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Blasting the Bailout

While key congressional and administration leaders worked over the weekend on how to structure the U.S. financial system, Joel Achenbach wandered out to Manassas Park -- one of the less wealthy Northern Virginia suburbs -- and discovered that the "bailout doesn't smell right" to the folks who live on the same block with several foreclosed properties.

It also doesn't smell right to many of our Readers Who Comment. They say so in a flood of remarks on the articles about congressional discussions that will probably lead to legislation ratifying in some way the administration's proposal to spend up to $700 billion to take troubled assets off the books of faltering firms.

Our readers express anger, provide analysis and point their fingers at politicians and bankers. They want to mete out punishment. Many don't understand why their tax money should be used to bail out mistaken financiers. A few try to explain that an absence of action could be a national disaster. Several blame the party in power and worry that it will be re-elected. In the midst of all this are pleas for somebody important in government to explain to them in English why a bailout is essential and what would be so scary about doing nothing.

We'll start with MTgrassland who succinctly and rationally expressed what many others took hundreds of words to say in writing, "In some way, in some fashion justice needs to be served."

therebel said, "No, no, no, a thousand times no!!!! Not one red cent of taxpayer dollars for bailouts!"

coloradodog wrote, "Mainstreet was promised by neochristian Republicans the punishment of hell for bad acts. Now joe-six-pack finds out there is not hell for fat cat speculators or irresponsible big banking corporations. The Federal Government just buys them out (literally and figuratively)"

Charles15 said, "Good to see some anger on here. There needs to be anger directed at those who caused this mess; that is the chiefs in the finance sector and those who allowed them to do it; the Bush Administration and the regulators.
BUT; what is the conequences of a no bailout? It will probably mean a DEPRESSION..."

slim2 wrote, "On the hook is right! About 2300 dollars for every man, woman and child in America."

sd71 wrote, "throw three trillion dollars at iraq,throw another trillion into nobody knows what, give everybody a tax cut and accumalate many more trillions in debt. that is how the republican party operates. it is not less government,less spending or a tax cut. it is more government,wasteful spending and passing on a multi-trillion dollar debt to taxpayers now and in the future."

sscritic said, "The congressmen on the Sunday morning shows talked about the panic. There is no panic outside wall street. I walk by my bank every day and there is no line of people waiting to take their money out. Only wall street is in a panic... We should not be asked to bail them out, panic or no panic."

ssanford00 wrote, "I don't think anyone has really given the people a good reason (let alone a good explanation) of why we should give the government more taxpayer money for this bailout... Congress should take a good, hard look at this... I want to know what is going on..."

And ElrodinTN said, "...I think we need a bailout. But not THIS bailout. Don't get blackmailed by the Administration on this. Air out the details."

stodayxx wrote, "The 49% and 51% of the people who voted republican are now allowing the rest of us to 'reap the rewards' of electing a bottom of the class student for president - and we may now be in the process of repeating that ignorance once again!"

gary4books said, "So we were wrong to set a higher value on bundles of mortgages than they were worth? OK. But it is just as stupid to think that now they are worthless. Mistake? not if people get rich buying them for next to nothing.
That could be the bigger crime."

njackson1950 wrote, "What really galls me about this Wall Street bailout is that Republicans are blaming everyone else but themselves for a financial disaster almost certainly caused by deregulation they wanted and got... What do you want to bet that if Democrats in Congress try to extract reasonable controls on the bailout they will be accused of trying to destroy America."

kdhcherry shouted, "VOTE EVERY INCUMBENT OUT!...Name ten men or women in government who are impeccably honest and who consistently work for the GENERAL good and not for special interest groups of one kind or another . Can you?"

Which caused eaglechik to ask, "Do you mean those who govern or those who work for the government?"

llawrence9 wondered, "Why aren't these people being charged under Racketeering Statutes. This was a Ponzi scam. And the American people have to serve the time..."

We'll close with this exchange between lindakinne and JohnAdams1. lindakinne wrote, "...I've come to one conclusion. People don't grasp the scope and urgency of this crisis... We may not be facing the end of world, but we are facing a temporary end of financial well-being as we've known it. This is about the collapse of an entire economy... We'll get our chance to regulate, legislate, and prosecute. But we don't have the time to do it now."

JohnAdams1 responded, "...the problem with your argument is that in December 2007 Larry Summers called for action and nothing happened. Then all responsible financial leaders called for action but nothing happened... let see the facts... the tip off that it is a hoax is the very fact that no informaiton is forthcoming."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  September 22, 2008; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Congress , Economy Watch , Mortgages  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Economy Bites McCain
Next: Poll Results Attacked, Cheered

Comments

Some body suggested that only companies benefited from the bail out have to cap salaries & bonuses of their top employees. I think that the cap has to be applied to all public corporations. If you just cap a few companies, those greedy ceo's will jump to other boats and get inflated salaries somewhere else, and their companies will have to raise the pay to attrack others.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

It's time to regulate the obscene salaries & bonuses that ceo's of corporations in this country. Majority of workers get the crumbs under the table why the lords dine on caviar. Why Bush & his cohorts have to rush & secretive about the details of the bail out? I smell corruption, biggest bank robbery in daytime.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I like the comment that economic gains are now privatized, but the losses socialized - sums it up pretty well.

But why then is McCain still for keeping the Bush tax program that rewards the fat cats? They get paid in tax free dividends and capital gains that this bailout will support.
Ten days ago Bush & McCain said how great the economy is doing. Just more flimflam from the GOP - the same group that redid the bankruptcy laws to screw America's working families and grease their banking buddies.
Like Bush, McCain says bipartisian and then does everything to create discord and partisan gain. All too sad.

Posted by: FlaJoe | September 25, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris Dodd, Democrat Senator...Thank You! You did a great job as HEAD of the Banking Committee!

Oh, that's right. They paid you off. And Obama, too!

