding Iran, Russia and Venezuela selling their oil for Euros instead of dollars, but I'll bet they're aware of it.

    Don't blame Dick and Jane. They work harder, longer hours, for fewer benefits and no retirement, at near zero interest on savings, being downsized, getting divorced, sitting in traffic, living in cities that all look alike, having little community, sending their kids to increasingly poor schools. And being lied to over, and over, and over.

    In the 1980's many laws changed, and they allowed the super wealthy great loopholes, and the corporations could balloon into monsters, and as Donald Trump writes, the super wealth doesn't stir economic growth anymore, nothing "trickles down" because the super wealthy--and that's not YOU believe me no matter how much you think it is--the super wealthy, says Trump--and who would know better than him?--use loopholes to hold tightly to their wealth, and they take their wealth elsewhere. They don't feel connected to and obligated to society anymore, same as big companies do not feel obligated to be clean or ethical or just.

    If citizens make a mistake it's to allow themselves to be beaten into silence. To turn to petty squabbles against each other. Instead of speaking against the real problems. We LET companies "downsize" us and then rehire us without any benefits as "contractors." We let the war go on. We let media fail to inform us. We let a kind of evil shadow fall over politics. We let "buy buy buy" become our mantra. We get home and we tune in and tune out.

    When...we need to speak up. Stop going to Walmart. Stop having the family dinner at MC. Stand up together. Shout louder and more. VOTE. Write letters. Sign petitions. Join protests. Stop shopping at mega-stores. Go for walks. Rebuild your community. Volunteer. Eat at least one meal at home with your family. Turn off the TV. Get off the internet. Don't put your money someplace you haven't bothered to check out. Don't pollute the environment. Don't talk trash and blame against for instance the victims of Katrina. These are hard times and in hard times we know what to do. What we have to do. Let's do it.

    Dear Mr. Moyers,

    Your interview with Mr. Phillips left me feeling very disturbed. Throughout the crisis this week the one thing that kept me going was the belief that soon the American people would have an opportunity to vote for a new President. After listening to Mr. Phillips, it doesn’t seem that either candidate will be successful in turning our economy around. I was shocked to hear about Obama’s relationship with Bob Rubin (who is OK with hedge funds). I still plan on voting for Obama, but beyond the election, what can we (the people) do to demand change? Desperately seeking answers,
    Nora Cardinale

    How am I fairing after the recent financial crisis?...Just fine; I work full-time providing care for our Elders, and so have never made enough money to even live decently...much less invest in the stock market!

    How am I fairing after the recent financial crisis?...Just fine; I work full-time providing care for our Elders, and so have never made enough money to even live decently...much less invest in the stock market!

    I believe that feeding the beast will only set us up for a bigger crisis. Throwing money at the problem will not make it disappear. Wall Street lives in denial. My point of view is that "what is good for Wall Street is not necessarely good for the man on the street". I think that this bail out is no exception to the rule. It will dilute the crisis for a while but I expect more and probably deeper trouble ahead.
    I still can't understand the magnitude of the losses and I suspect massive fraud in the system. Will there be an investigation?


    “By 2007 total indebtedness was THREE times the size of the gross domestic product, a ratio that surpassed the record set... of the Great Depression. From 2001 to 2007 alone, domestic financial debt grew to $14.5 trillion from $8.5 trillion, and home mortgage debt ballooned to almost $10 trillion from $4.9 trillion, an INCREASE of 102 percent. A crisis in the mortgage market in August 2007 brought the party to an end. Since then we have been living in a twilight zone” - the fastest moving train wreck in the history of the civilization!
    McCain, “We need to change the SYSTEM”...!
    The spirit of Karl Marx is alive, it has been implemented for the benefits of the
    powerful rulers and dictators!
    The system has been changed to “Socialism-Communism” for confiscation, eviction,
    foreclosures by dysfunctional, irresponsible “do gooders” government – it created a markets of printing press worthless Securities, stocks, derivatives, warrants, fiat currencies etc.
    A dictatorial system that deprives private individual ownership by nationalization taxation, oppression, etc.. A system of rampage corruption, for self enrichment approved also “$180 billion dollars to bail out institution over seas”!
    “Some are totally blind and can see everything”! “Some buy guns to defend the
    constitution and are totally blind”! “Some swear on the bible to protect the Constitution
    and run the country into the ground”! I see wrong, injustice, rampage corruption,
    dictatorial power, that denied the freedom - “WILL to participate in power”!
    The Russian poet Pushking wrote the poem:
    “Good by unwashed Russia
    Country of slaves and lords
    And you militia in the blue uniform
    And you obedient people....”
    applies to as well as “good by We the people...“!

