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What Questions Would You Ask U.S. Financial Leaders?

With ominous news of financial turmoil dominating the headlines, this week’s edition of BILL MOYERS JOURNAL will focus on the economy. But first, we want to know what questions you would ask of economic experts, journalists and U.S. financial leaders like Chairman Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve or Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson.

Please submit your questions below.


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So here it is…my idea for a bail out to help the American taxpayer for a change.

Let’s design a bailout package that will erase the American Consumer Credit Card debt. Instead of the American taxpayer bailing out the failing Banks, the crumbling Insurance Companies, and the bankrupt Auto Makers, why won’t the government bail the American Consumer out for a change? Can’t Obama create a plan to payoff the American Consumer's credit card debt? Here is what I had in mind:

1. Freeze/Cancel all the outstanding revolving debt accounts owned by all Americans.

2. Issue an $800 billion bailout package to the banks to cancel out the amount of America’s credit card debt. This should accomplish several things:
A) It provides the cash Banks desperately need.
B) It cancels out all the bad debt the Banks currently hold.
C) It provides much needed money back into the American Consumer’s pockets to either start saving (thus providing even more cash for the Banks) or to start purchasing things again, with cash now of course not credit.
D) I think this could also restore faith in our government not only here in the States, but globally too. It would show to everyone our government is actually willing to help its citizens for a change. WOW what a concept!

3. Lastly, there have to be restrictions placed on lines of credit like there use to be in the late 70’s early 80’s. Actually, I would like to do away with credit cards completely but that is a reality that simply is not practical. But awarding lines of credit should be done by satisfying many rules and regulations set forth by the experts that saw this credit crisis coming for more than 20 years now. Such as:
A) A person should have to once again, prove they can afford a credit card. This should include a formal application process to determine a viable balance sheet and a long history of financial responsibility.
B) A well established credit score of say more than 750???
C) Limit the amount of credit any one person or family can have. Is a $10,000 line of credit really necessary? To me it only invites more problems.
D) Maybe we could think about setting age restrictions too. I don’t think a minor should have the ability to use a credit card?

Well there it is…quite simplistic right? Please, pick it apart and let me know why it won’t work or give me feedback letting me know this might be a possibility. Either way, I look forward to whatever feedback you may have. Thanks for listening!

I want to know why the ratings guru's are NOT in jail? Standard and Poor, Moody, and Fitch? They all made billions. How did they justify rating repackaged junk as AAA? If these securities had not been rated so highly, they would not have sold. It will be a long time before the market recovers. Those of us who read no longer trust the ratings. We know they lie to make $$$$$.

Who are our financial leaders and what are their qualifications? Clearly not former Goldman Sachs executives such as Paulsen and now Kashkari. Most economists saw this coming years ago and agree it is caused by deregulation that began in the Nixon administration with the change to a floating currency exchange. Deregulation did not encourage investment in the U.S.; it encouraged the financial pillage of the U.S. Why has the Home Owners and Bank Protection Act of 2007 not been passed? Why not pass it now? Why not immediately reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. We need serious regulation. This is a global systemic crisis of the international financial system. Why not return to a fixed rate currency exchange. And while the IMF is meeting, why not discuss reforming IMF as proposed by Joseph Stiglitz or put it into bankruptcy as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche? Both of these ideas are better than what is currently offered. Both propose a New Bretton Woods.

Maybe a run on the banks is the only ammunition left to the citizen, since our governments keep going down the hyperinflation path.

Why not use that 700 billion to help the tax payers instead, you could have given it to the tax payers that are over 18. It would be about $200,000 per single or $300,000 per married couple and then they could have paid off their debt, mortages and such and help the banks and our economy. Talk about strengthing our economy, it would have people investing and have the confidence to purchace homes and cars and get America back on their feet. What do you think of that?

Your mansion is in East Heaven, Fran. Why are you worried about rich people's money? It ain't yours! Respect the sacredness of great wealth and elite contract as outlined in our holy Constitution, and zip your lip.

"Anarchists" are in the street from Peru to Thailand, and the Ahmeerikan people better cough up the dough to control these "dangerous radicals." Goldman Sachs will not tolerate your bellyaching and whining.

Hey, come to think of it, why ain't me and Fran in the streets? We're as dangerous as anyone else? Hear that Bashful Barry and Napalm John? Maybe you'd better take Sherry's advice and mobilize the military domestically? Boo! We're coming to get you! Happy Halloween, sugar free.

Has the Federal Reserve outlived its usefulness? Years ago, the Federal Reserve (a private consortium of banks) struck a very lucrative deal with the Government to control the country's money supply. In return, one of the jobs of the Federal Reserve was to provide stability to the economy. It seems to me that the government would be able to do a better job of responsibly printing money, controlling supply, and be able to do so far more cheaply.

What is the next major financial institution you see needing a bail-out?

Where will That money come from?

Will Americans get the money, invested in the bail-out, in real gold fed-exed to each American as a security deposit?

Will there be HUD McMansions for sale for a dollar? (I don't like McMansions anyway; just curious.)

Explain why the Invisible Hand did not save the trouble financial institutions

1. What (specifically) was the taxpayer's money used for when they bailed out the Savings & Loans in the late 80's and early 90's?

1a. Can anyone tie our current crisis to the fraud of the S&L Crisis? I can.

1b. Why was the government not interested in an accounting of the funds used to bail out the S&L's? Will there be an accounting of this $700 billion?

3. What did the banks do with the money they received from the homes they stole from innocent homeowners who were current on their mortgages?

4. Why did our nation's courts allow banks to steal homes they didn't own?

5. Why are banks failing at the same time corporate bank executives are walking out the front door with hundreds of millions in compensation for their willful participation in a Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization?

6. Why doesn't the government get the funds from the banks and corporate execs who stole the money, instead of forcing the "victims" of their massive fraud to pay for it?

7. For more than a decade, the government has been told millions of times about the fraud going on in the mortgage and securities markets. Why did they refused to help?

8. Why did the Bush administration tell consumer protection agencies NOT to help consumers victimized by mortgage servicing fraud? http://www.msfraud.org/Articles/Predatory%20Lenders'%20Partner%20in%20Crime.mht

9. Can the Fed get the money from the offshore bank accounts where banks and exec's stashed much of the stolen funds?

10. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit reports from the 1990's found fraud in security pools worth billions. Why did they not act on their findings?