Posted by: NO HYPOCRITES | September 24, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

there are two camps right now:

pretend you are rich, look down on others, and vote GOP, feeling you are in the top 1% who actually benefit from their policies...

or

vote for Obama, who would help middle class, create smart jobs, give tax breaks to middle class by taxing top 1%, living within our budget, quit creating further enemies with other states overseas by having one on one nations even with countries we don't see eye to eye with(which coincidentally bush started copying himself after GOP blasted Obama for first saying it)...

seriously, how can you look down on countries who basically own us after eight years of bush???

you cannot just help yourself, of course some others who were trying to flip properties or were greedy will get helped along with people in genuine distress...cannot be helped...I don't like it either....

but I DO NOT believe in mccain giving further tax cuts to rich and NEW tax cuts to corporations will help middle class in this country to which most of us belong, depending on how you define it....if you have to go to work every day you are middle class, basically....

I think congress saying any company getting taxpayer money should have to limit CEO pay to no more than the president himself makes is sensible, as well as provisions to help people stay in their homes....

why bush would label congress as stonewalling is the same as drilling....without any protections whatsoever is foolish....I am sick and tired of GOP lies, fabrications, "mischaracterizations, "skirting the truth" etc. etc. etc......

IT HAS TO STOP!!!!!

Posted by: Change NOW | September 24, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Since there is no longer anyone in government who can be trusted to properly address our economic crisis I would suggest that congress simple allow us to follow their example: send each of us a money printer with instructions to print all we want whenever we want it. Problem solved.

Posted by: Dan Wayoutwest | September 23, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

If this so-called bailout passes the people I am hearing from will not be satisfied with merely voting out every incumbent. It could be the end of both the Republican and Democratic parties. More than a few people will be calling for a Constitutional convention.

Posted by: Rick Aster | September 23, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

No, No, No, No!!!

The real cost of this thing is going to top 3 trillion, already CNBC and Foxbusiness have the total cost of the OTHER bailouts of fannie, freddie, AIG, Bear-JPM etc etc etc at 1.8 trillion.

And given governments knack of making everything more expensive than it should be...3 trillion doesn't seem so far off.

America is now the world's largest socialist nation.

Posted by: Viv | September 22, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I did the math as well, and like "slim2" also came out with a cost of $2000-2500 to every man, woman, and child in America. Who gave Congress the authority to hand out this kind of debt to Americans!? Not the Constitution!!!!

Posted by: Erika in Colorado | September 22, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I was forced into bankruptcy by a car loan scam contrived in the offices we are bailing out. Where was the government handout for me. These guys are criminals who prey on those just getting by. Now it is the time for them to pay with no reprieve. I was waiting for this day. I knew it would come. What I didn't know is that we would be so stupid to fall in lockstep on the bailout. NO BAILOUT!!!

Posted by: Jade | September 22, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I echo the sentiments of many on here today that wonder why taxpayer money should be used to bail out banks and investors who made bad investments. Its just plain wrong, and I believe unfortunately $700 billion is just the beginning. We as taxpayers can't afford it.

I only hope voters will remember who votes yes on this banker bailout, and that those guys get thrown out in November.

Posted by: William Ewing | September 22, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for letting me put my two cents in before the bankers take that away. First I'd like to thank you for letting me pay for your debt. If it wasn't for your poor planning and malfeasance I'd have nothing to blog about today. I'm glad to see Dick Cheney is making a lot more money now that we have saved the economy with a magic wand. Today alone oil is up 10 bucks and that ain't tomatoes. By now all the gripers have sounded off and I have only a few words left before I return to the salt mines. This here letter I get from the revenuer says I gots to make good on Mr. Paulson's debt. How much do you want? After all I gotta eat. I do hope you don't criminalize these miscreants for the bunko they committed. And thanks to Bush and Haliburton for fixin' up Iraq. Without reconstructing them dwellers we'd a had quite a hassel on r hand. Anyways, thanks for the tribute to the country and the patriotic gesture. I can breath easier knowing you meant well. You guys rock.

Posted by: Dear Mr. Murdoch | September 22, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Oil and gold are going thru the roof. The dollar is falling thru the floor. Next year's deficit will be a staggering 1.5 trillion dollars. Whatever may be gained by this bailout will be negated ten times worse by the crash of the dollar!

Posted by: Bob | September 22, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I sent this to all of my federal representatives:

Dear Representative:

Though a regular voter, I have never written to my federal representatives. However, the implications of the proposed federal bailout of America’s and the world’s financial system are so enormous that I feel compelled to write. Admittedly, I am no financial wizard. However, as a successful entrepreneur and business owner, I think I have a sense of what is being asked of the American taxpayer.

The core of the financial problem is that the assets held by banks and other financial institutions have lost tremendous value. This, by itself, would be fine. Money is lost all the time. The problem is that, because they have lost so much value and the value of the assets that back them is ambiguous, they are not being traded and so cannot be priced. The federal government proposes to buy them – thereby setting a price – holding them, and reselling them in the future when they have value again. In essence, the American taxpayer is being asked to be a junk-bond investor.

Being a junk-bond investor is not a bad thing. Wall street tycoons have made fortunes betting on junk bonds. The problem is that, to make money, the price has to be low enough to account for the risk of non-payment. So, my first and most important question about the bailout is how will these assets be priced?

If, as an American taxpayer, I am a holder of an enormous number of junk bonds, then it’s in my best interest to create the conditions for their successful payment. To create these conditions, I need to implement policies that will contribute to overall economic growth. The structural changes that need to be present to insure that these bonds will be repaid are entitlement reform and health care reform. By managing these costs, money can return to the economy and drive the growth needed to pay back the bonds. So, my second question is what structural economic policies (not just financial regulations) will be tied to this bailout?

Lastly, policies need to be put in place to insure that this does not happen again. Also, those responsible cannot escape with a slap on the wrist. Third, what regulations will be implemented, oversight created, and punishments meted out?

To review and answer, here are the issues:

1) How will the federal government price the assets that it is buying? The government should pay substantially less than the most recent price indication of the asset. It is clear that, whatever the most recent price, it was too high to induce a buyer. The federal government should set a pricing policy in place that IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO THE SELLERS. The federal government is the buyer of last resort. The sellers should not be happy about selling these assets. This is market creation, not a program to prop-up struggling financial institutions. These institutions should merge and fail if needed.