    EXCELLENT PROGRAM, Mr Moyers. Now you're beginning to talk the brass tacs of this election, ie, the real economy & where it is headed. I agree totally with all points presented. But may I add a few points of my own: 1) The securitization of loans by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, & investments banks is at the very heart of our current problem & should no longer be tolerated. The reason is because it clouds who owes what to who. It should never have been allowed in the first place. 2) A free market economy must not be allowed to go unregulated, especially in areas that are so crucial to the general public. Large disparities between average worker pay & "hired" CEO salaries should not be allowed. That is not to say the originator of a business should be restrained in what he/she makes. 3) The United States Citizen worker should be protected against outsourcing & illegal insourcing of jobs. Outsourciong & illegal insourcing undermines the abilities of maintaining a credible GDP, as well as the ability to pay taxes. 4) Govenment spending should be kept to a minimum. That means curtailing the expenses of war operations as well as the cries for universal health care funding. It does not mean defaulting on obligations such as Social Security or Medicare. Privatization of Social Security is just another way for the government to pay for its expenses in other areas.

    I believe that if either candidate would strongly address all of these issues, then we would find our way out of the woods, because we could then begin scaling down the national debt & avoid getting to the point where the government has to print money, thereby depreciating the dollar value. But both candidates are very nervous about upsetting what they preceive to be demographic advantages, ie, the female vote, the latino vote, the black vote, the white vote, the gay vote, the abortionist vote. It's time to stiop playing politics & START SOLVING AMERICA'S PROBLEMS.

    My wife and I bought a new home just before the market tanked. We moved into that home three months later after fixing the foundation and doing some renovations. By the time we put our old house on the market, there was no market to put it on. Fourteen months later we were lucky to have a buyer who purchased the house 20% below the value we would have sold it for 17 months prior to that. While we were paying two mortgages I got a second job. My wife also works and we just barely made ends meet. I was a responsible citizen. I did not default. I did not ask for handouts. I wasn’t complaining (I believe it was called whining just recently) and I wasn’t waiting for Washington to help me. And for my troubles, Bank of America decided to raise my interest rate from 10% to nearly 22%. Lucky for us, we had some savings. I paid off what I owed and told BA where to put their credit card. I will not do any business with BA for at least 7 years. I wish more people could and would tell the banking thieves in this country the same thing.

    I’m not a corporation. I’m a consumer. I know the government isn’t going to help me. The government doesn’t care about me. I agree with some of the other postings that our government today is run by big business. Millions of consumers are negatively affected by the government’s economic policies, but the government doesn’t dare step on big businesses feet. Government opposes regulations on large corporations and when they are forced to put regulations in place they leave gaping holes in the rules. These bailout loans are a joke. No one but a simpleton believes that the government will ever be paid back. We the people (read that taxpayers) will be footing the bill far into the future while the children and grandchildren of the fired useless, dare I say criminal, executives of these companies will be the nuevo rich inheriting their spoils. I would rather see us fight our way out of a depression than give the corporations tacit approval for their bad behaviors. Without consequences it is simply going to happen again!

    I just wanted to let you know that I love your program. You have incredibly interesting guests, interesting video segments, and overall you are quite balanced in your approach.

    I would like for you to try to be a little more balanced though. I trust you can do it, unlike that other network, what a joke. Anyway, keep it up Bill!

    Just adding to the frustration pot. "I am mad as hell and am not going to take it anymore", but honestly, what CAN I do? Enough with corporations and their golden handshakes, and our government being in bed with them.