11. Why would we the taxpayer help bailout those who destroyed our economy and reputation to satisfy their GREED?

12. Why do the "forged" loan papers I obtained from the bank, show my loan in at least three (3) "different" loan pools?

Did the government require these lending companies to make loans to people that could not afford them?

Did the government require these lending companies to make loans to people that could not afford them?

I think the fungibility of the $700 Billion bank bailout with other bad assets unrelated to mortgages is a major weakness of the Paulson plan being debated.

What prevents a recipient of this mortgage bailout from using the funds to cover other totally unrelated bad business investments?

my questions:
1) is this bailout because social security was not privitized?
2) Are the auto makers next in line?
3) with jobs moving out of the country and the tax base shrinking, how will this and the rest of the national debt be paid off?
4) can you make the difficult decisions it will take to have the country live within its means?
5) how will you increase the savings rate?
6) how will you address the trade imbalance?
7) George W. more than doubled the national debt. how much will you add?
8) do you realize that tax cuts now will mean tax increases for our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, ad nauseum?
9) what policies will you put in place to deal with the boomer retirement and the implications for social security and medicare?
10) what policies will you put in place to keep the country from defauling on its massive debt?

The President somehow proposed a half trillion dollars to the investment industry. I heard on NPR today that all this crisis is the result of failure in the mortgage market. Currently there are 1.5M homes in foreclosure. For 15B we could give every one of the owners of these homes in foreclosure $10k. I expect that it would keep all of them going for 6 months. Why would we offer $500B to the investment houses instead of $15B to homeowners?

David Webb, Phd. 9-21 7:56PM
My hat is off to you for your detailed, positive, proposal on managing this
Massive Money Mess we are in!

The frustration level of hearing "top" people in our country say 'there is a lot of responsibility to go around, so lets just get by this' has me saying

No! No Bail Out!

Lock Up is what we want!

I do want accountability to take a heavy toll on many "upper level" executivies, and govt. officials!

BUT

Dr. Webb's ideas are appropriate in direction and timing--for now.

Then we can look for our pound of flesh!

Billy Bob, where we vote but the DNP doenn't count us as important.

A Perspective on Financial Market Feedback Loops!

This topic is only indirectly connected to Chagora but is part of the broader viewpoint from which it arose. So I briefly discuss this here.

Put simply.... All profits are not equal and this has not been sufficiently attended to.

For instance,

There is the profit in a zero sum game:
If we each have $5 and we wager that on the flip of a coin.
The result! One ends up with $10.... (a $5 profit) and the other guy has nothing.

And there is productive profit:
One has $5... he takes it, buys some clay and tools, makes a clay pot and sells it to someone for $10.
The result! One ends up with $10 (a five dollar profit) and the other guy has a CLAY POT!

It is from the second type of profit that successful civilizations are built.

What has happened on a world scale, and encouraged by either stupid or corrupt financial and political systems, is a failure to recognize the difference and to construct incentives to favor Productive Profit!

This is an oversimplification and there is legitimate functionality for zero sum transactions in financial markets but that's for a longer discussion.

My question to the candidates then is:
Do you understand this simple element of economic theory?

Even if the powers that be at BearStearns, Freddie and Fannie, AIG, etc., didn't commit a crime in the legal sense, what type of legislation, with accountability & consequences would be necessary to prevent similar abuses of the public trust in the future? Does our gov't have the guts to create such legislation? If not, do the American people have a prayer in hell of not getting screwed?

The more I think on it and read other's comments, the more questions I have...

11. Will we let the culprits blame US for this mess? When people get really angry, who will they take it out on? (the people that corporate America is successful in convincing them are responsible!) Watch out! How can I stay off that list?

Oops! Another one:

10. If we stopped funding the military (which is a good 50% of our budget, i understand) how much would we 'save?' Could some of that money be applied to this bailout? How long would it take to complete the 'bail?' How many years? Might be good for us to learn to live with less defense! (Surely there is waste!!) Mr. Moyers, can you address this question soon!??

How necessary is the military that we fund so lavishly? We spend more on our military than ALL other countries in the world combined! This I read! Is it true?

Oops! Thought of another one...

9. Why were companies allow to grow so large that their demise threatened the whole financial system? What gives? Who can we thank for this simply stupid idea?

Perhaps this has already been asked, but ask away, I will anyway.....

1. How will this bailout effect ME and mine?

2. Is this part of President Bush's and Grover Nordquist's statement that they wished to drown the baby in the bathwater? Do they really wish to sink this ship of state...to drown our government? Surely looks like it! How could we elect such people?

3. Does this mean that I can kiss my social security good-bye? Does this mean that I should start making plans to move in with my daughter who is struggling raising a daughter alone and working two jobs keeping their heads just barely above water?

4. Should I be looking for a job as a retired person?

5. How will this effect my retirement? I am a retired educator which a very small retirement check, but I depend on what little it is! Should I expect to lose it?

6. Why don't the banks just tell people to stay in their houses? What good is a glut of houses and people on the streets?

7. Will the risk and cost be averaged so that everyone pays their share? Or will the wealthy get away with their nest eggs in tact, as so often seems the case!

8. What can WE do?

“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”!

David Webb: Are you really dumb enough to believe the crap Dr. Hussman, a fund manager, is shoveling? Are you manning the pumps or bailing with a McDonald's cup? Today's word is "hollowed-out" boys and girls. Hollowed out government budget: No Social Security for Grandma because of the bailout. If starving the beast isn't enough, say the fascists, then bleed it dry.

What is the criteria for a "bad" loan?

Will all banks with such bad loans be helped equally?

Who decides which bank gets their bad loans purchased?

Will any bank that is the beneficiary of this taxpayer purchase of loans be able to repurchase any of these loans at a discount?

Will any employees of these banks receive any fees as a result of selling this bad debt to taxpayers? If so, what for, how much and to whom?

Where can citizens go to see a list of banks who sold bad loans to taxpayers, how much the loans were for, the payment terms, and an ongoing update on who is repurchasing these loans, and what they paid?

Thank you. I suggest a website where citizens can keep track of now their "investment" is paying off.

Mike Farrace
Sacramento, CA

Why shouldn't the stockholders and bondholders bear the brunt of the losses their firms have set them up for? They took the risk. The bad loans should be paid for by the risk takers and their company leaders. Why should the average taxpayers have to bail them out while their CEO's walk away with millions? Where will all the money come from to pay for the bailouts? Apparently by printing more of it which results in devalued currency and thus more inflation which taxes the average taxpayer once again.
Government has failed. Both political parties do only that which keeps, or puts, them in power. The sick messages coming out of the campaigns address little or nothing that is important to the well being of the country. George Washington had it right in the 1790's when he said that political parties were not a good thing for the country. The country could stand a little of his wisdom and patriotism today.