2) What other programs should be a requirement for this bailout? Ideally, significant structural change should accompany this bail-out. This is an opportunity to do what everyone knows needs to be done, but none dare broach. Fix entitlements and health care. Make it a condition of a bail out.

3) What regulations need to be in place? Certainly hedge funds need to be better regulated and collateral needs to be more transparent. Those participating in the bail out should have compensation and exit packages dramatically limited. The argument that the free market and corporate boards should set executive compensation and exit packages for these companies is ludicrously hypocritical.

I am disturbed that we are in this financial predicament. I will be even more disturbed if this bailout is not used to improve our nation and improve our economy. I will be watching and will make my November choices accordingly.

Sincerely,

Burck Smith
Alexandria, VA 22314

Posted by: Burck Smith | September 22, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Why shoud I, a responsible homeowner who wanted to trade up but refused to pay the INFLATED prices caused by every lying bum in the country buying houses they knew they could not afford and now because I waited I get the honor of bailing out the liars plus the overpaid bastards in Fred and Fan, the banks and brokerage firms WHO DID NOT SHARE THEIR OBSCENE PROFITS BUT WANT US TAXPAYETS TO SHARE THE LOSSES!

Posted by: Angel | September 22, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

There is no argument that the economy is in bad shape. But Paulson's proposal is ludicrous. In what alternative universe would the American people hand over all power over financial markets to him???
Secondly, why the bums rush to get Congress to act quickly? Last time that happened, we got stuck with the Patriot Act -that no one had time to read.
I urge the Congress to put on the brakes. Get the best financial minds in the country to Washington and figure out how to get us out of this mess without bankrupting the US Treasury.
The financial world can wobble for a little while; I'd prefer a bill that makes sense to taxpayers.
Anything Bush insists on must be viewed skeptically.

Posted by: pbgolfs | September 22, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I am against the bail out in its current form: WHY SHOULD WE AWARD FAILURE?

Posted by: orbiter dictum | September 22, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Mike W. wrote, "The American people will be blind enough to elect a person who most likely won't live out their first term and the only thing we will say to the world is we have a "HOTTIE" president that doesn't know a thing about anything."

Now that you mention it, she's a lot easier on the eyes than Cheney, and easier on the ears than Biden. I may have to think this thing over.

Posted by: Miss Hogynist | September 22, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I against the bailout in its current form. If the US people are forced to pay corporations for screwing up we need to set guidelines for this bailout:
1. Any company that gets bailed out the board, CEO, etc will not get any bonuses and their pay will be reduced to a set standard (if your pay was like everyone elses then you will think twice while managing)
2. There must be plans to assist the borrower to help them re-finance their home to a fix loan (increase it to 40 or 50 year mortgage to keep them in their homes).
3. Raise taxes on individuals making over a half a million dollars (since the fools running these business were making these numbers) by 10%.

Finally please call this a RECESSION, we have been in a RECESSION since August 2007 and the Republicans are afraid to say the word. It is better if you tell the American people the real truth instead of trying to mislead us. How many more banks have to be taken over by the FDIC before we start saying DEPRESSION (at least 11 banks have been taken over by the FDIC this year and that hasn't happened in a long time). Tell the American people the whole truth and then we can come together to get out of it. But some individuals have plans to be rich and stay rich after they leave office on January 20, 2009. GW Bush and VP Dick will be very rich while the rest of us are surviving.
The American people will be blind enough to elect a person who most likely won't live out their first term and the only thing we will say to the world is we have a "HOTTIE" president that doesn't know a thing about anything.
God Help the USA.

Posted by: Mike W | September 22, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

In case you missed it the first four times it was posted, I submit for your viewing pleasure:

Even more scary is the fact that in the midst of this calamity when our country is going broke from this monumental embezzlement, Stadiums are full of spectators paying outrageous prices for Professional Sports. Instead of being out in the Streets fiercely demonstrating for the removal of all the incumbent Congressmen that de-regulated the Financial sector and removed taxes of the wealthy they're out there screaming for a home run or a touchdown. We have become anesthesized to the whole scam by fake optimism, the Fed and the Paulson proposal, the last two intent on covering the tracks of those CEOs and preserving their capital at our expense. The last nail on the coffin of America would be a racist vote from Bubba, white women and white Seniors that could extend this Administration's rape of our National Treasury, Constitution and Supreme Court another four years. People, think carefully before you vote, we are caught in a Corporate-Military-industry dictatorship directed by a Congress long financed by massive political donations. It is a bi-partisan problem, not amenable to a fix by any President. But,lacking a strong third Party, an anti-Bush-McCain-Republican vote is the only option we have at this late moment to begin the reconstruction of our country.

Anyone for a 6'th time?

Posted by: Miss Hogynist | September 22, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

We can kill 2 birds with one stone here.

I propose a sales tax on securities sales to fund the bailout. This will sell well on Main St. plus it provides a way to regulate the market (increasing the sales tax reduces volume inhibiting speculation).

I think this is a win-win.

Posted by: Dan | September 22, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

After this, no more mewling from the upper crust. Government helped them out of a mess they made. Upper crusters can help Government reorganize health care in this country. It isn't 1947 anymore. Government will restore regulation to the finance industry.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | September 22, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Be sure to express your feelings to your representatives in Congress and in the Senate. WAKE UP and become an involved, thinking citizen. You are now witnessing what years of apathy and bickering get 'ya!

Posted by: Tiredof Govt | September 22, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Just to add a few more points:
1. bailout is essential due to the precarious situation these "geniuses" have us stuck in.
2. I expect ~$100B to be raised by taking 1/2 of the cash out of these "geniuses" bank a/c, assets, etc. as proposed in earlier post.
3. Oh, BTW, it will mean money out of Hank Paulson's kitty too since our man was Goldman Sachs CEO till 2006 (don't see much being written about his role in creating this mess).