    No, no, no. Haven't we seen this several times before? "Oh my gawd there's an emergency! We're threatened! It's dire! Congress has to vote NOW, there's no time for discussion and facts, hurry hurry! If you don't, it's YOUR fault we have disaster."

    And then, guess what? Opps, there was some things we didn't exactly tell you before. Or maybe, that wasn't exactly how it was. Bad intelligence, you know. Too late now...

    And...didn't President Bush have a slam on the market early in his term? Didn't the market dive, and certain factions bought up massive stock while it was down, and then it went back up, making those factions millions? Isn't this the same old same old? But we never learn. We fall for the same slight of hand, every time. So is a bailout necessary? How would we know? Doubtful anyone is telling the truth; doubtful anyone knows the truth; doubtful anyone is able to point out that the lady isn't really being sawed in half. No, the crowd is too morbidly engaged, and fearful, to keep in mind this is a Magic Show. No, no no, we should NOT bail out the trillionaires who drove this country into the ground. No. No. No. Let them sell some of their jets on EBay and bail US out.

    I join all who are disappointed in our business and political leaders for contributing to the financial crisis we are facing. I also believe, however, that citizens have contributed to the crisis through their general financial illiteracy and not managing their own credit responsibly. Yes, many lender marketing and sales tactics are shameful. Yet, our society has been eager to ignore the age old advice of caveat emptor: buyer beware.

    Gather the top CEO's and collect a windfall tax from them to help with the bailouts.
    I think 50% of their take home will suffice, because as far as I can figure that's the impact on my retirement savings.
    If I have to pay - then they should pay.
    Run them down in the streets as they carry their bags of money NOW.

    A trillion here, three trillion there, pretty soon you aare talking serious money...

    http://www.webofdebt.com/

    Who are they? Why do they insist on ruining us?
    Planted Financial Bubble:
    Alan Greenspan
    Robert Rubin
    Created Iraq War:
    Paul Wolfowitz
    Richard Perle
    Douglas J. Feith

    The Israel Lobby
    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html

    All the political commentators keep asking again and again the same question - "At a time like this - where are our leaders in Washington?"

    There is a very good reason why they keep asking this question...

    IT IS PAINFULLY OBVIOUS WHY NO ONE CAN CONFIDENTLY IDENTIFY THE LEADERS IN WASHINGTON... IT IS BECAUSE ALL OF OUR LEADERS ARE ON WALL STREET.

    Need proof?

    A. Who dictates the Financial-Mortgage-Insurance decisions in the US? These Wall Street corporations. That has been proven this week.

    These corporations are so large that they can threaten the US Government with total world market collapse and, thereby, dictate the terms they desire to resolve their dilemmas. In other words, they extort the US government which allows them to, as so many have observed, "privatize profits and socialize debt".

    The top brass get golden parachutes and the taxpayer gets the bag. From this it is clear to anyone with a brain who the actual leaders are in this situation...

    B. Who dictates the major medical-pharmaceutical-insurance policies in US? The major insurance, HMO and pharmaceutical companies on Wall Street.

    The leading cause of personal bankruptcy is unpaid medical bills... occurring even with some people who have insurance. Former Comptroller David Walker has called Medicare part D the single most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since WWII - a taxpayer giveaway to big Pharma. When Wall Street gets its way with almost every piece of legislation, it is obvious who is in charge.

    C. What sector constitutes the largest segment of our GDP and has profited the most from the war? The large corporations on Wall Street that comprise the Military-Industrial Complex.

    D. Where does our energy policy derive and who has experienced record profits?
    The Wall Street corporations that are the Big Oil, Natural Gas and Coal companies.

    It is so incredibly obvious that our "leaders" are not in Washington. They are the proverbial puppets! The de facto leaders are the large corporations on Wall Street and they are pulling the strings.

    BTW, my bet is that we will try to take over other "oil rich" nations, sell their oil but take their profits... and use these profits to help pay down our enormous national debt... but also enrich the oil companies and military contractors... and this will be precipitated by another terrorist attack.