Are land grabs happening here in the states by predatoral groups as I expect and is/was this planned, is this part of the agenda? Is none of this is a mistake at all and perhaps just another step in making America a little closer to be a fascist state.

I have a great title for the Bill legislating the 700 Billion (about another 10K per Ahmeerikan household)Bailout of the holdings of the world's wealthiest speculators: The Phenomenal Ideological Reverse Moral Hazard Mistrust Fraud Commission Bill of (very very late) 2008. I think that about sums it up. (Except, can you believe this, it includes foreign banks and investment houses.) Feel free to use it financial leaders: You seem to feel free to use our paychecks without asking.

Dear Mr. Moyers:

I saw your journal this evening (9-21-08) were you interviewed the author of "Bad Money". It was enlightening and sobering.

The one topic I do not hear anyone speaking about is the national debt. Someday we will awaken to find another flag flying over the capital because we defaulted on our debt. We are close to the point were we have maxed out so many credit cards that we can not reduce the principle and we are barely able to make the minimum monthly payments on the interest. When it happens everyone will say, "why didn't our government say something, why didn't they tell us about this?"

We are good at making better bombs and talking about military defense yet we have no means of defense against financial insolvency. The pain we feel at the gas pump due to our inability to control our means of energy supply / consumption is nothing compared to the pain we will feel when we default (like so many of today's homeowners) on our loans and find someone telling us we no longer have the rights and freedoms we took for granted, and we must do their bidding, like it or not.

I am sick of pigs with lipstick when anyone with reason, logic and a sense of responsibility should be raising the alarm about this impending end to the USA.

Given the first oportunity, please lay this topic before the candidates running for president and ask them, A) Why have they not broached this subject, B)do they plan to, considering its seriousness, C) What will they do to reverse our course with disaster (besides creating another useless commission that will be ignored), and D) Will they have the courage to significantly raise taxes and significantly reduce services so that the money will be available to pay off this multi-trillion dollar debt?

We use the word million so often that it's familiarity has reduced the true comprehension of it's mathimatical definition. To use the word trillion is to look to the night sky, count all of the stars in our galaxy and never reach a trillion. We owe trillion(S).

So many have sacrificed their lives over these past 250 +/- years so we could be here for the next generation. Who will have the guts to stop thinking how to better their circumstances and do what needs to be done now to save the country. We need patriots, we currently have a glut of politicions.

Mr. Moyer, thank you for your service to the USA in the form of educational programs that you front and I pray to God that this message will find its way to you and, ultimately, to the ears of those hoping to lead our country,

Sincerely,

William H. Noss
Springfield, New Jersey

An Open Letter to the U.S. Congress Regarding the Current Financial Crisis


In 2006, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis noted “Everyone knows that a policy of bailouts will increase their number.” This week, Congress is being asked to hastily consider a monstrous bailout plan on a scale nearly equivalent to the existing balance sheet of the Federal Reserve.

As an economist and investment manager, I am concerned that the plan advocated by Treasury is essentially a plan to bail out the bondholders of financial institutions that made bad lending decisions, with little help to homeowners that are actually in financial distress. It is difficult to believe that the U.S. government is contemplating taking on the bad assets of these institutions at probable taxpayer loss and effectively immunizing the bondholders (and shareholders) of these companies.

While it is certainly in the public interest to avoid the dislocations that would result from a disorderly failure of highly interconnected financial institutions, there are better ways for public funds to accomplish this, other than by protecting corporate bondholders while homeowners remain in distress.

Consider a simplified balance sheet of a typical investment bank:

Good assets: $95

Assets gone bad: $5

TOTAL ASSETS: $100

Liabilities to customers/counterparties: $80

Debt to bondholders of company: $17

Shareholder equity: $3

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY: $100
Now, as these bad assets get written off, shareholder equity is also reduced. What has happened in recent months is that this equity has become insufficient, so that the company technically becomes insolvent provided that the bondholders have to be paid off:

Good assets: $95

Assets gone bad (written off): $0

TOTAL ASSETS: $95

Liabilities to customers/counterparties: $80

Debt to bondholders of company: $17

Shareholder equity: ($2)

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY: $95

These institutions are not failing because 95% of the assets have gone bad. They are failing because 5% of the assets have gone bad and they over-stretched their capital. At the heart of the problem is “gross leverage” – the ratio of total assets taken on by the company to its shareholder equity. The sequence of failures we've observed in recent months, starting with Bear Stearns, has followed almost exactly in order of their gross leverage multiples. After Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac went into crisis, Lehman and Merrill Lynch followed. Morgan Stanley, and Hank Paulson's former employer, Goldman Sachs, remain the most leveraged companies on Wall Street, with gross leverage multiples above 20.

Look at the insolvent balance sheet again. The appropriate solution is not for the government to replace the bad assets with public money, but rather for the government to execute a receivership of the failed institution and immediately conduct a “whole bank” sale – selling the bank's assets and liabilities as a package, but ex the debt to bondholders, which preserves the ongoing business without loss to customers and counterparties, wipes out shareholder equity, and gives bondholders partial (perhaps even nearly complete) recovery with the proceeds.

The key is to recognize that for nearly all of the institutions currently at risk of failure, there exists a cushion of bondholder capital sufficient to absorb all probable losses, without any need for the public to bear the cost.

For example, consider Morgan Stanley's balance sheet as of 8/31/08. Total assets were $988.8 billion, with shareholder equity (including junior subordinated debt) of $42.1 billion, for a gross leverage ratio of 23.5. However, the company also has approximately $200 billion in long-term debt to its bondholders, primarily consisting of senior debt with an average maturity of about 6 years. Why on earth would Congress put the U.S. public behind these bondholders?

The stockholders and bondholders of the company itself should be the first to bear losses, not the public. That is the essence of what a free and fair market, and a responsible government would enforce. The investors in the companies that produced the losses should be accountable for them, and the customers and counterparties should be protected.

The case of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was special in that government had already provided an implicit guarantee to their bondholders, so that bailout couldn't have been done otherwise without harming the good faith and credit of the government, but it's absurd to tell Wall Street “send us your poor and your tired assets, and we will tend to them.” The gains in financial stocks we have observed in the past two days reflects money that those firms expect to be taken out of the public pocket.