Posted by: original_author | September 22, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The banks created this problem by lending money to people who should not have been given the amount of money that they could not afford, and now the same banks must bear the losses. The actions taken by treasury is nothing more than the institutionalized theft of 700 billion dollers from the taxpayers of this nation. The lax regulatory environment of last 2-4 yesrs, including not enforcing existing regulations has also contributed (e.g., removing 12:1 leverage limit that formerly applied to broker dealers, permitting investiment and commercial banks to hold assets in buckets whete there is no disclosure of what those assets are how their value is determined). This is fraud.

The people who have been prudent in managing their money are being asked to bail out people who have lived beyond their means. This is outrageous.

Posted by: RK, Gaithersburg | September 22, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

So now we should give the Bush Administration the biggest blank check in history to bail out Wall Street. Why, because the blank check he weaseled out of us for war in Iraq was so well-spent? I don't think so.

Clearly some kind of bailout is needed, but only because Wall Street paid Congress in 1999 to get rid of the Glass-Steagall Act that had kept things running smoothly for 60+ years. Now taxpayers are supposed to take on all the bad debt that resulted from the past ten years of drunken partying? Ha. To repeat a totally crude analogy I read somewhere, Wall Street can get into bed with "big government" now that it needs to, but it shouldn't expect just to roll over and get a good night's sleep.

Posted by: csdiego | September 22, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

At least we now have a new concept to teach in Econ 101:

"Socialized Free Market Economics."

MWF 0800-0900; three units.

Posted by: Paul Wertz | September 22, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Let's talk about some justice -- much meeker compared to Bush standards but still som justice. In 2006 Investment banks paid out $62B in bonuses!! These white collar crooks got the money for the "brilliant" job they did justifying such obscene pay outs. Well, it is their brilliant job that has imploded so I suggest we take half of each year's bonus since '99, which will still leave them with billions, back from the top 100 bonus recipients of each investment bank to finance the bail out.
This will A) establish accountability B) be a gentle form of punishment since they don't get thrown in the hopper or get canned for life, instead have millions still left with them and C) helps take the load of the unwitting, powerless masses who are always work to make the cunning crooks wealthier.
Any opinions?
That will generate

Posted by: original_author | September 22, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Just not fair!!!! How about a reduction in debt of my home loan?????

Posted by: Ray | September 22, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

What is completly perplexing to me is the fact that Paulson and the President want a complete bailout. At a maximum we should only pay pennies on the dollar, with any futureprofits going to the Treasury and refunded back to those who pay taxes. Executive pay for those companies who are bailed out need to be capped at a reasonable percentage of the average paid person for that company...then and only until this mess is cleaned up, all those responsible for predatory lending, these derivative schemes, and any illegal behavior should be publicly tried and put in jail.

Posted by: Vince Lewis | September 22, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I don not think this is really a Republican or Democrat issue but an American issue. The Fed under Greenspan started relaxing lending standards (away from %20 down and fixed) and this massive credit bubble to America has grown and now its blowing up in our face. The Fed policies were the start of this, and many corrupt people in high places got rich because of it, and many poor will suffer because of it.

Posted by: Monte | September 22, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

can we stop with the partisan Dem vs. Republican rhetoric. Frankly they are both guilty! some of this dates back to the 70s, but just as much took place today. Where is Alan Greenspan? What reforms have been enacted since Enron or the dot com bubble? Folks have been losing there houses for the past 4-5 years from this very same boom! not only were the lending requirements virtually eliminated, but folks were not paying property taxes, and not meeting escrow payments. the lenders must not have been doing the truth in lending disclosure.

The reality of this crisis, or what everyone wants explained is what we really know but just don't think of it. our US economy is not made to ever pay off your debt. it's an overly complicated web of debt, cash flow and borrowing. in the end these key firms cannot meet their cash requirements because first they don't have cash to meet all their liabilities. When they need cash which seems daily, they borrow against existing assets. those existing assets which were grossly inflated just months prior are more than likely grossly deflated now. so the quandary is let them collapse or bail them out.

If we let them collapse, the so-called confidence in our economy is zero. what does that mean? the value of the $$$ is solely associated with our ability to pay our debt. Recall it's not literally the $$$ in your pocket, but the dollars through out the economic system. the $$$ that buy oil from over seas, etc. if 1-trilion of our economy can die within 3-weeks, what does that do for the value of your money? the value of the US dollar would nose dive! I would assume hyper inflation would result from that.

now what happens if we bail them out... simply put the status quo prevails and we further our us and them society! no need to explain that aspect further we all understand that. so no bailout with out reforms. the market is now some overly complex vehicle where people are essentially betting on the market itself. Short sales are nothing tangible and induce no new funds in a company like a normal stock purchase does. I wonder are futures markets just the same.

Posted by: OKNOW101 | September 22, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

can we stop with the partisan Dem vs. Republican rhetoric. Frankly they are both guilty! some of this dates back to the 70s, but just as much took place today. Where is Alan Greenspan? What reforms have been enacted since Enron or the dot com bubble? Folks have been losing there houses for the past 4-5 years from this very same boom! not only were the lending requirements virtually eliminated, but folks were not paying property taxes, and not meeting escrow payments. the lenders must not have been doing the truth in lending disclosure.

The reality of this crisis, or what everyone wants explained is what we really know but just don't think of it. our US economy is not made to ever pay off your debt. it's an overly complicated web of debt, cash flow and borrowing. in the end these key firms cannot meet their cash requirements because first they don't have cash to meet all their liabilities. When they need cash which seems daily, they borrow against existing assets. those existing assets which were grossly inflated just months prior are more than likely grossly deflated now. so the quandary is let them collapse or bail them out.