    The new Resolution Trust Corporation will not make a real dent in this socialized debt so don't get your hopes up. It was not the panacea in the S&L bailout and will not be the panacea here either!


    I'm a child of the Great Depression, so this whole thing has me uneasy. Yes, I am retired, but I never invested in the stock market, except once when I bought an option for oil company stock just before Black Friday. I followed my father's example and worked toward a situation where I can actually live on my meager Social Security income, which is especially difficult because I carry Medicare, medigap, and prescription coverage. I will be working a part time job come income tax season and maybe try for a pre holiday season part time job. My question is, what would happen to all the related people, including employees, if AIG were simply told, "Die" and not helped? So they are planning to work out a better way of regulating financial companies that went wild over the idiotic mortgage loans to people who could not possibly keep up. That sounds like a good thing to me. As one writer commented, I sure wouldn't want a Herbert Hoover reaction at this time.

    "But when something goes wrong, when decisions are made that turn out to be bad decisions, the U.S. taxpayer has to take on the problem. And there’s something very wrong about that." Thank you so much for pointing this out. But tax payers aren't only hurting because our taxes are being used to bail these companies out. We are also suffering because of the tightening of credit. So, responsible borrowers who did not take unnecessary risks, who have paid their bills regularly, who did not take out too much credit, are now suffering because the value of our homes is shrinking and credit is drying up. When I lose 10% of the equity in my home in a year and the bank reverses 2/3 of my home equity line of credit, I want to know what the government is going to do to help me?

    Dear Mr. Philips, Norris and Ms Morgenson, you are the conscience of this country, along with Mr. Moyers. Only because of people like you, we still have some real hope...

    This is daylight robbery 2.0, even on our children, grand children and beyond!

    People are robbed in the daylight for decades by Wall Street bandits and their cronies in all forms from Washington. Now the robbers are blackmailing the government of the people to foot the bill, "if you don't do it, we will all go down... except we have more "net worth" from the robbery than you do!" BTW, this crisis is vastly different from the Savings and Loans fiasco; there was hard asset, here is toxic waste, worthless papers mostly!

    Aside from the mess by Wall Street bandits. Compare the extreme inequality in US 2008:

    Annual Income: top 0.1% = bottom 50%
    Total net worth top 1% = bottom 90%
    Tax rate:
    Forbes 400 = 17.7%
    Average American: 30%
    (teachers, nurses, fire fighters, pay twice, and also BAIL OUT the SUPER RICH)
    Forbes 400 total asset = $1,600,000,000,000 = $1.6 trillion

    How much less honest, less smart, less hard working are you, as a decent average American?... How can this be true? It is very simple:

    "With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 percent will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 percent will produce eagerness, 50 percent positive audacity; 100 percent will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 percent, and there is not a crime which it will not scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged." -Karl Marx 1848

    Take leadership, take action:

    http://www.forum-network.org/wgbh/forum.php?lecture_id=2047

    Your show this evening has succeeded in depressing me into catatonia. I'm already retired and can't afford to wait fifteen years for the market and the economy to "rebound." What's a girl to do? (Rhetorical question.)

    I do not think government bail outs of any type are a good idea. It's too much like rescuing your kid when he or she gets in trouble. Or even worse, rewarding them for their transgressions.

    There is no motivation to clean up their act and every reason to keep on behaving exactly the same way.

    What's that definition of insanity ?? Doing the same damn thing over and over and over again exactly the same way and expecting a different outcome each time.