With regard to assisting homeowners, purchasing the bad mortgage securities from financial institutions will do nothing to help those homeowners because it does nothing to alter the cash flows expected of them. Congress will be a far better steward of public funds by offering distressed homeowners what amounts to a refinancing, coupled with a partial surrender of future appreciation.

In practice, the homeowner would default on the existing mortgage, but the government would purchase the foreclosed property at an amount near existing foreclosure recovery rates (presently about 50% of mortgage face value). The government would then sell that home back to the owner with a zero-equity mortgage, allowing individuals to keep their homes. Importantly, there would be an additional, marketable lien placed on the property itself in the form of what might be called a “Property Appreciation Receipt” (PAR), which would be provided to the original mortgage lender. Though it would accrue no interest, it would provide a claim to the original lender on any appreciation in the value of the home up to the difference between the foreclosure proceeds and the original mortgage amount. Note that the PAR would only become relevant at the point that the government was fully repaid.

For example, consider a homeowner with a $300,000 mortgage balance on a home now worth less than the mortgage balance itself. The government would buy the foreclosed property at say, $200,000 and mortgage it to the existing homeowner. The original lender would receive $200,000, plus a Property Appreciation Receipt (PAR), giving it a claim on $100,000 of any future appreciation of the property. If the homeowner was to sell the property later for, say, $250,000, the owner of the PAR would receive $50,000, and there would be a remaining lien on future appreciation of that same property, which would be assumed by the new buyer. If the next buyer sold the home for $250,000, no funds would be due to the PAR holder, but if it was sold for $275,000, another $25,000 would be payable. At any point the home was to sell for more than $300,000, the PAR would be fully repaid and there would be no further claim.

Some provision would have to be made for the appreciation of an unsold home, but that detail could be accomplished through some form of equity extraction refinancing. To account for time value, the claim on future appreciation could be increased at a small rate of interest. Though the credit impact of a mortgage default would likely be sufficient to dissuade solvent homeowners from making inappropriate use of the program, the government could impose additional costs or eligibility requirements to avoid such risks.

In summary, the Treasury proposal to address current financial difficulties places corporate bondholders ahead of the public, rewards irresponsible risk-taking, and sets a precedent for future bailouts. Moreover, we know from a long history of economic experience across countries that a major expansion of government liabilities is invariably followed by multi-year periods of extremely high inflation, particularly when it is not matched by a similar expansion of economic production. Such inflation would initially be modest because of the current weakness in the economy, but could pose unusual challenges to the United States in the coming years.

Congress can benefit the American public by maintaining a focus on responsibly assisting homeowners in distress rather than defending the stockholders and bondholders of overleveraged financial companies. It is essential to recognize that the failure of these companies need not result in “financial meltdown” provided that the “good bank” representing the vast majority of assets and liabilities is cut away, protecting customers and counterparties, so that the losses are properly borne out of the capital base of the companies that incurred them.

Again, everyone knows that a policy of bailouts will increase their number. By choosing who bears the losses for irresponsible decisions at these companies, Congress will also choose the scope of the bailouts that follow.

Sincerely,

John P. Hussman, Ph.D.
President, Hussman Investment Trust

First, thank you for continuing to ask the questions and interview the people that no one else in the mainstream media does.
Second, 25 years ago I was a grad student of monetary economics. At that time the ideas of the "Chicago School", lead by Milton Friedman, were ascendant. Friedman was a free market, economic libertarian and he was adamant that the actions of the central bank in the 1920's caused the Great Depression by expanding credit recklessly. Hence, Friedman insisted that the growth of the money supply and credit in the economy should limited to rate of growth of the "real economy". Alan Greenspan did not follow that rule. He focused only on interest rates and CPI, and he ignored,in essence, the spectacular financial market inflation during his tenure.
I would love to hear you ask the current Fed Chairman why money growth is not strictly limited as Friedman advocated. Also, please interview someone from the Chicago School to see what they have to say about the current panic.
Once again, thanks for being the "Voice of Reason" in these bizarre times.

Mr Moyers, I have one question. How much money did Hank Paulson personally sock away from 2000-2006 while CEO of Goldman? He seems to look like the "cat that swallowed the canary". Why has no one thought he might be conflicted. It seems by no coincidence Goldman will be the last Wall street Investment bank standing. People are calling these take overs Socialism. Nothing is further from the truth. Its the likes of Wall street putting an inside guy to use the US treasury to protect Private monopoly capital. A Corp Financial coup d'etat which is a loose definition of Fascism but not Socialism.
Hello, I'm Hank Paulson, I'm from Wall Street and I'm here to help.

Our President not too long ago told Americans to "go shopping" to pump up the economy. I think Mr. Bush is really smart as a fox. No compliment here trust me.

This Country has been on a shopping spree for years now and I asked many this question: "can you tell the difference between need and want" All could not.

Q: Don't we as a people need to take responsibility for our behaviors that have ramped up our mindset of never having enoug?
Quality and pride are gone in our people as manufacturing jobs are gone. Our greed, reflected in our personal debt of $45 trillion almost guarantees that this crisis will go on until we all come together..stop spending more than what we earn and through recognitation of that greed, the willingness to want less and lastly to get out of our drugged stuper and demand more producion in the United States. Stop reliance on exports. Stop untethered greed.

WHO NOT READY FOR THE REVOLUTION

I don't know what I should put in for my URL.
Questions Are:
1-Why aren't there enough regulators ?
2-Did saving the regulators salaries save us any money??
3-Can the salaries and bonuses be recouped somehow for all thoe folks that made so much money on the bundled Mortgages?
4Can the heads of the brokerage & mortgage firms be convicted of theft and sent to Attica for a couple of years? Not a country club -but Attica? No more pussy footing around because they will just do this again if they get the chance.

Why are there no consequences for those that were supposed to be responsible and why were the CEOs rewarded with those exorbitant amounts?

Dear Mr Moyers,

I'd like to ask the elected officials in congress and economists:
1. Can you explain in detail how you expect to pay the principal and the interest on all the Treasury debt we are incurring as a reult of the financial bailouts and the wars in the Middle East? In your heart of hearts do they really believe we can pay off all the debt?
2. It is comforting to hear the term "full faith and credit of the US Govt", but when the confidence in that wanes, what is your backup? Is your fallback position that we pay the debt back in kind, by selling off land or mineral rights, etc? Is this something that has been discussed at the highest levels within our government and with other governments?
3. Or, is the intent to default and refuse to pay up? That of course could lead the lenders to demand their money back. And to defend against that, we would need to have a strong military. Is this something that is being actively discussed? Is this why we are spending so much on the military? And trying to show force all around the world?