If we let them collapse, the so-called confidence in our economy is zero. what does that mean? the value of the $$$ is solely associated with our ability to pay our debt. Recall it's not literally the $$$ in your pocket, but the dollars through out the economic system. the $$$ that buy oil from over seas, etc. if 1-trilion of our economy can die within 3-weeks, what does that do for the value of your money? the value of the US dollar would nose dive! I would assume hyper inflation would result from that.

now what happens if we bail them out... simply put the status quo prevails and we further our us and them society! no need to explain that aspect further we all understand that. so no bailout with out reforms. the market is now some overly complex vehicle where people are essentially betting on the market itself. Short sales are nothing tangible and induce no new funds in a company like a normal stock purchase does. I wonder are futures markets just the same.

Posted by: OKNOW101 | September 22, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I find it rather funny (abeit pathetic):

We have been told for years that Universal Health Care for ALL Americans was "too expensive" due to its projected $85 Billion price tag.

In light of the accumulated cost of the Iraq War, the proposed $700 Billion to $1 Trillion financial bailout for Wall Street, and the $25 Billion that domestic auto-makers want, I just have one comment regarding national Health Care:

It seems you guys are getting awfully good at spending dollars to save a nickel.

Posted by: tbardancers | September 22, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who is even contemplating voting for McCain should examine their state of mind. It’s equivalent to a financial suicide. We don’t have the luxury to endanger our economy by continuing the same the path—GW’s. Lets’ get our country back and fire not only the head of the SEC, as McCain suggested, but throw out the whole corrupt regime—The Republican regime.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 22, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

A guy on Bloomberg makes an okay briefing on how Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are part of this problem. What he ignores is how corrupt, negligent & Wall-Street-serving the Bush Administration and Republicans in Congress have been. And the Republicans in Congress were all on board for the 1999 Clinton-era deregulation of banking & commodity trading. That was sponsored by Phil Gramm.

If you can put aside the below author's denial of the role the Republicans played, the below article is an okay briefing on the Fannie, Freddie part of the credit system meltdown.

How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis: Kevin Hassett
Commentary by Kevin Hassett

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The financial crisis of the past year has provided a number of surprising twists and turns, and from Bear Stearns Cos. to American International Group Inc., ambiguity has been a big part of the story.

Why did Bear Stearns fail, and how does that relate to AIG? It all seems so complex.

But really, it isn't. Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.

Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis. They fueled Wall Street's efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio of mortgages themselves.

more at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_hassett&sid=aSKSoiNbnQY0

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 22, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

nothing from nothing leaves nothing, right? capitalism is dead. conservatives have proven that human beings are not developed enough to be trusted with wealth. enlightened society's realize that you show wealth by how much you give away, NOT what you accumulate. eventually, we will be ready for the free market, but (R)'s are not capable of it.

we did make it through the depression before, so letting them fail is NOT the debacle they make it out to be. let the market reign, "going forward", ay? or, since the constitution is so fluid anyway, declare ourselves a socialist state, privatize oil, arms, tobacco and liquor, and voila! our problems are solved. also, make it a rule that no one deserves million dollar bonuses, NO one.

Posted by: PreAmerikkkan | September 22, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Anyone even contemplating voting for McCain should examine their state of mind. It’s equivalent to a financial suicide. We don’t have the luxury to endanger our economy by continuing the path—GW’s. Lets’ get our country back and fire not only the head of the SEC, but the whole corrupt regime—The Republican regime.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 22, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

There's plenty of blame to go around, so it's really foolish to solely blame Bush for this. The simple truth is Congress made it easier for unqualified people to get mortgages because that's what the people wanted. The bankers offered these pie in the sky deals, but no one held a gun to the average citizen's head making him sign on the dotted line. They signed because they wanted it. They signed because it meant they could keep up with the Joneses. People were happy while it lasted so Congress and the administration(s) in power at the time were happy. Now in typical fashion, the people who bought into this mess knowing they couldn't afford the payments want to blame someone else for their own greed and stupidity! This financial mess is like pregnancy....it takes two to tango. Now, the dance is over and the people responsible don't want to pay the fiddler. People who live within their means have every right to be angry. They are being punished for living esponsibly. Sadly, though, our "courageous" political leaders will throw them under the bus because the irresponsible ones have more votes.

Posted by: panamajack | September 22, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Even more scary is the fact that in the midst of this calamity when our country is going broke from this monumental embezzlement, Stadiums are full of spectators paying outrageous prices for Professional Sports. Instead of being out in the Streets fiercely demonstrating for the removal of all the incumbent Congressmen that de-regulated the Financial sector and removed taxes of the wealthy they're out there screaming for a home run or a touchdown. We have become anesthesized to the whole scam by fake optimism, the Fed and the Paulson proposal, the last two intent on covering the tracks of those CEOs and preserving their capital at our expense. The last nail on the coffin of America would be a racist vote from Bubba, white women and white Seniors that could extend this Administration's rape of our National Treasury, Constitution and Supreme Court another four years. People, think carefully before you vote, we are caught in a Corporate-Military-industry dictatorship directed by a Congress long financed by massive political donations. It is a bi-partisan problem, not amenable to a fix by any President. But,lacking a strong third Party, an anti-Bush-McCain-Republican vote is the only option we have at this late moment to begin the reconstruction of our country.

Posted by: LRoger | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Even more scary is the fact that in the midst of this calamity when our country is going broke from this monumental embezzlement, Stadiums are full of spectators paying outrageous prices for Professional Sports. Instead of being out in the Streets fiercely demonstrating for the removal of all the incumbent Congressmen that de-regulated the Financial sector and removed taxes of the wealthy they're out there screaming for a home run or a touchdown. We have become anesthesized to the whole scam by fake optimism, the Fed and the Paulson proposal, the last two intent on covering the tracks of those CEOs and preserving their capital at our expense. The last nail on the coffin of America would be a racist vote from Bubba, white women and white Seniors that could extend this Administration's rape of our National Treasury, Constitution and Supreme Court another four years. People, think carefully before you vote, we are caught in a Corporate-Military-industry dictatorship directed by a Congress long financed by massive political donations. It is a bi-partisan problem, not amenable to a fix by any President. But,lacking a strong third Party, an anti-Bush-McCain-Republican vote is the only option we have at this late moment to begin the reconstruction of our country.