    Chris

    The damage was done when all that easy money was made available after 9/11, which, coming on top of money accumulated overseas due to trade imbalances, fueled a speculative bubble in housing. It can't be said that this was the mkt's fault, rather it was the fault of the financial authorities, the mkts only being amoral enough to take advantage of it. Many Americans used the inflated equity in their homes to run up considerable consumer debt, as well. Giving people still more money, tho' in whatever form, can serve only to make the problem worse, as I've said so many times over the past year or so. Earlier, it continued to fuel the speculation, but now it seems to be a signal to head for the hills, or at least for commodities, like gold and oil, again, Thursday's and Friday's rallies notwithstanding. If this trend continues it threatens a far greater contraction, throwing many more people out of work - worldwide, given the reach of the dollar - and making it that much harder to recover. Prices have to get more in line with the ability of those expected to pay for the goods. Continuing to do things which instead increase them cannot be a sensible solution. Prices must fall and/or productivity rise, erasing the imbalance caused by so much debt, so that people can really afford what they need, including homes to live in. I don't see how anyone can evaluate this or that financial obligation apart from the monetary system as a whole. Nor do I see nationalization of them making it any more likely that they will be paid except by the taxpayers. That measure is just another bail-out of a speculative system that has to be abandoned, and of the wealthy at the expense of the poor. Cos have been using their stock price in the same irresponsible way that ordinary ppl have been using the rising price of their homes. Both have to stop, not just one. A tax surcharge on the wealthy and a reduction or credit for the poor are reasonable measures, as is mortgage refinance, but interest rates should never been lowered again in the first place, and they should be raised now to encourage honest ppl to lend, not in essence lowered so that speculation can continue as usual. The mkt, itself, has exacted a heavy toll on the ppl who benefited most from this swindle, and will continue to do so, giving the lie, btw, to idea that it does not know best. But mkts by themselves do not educate. Hopefully this experience will. The first lesson is that free mkts are incompatible with Keynesian-style central banking, perhaps even all fractional-reserve banking.

    While you can see there's no real diff between the above and Phillips' remarks, most of which was written yesterday actually, I am pleased to see that McCain has come out today with a strong dollar, anti-bail-out position, against Obama, Summers, Rubin, Paulson, Bush, Bernanke and Greenspan. The alignment here should be, I think, important to those considering supporting the Democrats in Nov. I'm extremely disappointed that Volcker has gone along with this, which I consider the worst decision since the invasion of Iraq. Let's be clear about this: it is not regulation they are advocating, it is rather support for a system of speculation and inflation that has been undermining our economy for decades, and which has created the disparities in wealth and the decline in education and productivity we see, as Phillips said. This is, of course, Ron Paul's position, too. I expected this of McCain, and it represents the same kind of principled judgement he has shown all his life. I do not think that the impact of failing to continue bail-outs will hurt common folk as much as it does the suits, and I think, especially with a little help, that they will do much better with the leeches removed and when money is allowed to go where it will actually be productive.

    Your show this evening has succeeded in depressing me into catatonia. I'm already retired and can't afford to wait fifteen years for the market and the economy to "rebound." What's a girl to do? (Rhetorical question.)

    Oh, one further thought, re: the mortgage crisis. No one seems to be calling the foreclosures (and the bad loans that preceded the foreclosures) what they most resemble to me: a concerted plan to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich under the guise of "the American Dream of Home Ownership."

    To my mind, I think the euphemistic "ownership" language masks the deepest irony: a return to feudalism and serfdom. What I mean is, in the time of an aristocracy (super rich class) and a powerful church, what was the common recourse of the "lord" against his serfs, whenever things weren't going his way, even up to the time of the Irish potato famine? EVICTIONS. Tearing down homes of the very poor to force the serf-class from their glorified shacks.

    Doesn't matter if the LORD is a landLORD or a bank, the euphemism of "ownership" is a joke, when the whole point of an ownership society was to fleece the minimal treasure of the middle class and greatly enlarge a new serf-class, to go with the New Gilded Age "aristocracy."

    Evictions. By hook or by crook. The ownership was the illusion. Evictions, through history, are the only constant. Just ask people whose homes are in the path of Israeli bulldozers in Palestine.

    Sorry Bill, I haven't gushed like a silly fan girl in a while, but your guests tonight are rocking my world! Yeow! Biggest financial story in 80 YEARS? Nah, I'm not putting money in the mattress yet, but y'all are making my blood chill.

    We invaded Iraq because some multinationals didn't like Saddam's nationalized oil industry, and threaten Venezuela for the same thing, while the US is on a nationalization kick.

    Yeah, but would you rather they did a Herbert Hoover? That scares me more.