Thank you

Isn't it true that for any country to remain great, it must have a viable manufacturing base?
Shouldn't our govt. encourage this base with tax and other policy, and keep it from fleeing to Mexico and abroad?
For example, why doesn't the US still have TV manfacturers? I believe WE invented all the technology until recently.
I am an electronic engineer and it seems to be harder to get development jobs nowadays. Esp. for people who use the word "nowadays"!

How do you sleep at night knowing so many of us are going to be homeless so that you can be wealthy? No kidding, my retirement plan is to commit suicide. And you won't be able to beat this dead horse.

Please ask:
That the leaders and CEO's of these fallen and failing companies have walked away with obscene amounts of money is indisputable. It's morally wrong to dump the bill on the rest of us while legally stealing by pre-emptive strike. This injustice needs to be righted by whatever extreme means are necessary. They need to give the money back. What will you do to rectify this swindle of the American people?

The question I would ask the U.S. Financial leaders is, why not instead of bailing out these huge investment banks; would it not be cheaper (on the government and taxpayers) to bailout the individuals that are getting foreclosed on. By government stepping in and enforcing no strings attached refinancing on all mortgages that are in danger of foreclosure, offering individual that have loss their home the opportunity to get their home back with a refinanced mortgage. These banks had to know that they were writing bad loans, I just purchased my first home this past June, I did my due diligence reaching what I could afford, what type of mortgage best fit my situation ect. ect..I must say it was not that difficult. I find it mind boggling that so many loans were originated knowing that the borrower would not be able to pay these mortgages in the long term. I’m not a finical expert by any stretch would this not be better then the billion dollar bailouts that we have been seeing or is this off basis.

I'm asking the same questions posed by Robert Doell below. This is a terrific opportunity to try some egalitarian alternative business models. Eleanor Roosevelt would be enthusiastic about the possibilities; I know I am!

What rules did you candidates set up for these debates? Are the rules related to why the debates are so shallow?

From the top down, those in control make it their goal to not answer questions honestly, but to 'put a spin' on the answer to pass lies for truth.

So questions only go so far when you have dishonest people giving the answers. In such cases where you are dealing with dishonest people, I find it a better arbiter of truth to look at actions instead of words.

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 whisky factory. More of their drug wont fix them - it only increases the sickness. Same with greed. Green 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.

Why? This will hurt our grand-children, and will not solve the problem only prolong it over next few years.

Now that there is fresh cash from the government to help stop this financial crises and to stimulate wall street again, if the debts are put in reserve as they did back when they cleared up the S&L...is this debt just out of sight and out of mind?

Will they put legislation in place that separates commercial banking from investment banking?

Will they strengthen regulatory agencies to enable them to regulate all aspects of the financial system and stock market?

Will they look at some means to raise the savings rates in financial institutions for people who don't trust putting their hard earned money into the stock market?

Mr. Bernanke: How soon can I have your resignation?
Immediately convene a public financial panel to institute a new financial system that removes private banks control of our nation's money, and also bans fractional reserve schemes.
How to implement the new stable financial system?
How, most effectively, to rescue the homeowners and create new jobs in the USA?

Why are all the news shows only interviewing capitalists or crossovers such as William Paulson and Robert Rubin about the financial crisis? Why not interview people with alternative ideas? Academics such as David Schweickart and Gar Alperovitz; journalists like Bill Greider; someone representing Mandragon in Spain, the world's largest cooperative. They could even talk to a presidential candidate like Ralph Nader.
If we keep asking the fox why he ate the chicken and how we can help his compulsion, we are idiots!

How is all our money created?

Is all this new money created as debt?

Where does the money to pay the interest on all the government bonds, private mortgages and loans ( viewed as a collective whole - not as individual contracts) come from when the banks crate only the principal of the loans?

How is the banking system different from a pyramid or Ponzi scheme?

How is all our money created?

Is all this new money created as debt?

Where does the money to pay the interest on all the government bonds, private mortgages and loans ( viewed as a collective whole - not as individual contracts) come from when the banks crate only the principal of the loans?

How is the banking system different from a pyramid or Ponzi scheme?

M or anti-M: Are you declining a free trip to Egypt to help rebuild the pyramids? Add my name to your inquiries, Compadre, as I will add your name to mine. I look forward to more from you.

Well, my former Congressman Richard Baker helped create this mess. He represented my bank but not me. I like the Republican candidate running for his old seat (a Democrat was elected to serve out Baker's old term), but I won't vote for him unless he completely repudiates Baker.

It is just plain wrong for the government to bail out these failed companies and yet let those who ran them walk away with millions in ill gains.

I would like to ask the candidates.

1. What has your party thru out history actually done for working people that has resulted in a better life for us?

2. Has the current financal crisis been initiated to make sure that we can't afford a national health care system? Or has it been engineered for some other reason?

3. Are untrue attack ads illegal, false advertiseing?

4. With all the corporate bailouts and the wars in the middle east hemorraging billions of dollars in taxpayer money every few days, how can you justify continueing lower tax rates for the wealthiest individuals and corporations?

5. Will the oil companies ever be made to pay the royalties they owe for drilling on public land?

6. If more nuclear power plants must be part of the energy solution, What will be done with the waste?

7. Will I be renditioned to egypt and tortured for posting this?

On July 6,2007 the SEC eliminated the uptick rule. Please explan this rule to the American Public? Along with the role of Hedge Funds and their Profiting from the elimination of the rule through Short Sales. Can you ask the people who keep saying that no one could have seen this coming? Can you provide information to the Public on the Basis of the rule formally known as "Rule 10a-1"?

Thanks Mr Moyers.

Good Luck,

Don Severson

The events of the last week are like a childhood game of musical chairs. Each time the music stops, a chair in the circle has been removed and one player, who doesn't scramble fast enough, is left without a chair in the circle and must leave the game (Lehman). My real questions are two:
1. It seems that only Goldman and Morgan Stanley are still in the game and there is only one chair left. Why is the Treasury Secretary holding the phonograph needle, starting and stopping the music? Isn't he the former Chair of Goldman. Where are his loyalties?