Posted by: LRoger | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Even more scary is the fact that in the midst of this calamity when our country is going broke from this monumental embezzlement, Stadiums are full of spectators paying outrageous prices for Professional Sports. Instead of being out in the Streets fiercely demonstrating for the removal of all the incumbent Congressmen that de-regulated the Financial sector and removed taxes of the wealthy they're out there screaming for a home run or a touchdown. We have become anesthesized to the whole scam by fake optimism, the Fed and the Paulson proposal, the last two intent on covering the tracks of those CEOs and preserving their capital at our expense. The last nail on the coffin of America would be a racist vote from Bubba, white women and white Seniors that could extend this Administration's rape of our National Treasury, Constitution and Supreme Court another four years. People, think carefully before you vote, we are caught in a Corporate-Military-industry dictatorship directed by a Congress long financed by massive political donations. It is a bi-partisan problem, not amenable to a fix by any President. But,lacking a strong third Party, an anti-Bush-McCain-Republican vote is the only option we have at this late moment to begin the reconstruction of our country.

Posted by: LRoger | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Even more scary is the fact that in the midst of this calamity when our country is going broke from this monumental embezzlement, Stadiums are full of spectators paying outrageous prices for Professional Sports. Instead of being out in the Streets fiercely demonstrating for the removal of all the incumbent Congressmen that de-regulated the Financial sector and removed taxes of the wealthy they're out there screaming for a home run or a touchdown. We have become anesthesized to the whole scam by fake optimism, the Fed and the Paulson proposal, the last two intent on covering the tracks of those CEOs and preserving their capital at our expense. The last nail on the coffin of America would be a racist vote from Bubba, white women and white Seniors that could extend this Administration's rape of our National Treasury, Constitution and Supreme Court another four years. People, think carefully before you vote, we are caught in a Corporate-Military-industry dictatorship directed by a Congress long financed by massive political donations. It is a bi-partisan problem, not amenable to a fix by any President. But,lacking a strong third Party, an anti-Bush-McCain-Republican vote is the only option we have at this late moment to begin the reconstruction of our country.

Posted by: LRoger | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Angry at the bailout? Of course. If $700billions are to be spent, then simply spread it among all those who have outstanding mortgages, in direct proportion to the morgage amount. This has three effects: (1) The total liability is the same; (2) The money is going to the same folks, by and large, who will pay for it anyway; (3) We, the people, will decide what to do with it.

Why should we help in any way those who created this problem in the first place?

Posted by: AMviennaVA | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

>>no bailout wrote: "don't believe what you are being told about some disaster that will hurt you if there is no bailout. without a bailout, wall st. will have to clean up its act and behave in the future. the rest of us will be fine."

Without the bailout, our credit system would shut down where it feeds foreign cash to us. Mostly, we wouldn't be able to buy on foreign credit anymore. Our ability to buy foreign oil would stop suddenly, for example. In terms of energy, if we can't buy foreign oil, 20 percent of our country would have to shut down immediately.

We would have to start living within our means as a society immediately. Like, this week.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

>>no bailout wrote: "don't believe what you are being told about some disaster that will hurt you if there is no bailout. without a bailout, wall st. will have to clean up its act and behave in the future. the rest of us will be fine."

Without the bailout, our credit system would shut down where it feeds foreign cash to us. Mostly, we wouldn't be able to buy on foreign credit anymore. Our ability to buy foreign oil would stop suddenly, for example. In terms of energy, if we can't buy foreign oil, 20 percent of our country would have to shut down immediately.

As a society we would have to start living within our means, not on credit, and on our own resources, immediately. Like, this week.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Angry at the bailout? Of course. If $700billions are to be spent, then simply spread it among all those who have outstanding mortgages, in direct proportion to the morgage amount. This has three effects: (1) The total liability is the same; (2) The money is going to the same folks, by and large, who will pay for it anyway; (3) We, the people, will decide what to do with it.

Why should we help in any way those who created this problem in the first place?

Posted by: AMviennaVA | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Angry at the bailout? Of course. If $700billions are to be spent, then simply spread it among all those who have outstanding mortgages, in direct proportion to the morgage amount. This has three effects: (1) The total liability is the same; (2) The money is going to the same folks, by and large, who will pay for it anyway; (3) We, the people, will decide what to do with it.

Why should we help in any way those who created this problem in the first place?

Posted by: AMviennaVA | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

>>no bailout wrote: "don't believe what you are being told about some disaster that will hurt you if there is no bailout. without a bailout, wall st. will have to clean up its act and behave in the future. the rest of us will be fine."

Without the bailout, our credit system would shut down where it feeds foreign cash to us. Mostly, we wouldn't be able to buy on foreign credit anymore. Our ability to buy foreign oil would stop suddenly, for example. In terms of energy, if we can't buy foreign oil, 20 percent of our country would have to shut down immediately.

As a society we would have to start living within our means, not on credit, and on our own resources, immediately. Like, this week.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

>>no bailout wrote: "don't believe what you are being told about some disaster that will hurt you if there is no bailout. without a bailout, wall st. will have to clean up its act and behave in the future. the rest of us will be fine."

Without the bailout, our credit system would shut down where it feeds foreign cash to us. Mostly, we wouldn't be able to buy on foreign credit anymore. Our ability to buy foreign oil would stop suddenly, for example. In terms of energy, if we can't buy foreign oil, 20 percent of our country would have to shut down immediately.

We would have to start living within our means as a society immediately. Like, this week.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Our readers express anger, provide analysis and point their fingers at politicians and bankers. They want to mete out punishment.. Several blame the party in power and worry that it will be re-elected."

It's a bipartisan problem. Caused by both parties.

The democrats started this mess with their minority-housing programs ("subprime" mortgages, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Clinton era investment banking & commodity trading deregulation & loose monetary policy). The Clinton era financial gimmicks created, moreover, a faux bubble of illusory growth that manifested itself, in one respect, as the tech stock bubble that burst in 2000 and later morphed into the real estate bubble during the Bush Administration.