    Gretchen Morgenson and many others of late keep saying that the shareholders profit from this AIG bail out. As a small shareholder (retirement funds), I can tell you that I do not profit from this bailout, and more than likely I'll have to end up paying as a taxpayer too. Please remember that most people with retirement funds must be invested in corporate America to survive. The failure is in the lack of oversight and regulations by the government that have occurred in the last couple of decades. They let the fox in the hen house.

    Allen Wrench: I may have misjudged you as a one note Johnny, harping only on peak oil and your survivor mentality. Your afternoon post (first one here) was nearly as instructive and thought provoking as Bill's segment. While I disagree with you about lower class working people over-consuming being a significant part of a corruption and collusion debacle I see now that you are capable of being part of a discussion to help us derive workable tactics and solutions. I look forward to working with you on, and possibly off, this blog.

    The bailout as structured is "wrong." There are people hording a great deal of wealth and property who, over the last several days, refused to aid a system that has been a bonanza for them. The lack of liquidity was due to the elite wealthy stuffing their gold and currency under the proverbial mattress. I believe the appropriate counteraction is a tax revolt, a ten million taxpayer Inaugural march on Washington, and a targeted boycott of particular offending firms. How do we go about that, Mr. Wrench?
    Remember, active peaceful dissent is patriotic.

    Now we have nationalized (read “socialized”) private losses. Wall Street tycoons should now be called members of the Politburo and “Federal regulators” should be called comrades!

    The Soviet Union couldn’t have done it better…!

    Karl Marx must be laughing in his grave…how ironic!

    The bailouts are a bad idea; not doing the bailouts is a worse idea. Thirty years of incompetent deregulation are coming home to roost, and the cleanup is going to be very expensive. We need our government to be smart enough to use these bailouts as leverage on the bailed-out concerns to correct their future behavior, and to establish regulations that make it clear for the future which financial instruments are to be considered reliable and which are operating in a high-risk area that government will not back, and disallow their mixing.

    The market will correct itself. The strong will survive. Right up until they mess up so completely that they will take the entire country down with them. Then they become too big to fail and we have to bail them out. We find all this money for these bailouts, yet social security, medicare, infrastructure, education and all other parts of the social safety net are in dire straits. Let's clip the strings on some of those golden parachutes and put the money in the pockets of the employees who are getting laid off either in a retirement account or for unemployment. I'm tired of watching Wall St. and their puppet politicians on both sides bad mouth the government and regulation right up to the point where they need a handout because their greed has put us all up the creek without a paddle.

    I am not economically savvy enough to know wheter the bailouts are a good idea or not. Part of me wants to watch Wall St. burn so this nonsense about how the market free from deregulation is the best system no matter what. Unfortunately it won't be the people at the top who suffer the most but those of us hanging in the middle or crushed at the bottom.

    On the other hand I do think that the average citizen does need to look themselves in the eye and realize that our society can't continue to consume at the rate we are going. At some point enough has to be enough. At some point we are going to have to step up and pay this bill. If we don't, then it is on our kids and I for one don't want to leave that as part of my generations legacy.

    I should have known they'd find some way to blame this on Bill Clinton. The Investors Business Daily article cited above made me really, really angry. Multiculturalism?! For the first time working americans of color saw a piece of the Dream coming their way, and once again they were USED by the lending establishment. Blame the victim again.

    I'm glad you brought up the article, Bill, because otherwise I wouldn't have known how vicious these guys that we just bailed can be.

    You'd think the operative word might be THANK YOU.

    Hey Bill,

    So what do you think about the American Dream now? And the Bailout, now there is a piece of work.

    Since the 80's and Reagan, first the Savings and Loan and now the Home Mortgage mess and our Billionaires went from 40 to 400... Wow this is the land of opportunity.

    They are right about one thing Wall Street gets a free market to cheat the world and Main Street gets the bill.

    Main Street being the taxpayers and not being consulted about the decision to let us pay the RICH SOB's twice... once to take our money in the market and now to take our money to save them from losing their shirts.

    The news is correct about one thing, that is Main Street is concerned, that is us, the citizen, the tax payer, the working blue collar people who have to pay the bills and fight the wars. We are concerned because Our Congress both Senators and Representatives give not one whit for us. They have no truck with us. We are nothing to them; we get speeches while the rich get richer.