2. Wall street players knew 13 months ago, in August, 2007, that no one knew the value of siv/cdo etc. They were hoping for more time to dump them onto someone else's plate...The treasury Secretary and Fed have now insured that Wall Street can walk away....they just added it to the National Debt! They don't care, I bet, as they will be walking away themselves after the election. What are their personal pay packages?

Isn't the federal reserve bailout efforts one of the all-time great shifts of risks from private corporations to the public coffers?

All of this without any democratic process asking for my consent!

Why do we think that the federal reserve can prop up the market and delay the inevitable fall that is necessary when excesses are met?

If the US was a parent; their children would be learning that when they act badly that there a few consequences for their actions.

Explain how this is not straight up corporate welfare? Capitalism without risk and accountability is really called a socialism. In this case, socialism is now reserved soley for Wall Street partners and their government enablers.

Dear Bill,

Could someone explain to me why we, the US public, accepts a financially constructed "free-market" system that privatizes gains and socializes losses?

I reminded this week by the words of J.P. Morgan delivered in a private communication to a group of US Bankers in 1934:

"Capital must protect itself in every way? Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by a central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd.?

John McElroy
Michigan - The Foreclosure capital of the US

Dear Bill,

Could someone please explain to me how so many
casinos and payday lending businesses have become the structural norm in our communities?

Isn't there a deeper connection between the deterioration of unregulated financial markets and what businesses we allow to profit in our economy?

Wasn't the subprime mess corporate gambling?

My question: Are we betting our lives in a rigged game?

A year ago I warned of a Greater Depression because of unchecked secret dealings among the elite: Here it is!
I also warned of a subsequent hyperstagflation. Unlimited fiat money being "pumped-in to the world economy for liquidity" inevitably leads to such an outcome. Moreover; to bail out the wealthy using the future productive potential of the poor to middling majority, amounts to a further updraft of wealth during an already dangerous polarization: rampant wealth disparity exploded in flames.
A stimulus package to taxpayers at this point is like giving the patient candy while his legs are amputated.

To understand the Ahmeerikan situation, let's imagine our country as a much smaller island state with a small elite oligarchy and a mass of struggling peons. Gee, if they can get just $5 from each peon they will still not be able to bail out their enterprises and pay off their gambling markers. What to do? What to do? Only slavery can provide the necessary megatons of flesh to satisfy their opulent lifestyle. A sign is put out:"Bucks and honeys, mammies and uncles for sale, rock bottom prices, financing available." Will an overpopulated world rush to buy? I don't think so.

New question for leaders: "How will you salvage our failed state in a ruined world, you stupid heartless bastards?" Haiti and border Mexico were just a preview, Folks. Let's reject the Coming Attractions.

I would like to ask them how they feel they have contributed to this. It would seem as though greed, irresponsible citizens living beyond their means and just sheer ignorance and imprudence are now affecting the entire world. Maybe it's time we grow up and learn to be adults and learn to be responsible for our idiotic and negligant actions.

I would like to ask the financial leaders who is moving the levers of finance or is it a mindless, free wheeling Juggernaut with no concern for the sanctity of life and the quality of people's lives?

I would like to ask the financial leaders who is moving the levers of finance or is it a mindless, free wheeling Juggernaut with no concern for the sanctity of life and the quality of people's lives?

When are we going to demand total public financing of political campaigns? Until we do, nothing will change for the better. The root cause of our current financial meltdown is that both parties are in thrall to corporate interests and are concerned less with the people's needs than their own self-perpetuation and keeping their big corporate donors happy.

Why should we tolerate the Federal Reserve?

Why should we tolerate corporate subsidies?

Why should we tolerate the lapdog media?

What collateral is being offered for all the cash for new loans that we are borrowing to bail-out these financial institutions and to whom are we offering it?
If we own these companies now as major stock holders, how is that capitalism and not socialism?
Is this a result of Reagan de-regulation?
Can we seize the assets of those in charge for mishandling of funds, as well as those of Senators and Representatives on Financial Committees? Will they forfeit their re-election coffers and their pensions?

What collateral is being offered for all the cash for new loans that we are borrowing to bail-out these financial institutions and to whom are we offering it?
If we own these companies now as major stock holders, how is that capitalism and not socialism?
Is this a result of Reagan de-regulation?
Can we seize the assets of those in charge for mishandling of funds, as well as those of Senators and Representatives on Financial Committees? Will they forfeit their re-election coffers and their pensions?

Are the Social Security trust funds secure in light of the these bailouts? Please explain why (or why not).

I would ask U.S. financial leaders when are you going to realize that the working people of this country are the foundation of our economy. They represent the demand side of economics and when you bleed them dry with high prices, excessive taxes and usurious rate of interest they cannot support the supply side of economics.
Everyone suffers from the disastrous consequences

Our democracy is now in dire jeopardy and Americans must act as a well-informed electorate to correct that sorry state. Thus, we require a truly free and independent press and media to provide independent and reliable information.
QUESTION: What is the roadmap for establishing free and independent media and preserving it for future generations?

Conventional wisdom is that it is foolish to "panic" and move that part of retirement income currently in stocks out of there and into more stable, less risky, but less renumerative bonds, etc. Is it time to reconsider this conventional wisdom, and if so, what would be some promising alternatives to the current set up?

If the answer to a financial crisis in the houses of large corporations is to give them money when they screw up and fall on hard times, why shouldn't every American get help from the government when they come on hard times?

If the Federal Reserve essentially can create money out of thin air and give it to the financial system, why can't the Federal Reserve create money out of thin air and give it to every American?

At what point does the fiscal irresponsibility of spending money we don't have, and creating money out of thin air, result in a crisis that can't be mitigated by any means the Treasury, Fed, and US Government try, and what would be the consequences of such a crisis?

Since we now own large stock in one of the world's largest insurance companies, "AIG", why can't we have health care for all Americans? Can't something be worked out to benefit all?

Since we now own large stock in one of the world's largest insurance companies, "AIG", why can't we have health care for all Americans? Can't something be worked out to benefit all?

I would ask, if you're an honorable public servant, what is a reasonable approach to over sight or regulation and can we ensure transparency for the critical information that impacts the lives of American people? I still remember seeing elderly people from the 80's S & L scandal who were totally wiped out; some died and too many were not held accountable.

Are we now experiencing the benefits of "trickly down" economics which demanded less regulation of free enterprise businesses along with tax cuts for those same businesses?