Wall Street turned the democrats' flawed social-programs-cum-banking into deeply flawed products by creating a credit-backed derivatives repackaging and rating system that cleverly misrepresented the risk of the bad mortgage loan practices the democrats forced on the banking industry in the name of social economic justice. Wall Street found a way to make these "subprime" loans and the Fannie, Freddie system profitable (by creating derivatives that hid the risks), and then once they did, every other kind of credit scam piled into credit-backed derivative markets.

The republicans were corrupt enablers, especially the Bush Administration. Bush was flat out negligent in the past few years. The Bush Administration's SEC was more focused on prosecuting elite liberals in innovative ways (remember Martha Stewart?) than doing any substantive watchdogging of Wall Street. The Bush Justice department cut down mortgage fraud investigations even while people were warning that mortgage fraud was spiking. The republicans and democrats alike served Wall street lobbyists' aims in the past few years, blocking states' regulation of mortgage fraud and federal lawmakers' attempts to impose mortgage regulation (like John McCain's "Federal Housing Regulatory Act Of 2005" that democrats defeated).

Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama can be remotely described as being part of the problem causing this mess, nor have either shown any leadership in their careers that would put them on the side of good (McCain failed to get his 2005 Federal Housing Regulatory Act passed, after all and he originally supported Clinton's 1999 banking & commodities deregulation).

Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama has shown any real signs of leadership in this latest blow up. In fact, the fact that both of them were not ready for this with some deep preparation after the Bear Stearns failure earlier this year, shows a lack of insight on both of their part. They have both been apparently distracted by campaigning too long to have the wit or depth to have grasped this problem that has been growing obviously worse all year.

I've talked to people who are reconsidering their strong faith in Obama and I've got John McCain on "economic idiot" watch, too.

IMO, both parties are incoherent and spastic right now. The bailout is an expensive, illusory joke that only keeps alive our shadow banking system by which America the credit junkie receives life support of foreign cash so we can keep our trade deficit & federal deficit spending up and not shut down economically because we are dependent on foreign cash to run.

The dems have passed a bill in the House that pretends to be for drilling but that effectively shuts down any drilling under 100 miles from shore. We are going to continue to send hundreds of millions of dollars a year abroad, just to buy foreign oil. The reason why the stupid dems don't realize that this is a bad thing, is that they can't see the connection between our deficits and the credit/banking crisis. The democrats' conniving, posturing and blocking on energy issues is by now Kafka-esque.

IMO, both candidates have proved to be idiots and economically vapid to a worrisome degree. After Clinton dropped out, we lost the only person with enough multfaceted depth to know we have to first stop the foreclosures before our credit system can stabilize.

IMO the election right now comes down to one test:

Both candidates and both parties have proved how incoherent, dysfunctional and clueless they are on this massive problem. Both candidates are currently cramming like crazy and both parties are scrambling to come up with coherent reaction to a need for action. IMO this has become a contest to see who can pull off the equivalent of a cramming to pass a year of physics after never attending classes, with only 4 weeks to the oral exams.

Whomever can pull out some real leadership wins the election.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 22, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"Charles15 said, "Good to see some anger on here. There needs to be anger directed at those who caused this mess; that is the chiefs in the finance sector and those who allowed them to do it; the Bush Administration and the regulators.
BUT; what is the conequences of a no bailout? It will probably mean a DEPRESSION...""

Charles15 doesn't get it...the dem Congress changed the laws so that they could do this...they did so at the beginning of clintons run as president...
tired of this partison crap...

Posted by: Dwight | September 22, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"Charles15 said, "Good to see some anger on here. There needs to be anger directed at those who caused this mess; that is the chiefs in the finance sector and those who allowed them to do it; the Bush Administration and the regulators.
BUT; what is the conequences of a no bailout? It will probably mean a DEPRESSION...""

Charles15 doesn't get it...the dem Congress changed the laws so that they could do this...they did so at the beginning of clintons run as president...
tired of this partison crap...

Posted by: Dwight | September 22, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Today's response to the bailout in the financial markets:
Stocks down.
Bonds down.
Dollar down.
Oil up.

Another Bush "mission accomplished".

Posted by: Miss Hogynist | September 22, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

don't believe what you are being told about some disaster that will hurt you if there is no bailout. without a bailout, wall st. will have to clean up its act and behave in the future. the rest of us will be fine.

if everyone who got rich creating this problem surrenders all their loot, then and only then would i be willing to chip in a few dollars as a taxpayer, but nowhere near the level being proposed. but we know they will all get to keep their spoils.

oppose this nonsense, don't be fooled. thanks.

Posted by: no bailout | September 22, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

to those that can't afford their home, you just lost it...to the ceo's that should have seen this coming....barred from working in any financial institution or politics and your parachute will be cut...to prevent this kind of crisis from effecting world markets, set up a firewall...
to the dems that kept fannie and freddie from being regulated, quit now, do the right thing...

Posted by: Dwight | September 22, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Without a bailout, the real economy would have crumpled. We can figure out who to punish later, and the creative ways in which they should be punished, but without the bailout the credit markets would have dried up. Companies rely on those credit markets to pay wages and buy supplies. It's ridiculous that it all came to this, but I support the bailout because I want to get paid next Friday, on time. We can have all the Schadenfreude at the Masters of the Universe that we want, but when their screw-ups threaten to take the shirt off my back for no good reason, I want somebody or something in there to protect me.

Posted by: JoeSchmoe | September 22, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

For the second time in 20 years we are being forced to bail out the reckless business decisions of Wall Street and the big banks. We are told it is because of banks accepting "stated income" apps for mortgages, inflated appraisals and reducing loan criteria to accept non credit qualified applicants for mortgages, yet I have seen no stories of buyers being prosecuted for fraudulent applications, no indictments of brokers for abetting fraudulent applications for loans, no pursuance of appraisers for inflating appraisals and no arrests of bank management for packaging and misrepresenting these mortgages as triple A quality investments.