    Is it true? Bill, is it really true that this supposedly great country believes the poor should be responsible for the rich?

    The top 10% have to be laughing in their Champaign while we poor cry in our beer. How did it happen? How did the United States of America One Nation Under God manage to Kill God and put 90% of us in the poor house.

    They took our jobs and sent them over seas, they dissenagrated our Culture by allowing unlimited immigration (All we got were people who were too lazy to fix their own problems and came here running away from those problems, not to raise a family but to get rich quick.) What do you think Bill; if we taxpayers refused to pay the rich charlatan’s bills we could get rid of immigration by default. That is a very good reason not to bail out Wall Street. And while we are at it… we could vote out every incumbent and pass a law limiting all elected officials to serve one 5 year term. Any mess that takes longer then that needs new people to get it done. Minnesota just finished their W 35 bridge ahead of schedule, now how is that for American Workers?

    You can forget Global Warming because hubris that is pride to a poor man and avarice which is greed to a poor man will destroy this country just as sure as I will die.

    All the mucky mucks think they can save the rich but it won't work... it will just prolong the failure of the corrupt system. A bad system run by bad people will fail no matter how much money the Federal Government prints.

    The Sectary of the Treasury is a Wall Street Man and wants to save his own at the cost of our toil. But then look who he works for... # 43! The worst president in the history of the US.

    Come on Bill, you need to start answering some of us poor folks concerns. I have been your friend for 40 years, read your books, listened to you on PBS.

    For God's sake and ours tell us what Eric Hoffer would have said, or at least find a wise man somewhere who people could believe and get the truth said once in 200 years.

    Are the poor to be trodden on through out eternity while the rich play music as our Country burns? Does no one see the fire? Can't you help use?

    Only in a strategic effort to stop the bleeding and only if Richie Rich does not profit a single penny and especially not on the misery of American homeowners, Credit Card Holders, Physically ill patients, average insurance policy holders, etc. You know! Just and fair. I am not sure anyone remembers those days. Let alone the real definition. Plus, I want to hear an apology from every Corporate Board member and all Corporate Executives of these failed institutions in writing or be subjected to criminal and civil penalties. (Someone will have to guarantee the legal system. That may take awhile.) Wow, how far down that slippery slope we have gone.

    Dear Mr Moyers:

    After hearing what our government intends to do to bail out Wall Street, why didn't the government propose a plan to bail out the millions of people who have lost their homes? Why haven't they come up with a solution for the people who have lost their jobs? Why haven't they brought the soldiers home and given them asppropriate health care? And why haven't they bailes out the soldiers families who are left to fend for themselves.And why haven't they ended the $10 billion a onth going to pay for this unnecessary war? Now they are adding more burden to American taxpayers to pay for the bail-outs. When are we finally Where is the beef for us? All of this has been brought on by just pure greed over the last eight years.

    Delores God bless

    No one can say if these bailouts are good or not. The only way we can answer that is after sifting through all the ramifications that stem from these bailouts...time will tell.

    But I will comment on what is wrong with our model that we based the American Dream on and the underlying causes for the need of bailing of the US financial system.

    This morning on CNBC one commentator complained how the 'poor taxpayer' will be stuck with all these bailouts. Then they backed off of their pity switching some of the blame to the taxpayer, for living beyond their means and consuming too much as a cause for Americas financial problems.

    We complain when the consumer stops spending, so the stock market doesn't tank.

    Then we blame the consumer for doing what we push them to do with ultra low interest rates, 24 hour advertising and loans that require no proof of ability that the loans can even be paid back aka "Liar Loans."

    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/liar_loan.asp

    America has been built on debt and spending. 70% of our 'economic heath,' better termed as 'economic sickness' is based on consumer spending. When the consumer can't compulsively spend any longer our economy collapses...we are not a healthy country.

    In a TV commercial, Discover card was promoting endless consumption 'as a good thing' and they wished to do us a favor by helping us spend money better as we create more debt that we can't afford to pay.