Is there anyone left to trust, either in Washington or on Wall Street? So many lies have been told...and those of us who have trusted -- the "regular guys on Main Street" -- are left with tanking 401(k) accounts while the perps skip merrily all the way to the Swiss/Cayman banks. The American people are fed up with the disgusting stench from the financial sector.

I'd ask "If FannyMae & FreddyMac become solvent again can we taxpayers expect stock grants in exchange for our financial assistance?"

All these financial problems were set in motion 95 years ago when a central banking system was adopted by Bankers under the cover of darkness. Yet another Congress that stood by while a financial coo took place, the effects of that move are once again threatening our very sovernty. Financial apparitions like inflation were virtually non existent before central bankers took control.

They also pushed through an illegal and oppressive income tax system without the majority approval of Congress, a illegal tax system that has lasted until this day.

If our country survives the current private financial burdens that are estimated to financially oppress the next three generations of American citizens, how about you guys and gals in Congress ending this nearly century long scam and return our financial system to one based on credit, they only one specified by our Constitution.

WHY do our JOURNALIST allow Greenspan to say that he did not see this coming, and if he had, there was nothing the FED could do?

When my wife & I have known for years that people were buying houses & cars way above their means, and when the 2nd job slowed down & the ARM re-adjusted people were going to lose everything.

The buyers were greedy;
The mortage brokers were greedy;
The mtg. cos. were greedy;
The mtg. insurers were greedy;
The FED did not see &
and now you & me will bleed
ONCE AGAIN!

Guess the FED was asleep for the Savings & Loans a few yrs. ago.

Why did so many people fall for the house that was way above their dreams,
that required a mortgage way above their means,
that stretched their ability to pay to the maximum and would re-adjustment in 5 yrs.

Why did the bankers OK it?
Why did Mtg. Cos. buy it?
Why did Mtg. Ins. accept it?

Remember when you qualified for a loan only if you did not need it?

Wait till the Credit Card shoe drops! Where did the usuary laws go?

Why are we stuck with these four presidential & VP candidates?

Eventually it gets back to us--we just yell a little and then just let it happen over & over!

Billy Bob Florida, where the DNP says we can now vote.

On CSPAN radio they interviewed an author - Ethan Harris, Chief U.S. Economist, Managing Director, Lehman Brothers - about the FED, Ben B. and a little about the fact that he recently became a former Lehman employee. He could not comment directly about the management at Lehman, but said it was sad for the employees, how a lot of people lost their jobs. But he said repeatedly that this was all part of a cycle of booms and busts and will continue...he conveyed absolutely no SHAME, no remorse, no questioning...just seemed to shrug his shoulders, and move along. I could only guess when you have had a six figure income for a long time, maybe losing your job hurts emotionally, but you feel no financial pain. My Question - Have you no shame?

I also want to ask desertrose's question: where did all the money go? I don't think it vanished in a puff of smoke. Who has it and is hanging on to it? Was it all sent overseas to Saudi Arabia and China? Is it pouring into the gold market? Is it being hoarded? It has to end up somewhere, and I can't believe that everyone who is selling oil, clothing, electronics and gold is stuffing it into their mattresses. Who's got it and why isn't it being circulated?

ARTICLE I, SEC.10 note 1 states, “No State shall enter into any Treaty make anything
but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”!
Why this section has been violated?
Is it not the duty of the Treasury Secretary to abide by this section of the Constitution?
Why The Treasury Secretary and the Federal Reserve Board approved loan to AIG at
11.5%, as they imposed restriction on the public at much lower rate?
Is it a “free market economy” by choosing and picking which “person - Company” is
being subsidize and others are being denied?
Is this not discrimination?
Why they did not nationalized the Oil Companies?
Did they not turn blind eye as the companies were being driven to the ground?

You'd first have to answer the question as to who our "financial leaders" are before we could ask effective questions. Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulsen seem more like errand boys than leaders. Not only is the hand of capitalist competition invisible but there are powerful hands of elite vested interest at work, more evident in the current crisis.

Observing ants carrying crumbs and moving dirt on the shield of their burrows one might assume they were an egalitarian cooperative, but close observation and a little digging will reveal hierarchical order and a queen.

It may be time to do a little digging and examine the alternative of reinventing our economic system, from the ground up.
Even an ant hill can't operate when the workers don't have their needs met.
They ask:"Am I working harder, for less nectar? Is the nectar more watery than before? Did the queen explode from overeating?

A friend asked me about this situation when she noted that our political economic system is peculiar.

We allow colossal companies such as American International Group to work under the mythic anarchy of laissez-faire capitalism when they make profits for their oligarchic leaders such as Robert B. Willumstad. However, when the laws of the market bring about immense losses, out of the blue, they are necessary for the weal of the nation or even the nations. We cannot let them fail.

We bailed out the creeps who wrecked the S & L industry. We did it for the automobile industry. We even threaten to do it again for American automobile manufactures even though their competitors successfully manufacture vehicles in the United States.

How is it that people like me are obligated to bail out the mess that Mr. Willumstad created? Why can’t he just jump out a window the way old timed capitalists are said to have done? Why am I not rewarded for putting my hard earned tax dollars on the line to save Mr. Willumstad?

It sounds like American International Group and Mr. Willumstad cannot lose. They take when times are good and their speculations work and they take when their schemes fail.

Wow, I wish I could be a big company or maybe just a avaricious and bungling CEO riding gently in my $47 million dollar parachute while everyone else scrambles to avoid foreclosure on their adjustable rate mortgages.

I wonder how much money this guy pays in taxes? Well at least we can take some comfort in the fact that this inept oligarch’s long term-stock options are not worth quite as much as they once were, at least, not yet.

Our political economic system is strange. Look at what we do. We allow these huge companies like AIG and the thugs who operate them to do pretty much whatever they want to do in the name of a free market, but then, when they spin out of control, we bail them out in the name of what? Socialism? This confuses me. It seems like they only want it to be a free market when they are making money, but when they fail they all get in line for capitalist welfare.

We did this for the S & L industry and we also did it for the auto industry. We almost seem ready to bail out the old American auto industry again, even though the international companies making cars in the United States are not in trouble.

People who are pay taxes that bail out companies like AIG. I think it is fair to say that we are assuming their financial risk.

My question is will we be rewarded for putting our tax dollars on the line?