    Do you see the insanity of all this?

    Add the rapidly approaching depletion of all fossil fuels and global warming to this pro consumption picture and we can see we have created a time bomb. Our whole system is based on an unsustainable model that will eventually collapse no matter how much money that is printed up by the fed.

    Well, the fed can do what it likes. After all, it creates money out of thin air. Used to be the fed at least printed money. Now all that needs to be done to create billions is to magnetize a silicon chip. This is what fuels the hard commodity people that want something tangible for real wealth.

    Wall street has degenerated into a greed fueled, legalized 24 hour crap shoot with the blessing and full faith and credit on the US of A behind it. It is like an alcoholic that has inherited a whiskey factory. More of their drug wont fix them - it only increases the sickness. Same with greed. Greed is never satisfied by attainment - it is only satisfied by contentment.

    In simpler times, we had stock and bonds to invest in. Most accountants did their jobs and earning did not have to be restated year after year and earnings were real. EBITDA had not been invented and our US dollar was backed by gold and later by silver.

    In 1973 stock options were added to the mix. Then the late 90's brought us internet day trading as a new way for the masses to gamble in the privacy of our own homes.

    Fast forward to 2008 and things have become much more complex when it comes to financial gambling. We've got interest rate swaps, total return swaps, equity swaps, forex swaps, currency swaps, constant maturity swaps, basis swaps, volatility swaps, credit default swaps, variance swaps and many more 'derivatives' to place our bets on.

    We talk of living in a sustainable world, yet our actions betray our true feelings. All we have to do is to look at the stock market to see what happens when growth declines even a little.

    Even if a company yields stable earning, but does not grow its earnings it is looked down upon. Stability and balance is part of a sustainable footprint, yet we shun such balance.

    With one breath we talk about cutting global warming and how we have to cut our dependence of fossil fuel.

    Then with the next breath we demand no cut backs in our standard of living, we must spend and consume above all else...build more, build faster, build bigger.

    The GDP must only go up, up and away...all the while this consumption just increases global warming and keeps depleting the fossil fuels faster and faster.

    Sick...sick..sick mentality, buy more cars, build more houses and monstrosities of architecture, spend more but 'cut back' to save our dear fossil fuels. For all practical purpose we will be out of crude oil in 2 or 3 decades and possibly much sooner.

    Consumption is ingrained in us and we know no other way. And even if we wished to amend our ways, how could all our retirement funds take the hit?

    Our world population has grown to levels where it has passed the point of no return for supporting a sustainable human population as we know it today when it comes to their energy demands.

    And what does all that consumerism lead to?

    It leads to the mess we are in now and the bigger mess the world will be in once India and China pick up momentum to copycat the envious lifestyle that they have held in high esteem as the 'American Dream'

    Fueling the problem of consumption is the games the Federal and World banks play with interest rates. They manage the economies in ways to fuel consumption and mask the real trend.

    Witness the recent cries for Federal bankers to lower interest rates...so the stock market can go up...fueled by spending of the consumer.

    It is drug habit that Greenspan got us hooked on and we just can't get away from.

    Our economy is not based on sustainable health - it is based low interest credit to encourage compulsive spending, debt and living a life of constant consumption with a 'disposable mentality' when it comes to durable goods.

    All this consumption to artificially fuel our economy to make our retirement funds only go up contributes to more and more global warming and the depletion of our natural resources.

    Then the governments juggle the numbers to make the inflation figures seem artificially low, so everyone's retirement portfolio will make them happy so they will continue to buy and consume more...and on it goes....IT IS ALL WE KNOW and the bill is coming due soon!

    We must accept we have built a defective model for long term population support. We can only keep on keeping on as long as the crude is free flowing and affordable by the masses. Once we officially come clean with peak oil and accept responsibility as a country, we can at least be at a semblance peace with the outcome of our actions and recover a modicum of honor in the process as we restructure our country for a post carbon world.

    Until that time, we are living in a dream world that is rapidly becoming a nightmare. We have the tiger by the tail and cannot let go...but our grip is getting tired and all hell is going to break loose soon.

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