It sounds like companies like AIG can't lose. They make money when their irresponsible financial speculation pays off, and they get bailed out when they fail. Wow, I sure wish I could be a big company or maybe just a greedy incompetent CEO riding gently in my $47 million dollar parachute while ordinary people scramble to avoid foreclosure on their adjustable rate mortgages. I wonder how much money this creep who ran AIG pays in taxes. Well at least we can take some comfort in the fact that this oligarch’s long term-stock options are not worth quite as much as they once were, at least, not yet.

Rudy Julianni's speach at the Republican National Party convention was only partialy right. China wasn't the only nation that resembled Adam Smith on steroids. Much of the U.S. financial industry appeared to be on steroids as well.

We need a moral hand to guide the free enterprise ship, or our system can become one of the worst economic and social oppressors in the world.

As for the question, I would ask the experts why they did not blow the whistle and speak up before the sub-prime fiasco had any chance of taking hold of our economy.

I would ask them five questions:
1. Where did the money go?

2. Will there be anyone held accountable?

3. Why is it they rush to bailout the money changers, who impoverished the nation, yet they don't bailout the citizens who generate wealth for the wealthy, and pay the salaries of politicians?

4. How come they always find a way to print money to bail Wall Street out, yet whenever the much pressing issue of Universal Health Care comes up, they give the same old answer - how are we gonna pay for it.

5. Are they working for the people, or do they only care about their next re-election, in order to enjoy the benefit of excellent health care, and long-term employment, which is something the majority of their constituents don't have?

This entire Wall Street mess reminds me of something I read a long time ago - in time of economic collapse, wealth doesn't suddenly disappear, wealth is just transferred.

Have a good day,
--

I would want to ask these questions:

With our economic system being run the way it is, engaging these for profit corporations like Haliburton or Blackwater to act the way they do or by letting lawmakers who may have a vested interest in some of these corporations to pass bills they would otherwise not pass, just so they can profit or getting no bid contracts while others suffer, are regulations enough? Is their a viable way to improve this situation?

Would a system like ParEcon or participatory economics postulated by Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel, be a possible solution?

Ofcourse it would need to be accompanied with wholesale changes in the political sphere and across the board, which I acknowledge is not likely anytime soon.

What Questions Would You Ask U.S. Financial Leaders?
“We are a country of debtors. We’ve lost the concept of savings”!
A person must ask, How can over 37 million people in US, living bellow poverty
level have any ability or “concept of savings”? With 70 millions of baby boomer's
in line for Social Security in next few years close or near close to poverty line, can
have any substantial savings! How can millions of retired people living on verge of
poverty and bankruptcy have any savings or that they can have any savings on small
benefits received from Social Security?
How can any country engage in “ongoing war” that cost trillions of dollars have any
savings? How can any regime that is focus primely in support of the
“military industrial complex” for profit, can have savings and high standard of living?
How can anyone have savings with taxation system of 30% to 55% tax on a wages from
$20,000 to $100,000 dollars?
“It is interesting to read... shifting responsibility to the individual and indirectly protecting current business practices. How can people pull themselves up by the bootstraps if the bootstraps are not even on the boot or the boots are in concrete?”
And other states, “I say we pass a law preventing anyone who can't pass a financial...”
Before we pass any ADDITIONAL LAWS We should
“ EMPOWER THE PEOPLE to PARTICIPATE in POWER”!
“How can we make sure that someone is listening in the future”?
SOLUTION:
“AMEND THE CONSTITUTION”

“EMPOWER THE PEOPLE TO EXPRESS THEIR WILL ON ALL ISSUES”!
PEOPLE should be empower to Repeal, Amend and Approve ALL the laws of the NATION!
The Laws that are in effect from LIBERARLY construed, should be replace with
STRICTLY construed and MUST be approved by the people, and Not by the SENAT the
CONGRESS, the PRESIDENT or JUDICIAL SYSTEM that believes “PROGRESS in
DEMOCRACY” is by creating new laws that fits their own interest!
The duties, responsibilities and accountability stated in laws for various department,
agency and institution shall be uniform, specific and will be stated in a form by
“shall and must”! No person should be allowed to “SHORT CIRCUIT” the SYSTEM
and move the country in a direction of his or her choice without approval by the people!
The Congress, Senate and the President power should be amended and strictly
construed as wells as Justice System. “PROGRESS in DEMOCRACY” should be
in the “power of the people to participate in the process of POWER!
The people should have had power to express their will, whether they want to bail big
institutions out of bankruptcy under political system principal of “COMUNISAM”
based on printing press confiscation, taxation and corruption
or under FREE MASRKET PRINCIPAL of Capitalism!
I have no question for the Financial leaders for they lead the country in over 30 years
into $10.6 trillion DEBT, WAR etc.!
I Need OXYGEN to breathe and feed my soul- “AMEND THE CONSTITUTION”!

The mortgage crisis has been surfaced for more a few months. Even a casual financial news follower could see that many mortgage borrowers will not be able to fulfill their commitments years ago.

In midst of all these signals, you have not quantified the seriousness of the crisis or have failed to acknowledge the dare situation. I have friends who have lost their jobs or will lost their jobs. Your mismanages have ruined they're livelihood. Do you think you deserve your salary? What will you say to your employees who might lost their jobs because of your mismanagement?

And just who are the ethical financial leaders? If I knew then I could ask:: how has allowing markets to run markets and have markets be in charge of oversite of market fraud/manipulation even remotely worked to the benefit of a progressive and "fair" market society?
How does having regulatory enforcement/oversight hinder reasonable profit.

How could the experts not have known this was happening? We all knew. How could they be that deep in denial that they couldn't see that the emperors have no clothes? The system is not sustainable. Any child could see that.

I want to know - what penalties are the CEO's and boardmembers of these companies paying? How much of their million dollar paychecks and bonuses are going back to the companies and the taxpayers who are paying for the bailouts due to managements mismanagement and greed?

Why does the financial community believe that they are entitled to a portion of what average Americans earn so they can maintain their upper class lifestyle?

I'd like to ask them what they know about Generational Dynamics, Xenakis is the only person in the economics field that has been making any sense for the past couple years.

Please interview Michael Greenberger, a la Terry Gross. We are missing information that would help us ask better questions.

I would ask if any of them have heard of "triple bottom line" accounting, and if they plan to do something about the fact that 50%++ of the world's labor (done by women) isn't counted in their equations.
Then I'd ask them to stop doing what they do :)

Why is oversight such a dirty word? Experts are coming out of the woodwork now, saying that they knew this crisis was coming, but nobody listened. Who should have listened, and how can we make sure that someone is listening in the future? How do we establish oversight that is good for investors and for Wall Street?

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