You show me some indictments of the resposible parties and I'll consider the bailout. Otherwise this goes down as the largest bank robbery in all of history.

Posted by: wjenkins | September 22, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Now this Congress and this Republican President and his administration can bailout all of their financial buddies after they have made billions from hardworking American citizens, but can only keep these millions of American families tied up with debt they will never be able to pay and maintain a home and job for their families. All this while these same struggling American families are about to be saddled with more taxes than ever because this government does not have billions of dollars to bailout these companies now or in the future but are doing so at our expense as well as our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for years to come. It would make much more sense to bailout struggling homeowners and homeless families and a whole lot cheaper to do so. These companies have made billions off of these families in order for them to get into these homes and they are the ones paying taxes and losing their homes still with no PLAN TO HELP THEM AT ALL. We should be forcing these lenders to lower these horrendous interest rates they tricked most of these people into by telling them that they could refinance these loans before they adjusted to these higher rates and told them not to worry because they would NEVER HAVE TO PAY THOSE OUTRAGEOUS RATES. But they tricked these people because when it came time to refinance they changed the rules so that few, if any, of these people could refinance their loans as promised under the new rules and were stuck with loans that they never intended to have to pay in the first place. So much for real truth in lending in America folks. I know this to be true because I sat in many closings as a settlement agent while the loan brokers reiterated these false promises and I also heard these promises made prior to the closings on these high adjustable rate loans made to home buyers and refinancers. Congress needs to be kicked out if they go for this administrations billion dollar bailout of these loan sharks knowing that we (working America) will be paying enormously for this despicable action more than we(and they) will ever know. There is nothing in any of these bills stopping the top brass from getting millions of dollars in salary, kickbacks, golden parachutes, stock options, etc., while more Americans than ever are losing their jobs (especially the lower paid workers in these financial institutions) thanks to this new taxpayer bailout that carries no benefits to the taxpayer. Just think I may be a homeowner who has lost his home, but as a taxpayer and worker I still get to bailout the mortgage company that foreclosed on my home and to whom I am still paying money through my substantially increased personal income taxes and/or bankruptcy. Ironic, that you get to help them after they have taken your home!!!
Bush administration and Congress are operating like South American dictatorships in 2008 by bailing out all of their financial buddies, pardoning their crooked friends and associates and screwing up everything possible before getting out of office so that the country is in the worse mess since the depression and it will take years to fix it -- all this in just 8 years too. Unbelievable that any Americans would still want more of any of them.

Posted by: hotezzy | September 22, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say this because the alternative is terrifying, but this bailout is bogus. It won't solve anything really. Moreover the papers are wrong in reporting that "investment banks" will be bailed out. There are no more investment banks, as the last 2 big ones were converted to holding companies today. We will be bailing out hedge funds and other entities in the "shadow banking system" that has sprung up unregulated around our regulated banking system funneling credit into our over-leveraged economy.

The reason for this bailout is hinted at if you look for why they bailed out some banks and let Lehman fail. The government needs, at minimum, to keep afloat those entitles that funnel foreign private cash into our credit system. Without those banks and funds, we cannot maintain our deficit spending to buy foreign oil and other products we have become dependent on. It also feeds the market for our Treasury's debt sales.

We are addicted to credit because of our dependence on foreign life support now. If we shut down the pipelines for foreign cashflow into the U.S. we won't be able to service our credit needs, our mortgage needs and our trade deficit, including the buying of foreign oil. Our entire country would shut down.

This bailout is necessary to keep those afloat to service our credit addiction. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a vast bailout that will not help our over-leveraged economy recover or strengthen, just keep us borrowing more. It's like keeping your credit card company afloat after its customers stop paying and its investors stop providing cash to front the customers' purchases. It keeps alive those lending facilities that created the problem and will not help us recover from the problem.

For more on the "shadow banking system" breaking down there is a brief article in the Financial Times today:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/622acc9e-87f1-11dd-b114-0000779fd18c.html

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 22, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Them Republican Tax Cuts for the wealthy hadn't worked out so good huh? In reality, hey guys reality is over here, it has the exact opposite affect.

Here is some math for you: $1 trillion divided by 100 Million taxpayer is $10,000 per tax payer. Makes you wonder who paid for those tax breaks, or is it just obvious.

Posted by: Rob | September 22, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

finally! We socialists have been trying to get the Democrats to nationalize Wall Street for years, but lo and behold...our goals have been achieved through REPUBLICAN policies! After all the names they've have called us, after all the anti-socialist propaganda they've spread, it's just sooo ironic that the Republicans are the ones cheerleading the government takeovers of private companies! Socialized mortgage companies, socialized financial institutions, socialized insurance companies...sayyyyyy...that gives me an idea!

It just seems so logical! The government now owns most of the insurance giant AIG. One of the complaints about single-payer healthcare is the lack of infrastructure. How about if we use AIG's network as the foundation for American-style socialized medicine?! Brilliant! At least that way the American tax-payer will get *something* for their money.

If we'd only focused on the plight of the multi-millionaires instead of the needs of the needy, who KNOWS how helpful the Republicans could have been. Ah, well. They're all for socialism NOW and that's what's really important. Way to GO, Republicans! Way ta goooo!

Posted by: Socialista | September 22, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Where's the rage? The American public is virtually mute about the financial crisis.
Why no public demonstrations throughout the country and in DC and Wall Street?
Are we becoming a nation of wimps?
Come on, Americans. Lets get loud! This is, afterall, still a America. Right?

Posted by: John Burke | September 22, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I know everyone's mad at the bankers, but I think some outrage needs to be reserved for the thousands of real estate agents, mortgage brokers, appraisers, and closing attorneys who encouraged millions to get loans they couldn't afford, pocketed their enormous commissions, and have washed their hands of the mess.

Posted by: arlmom | September 22, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

No one has mentioned that American economic collapse was the stated goal of bin Laden for attacking America and keeping us in a perpetual terrorist war. They must be celebrating in the hills of North Waziristan. Not a surprising outcome when America elects Barney Fife-Bush to be president, twice!

Posted by: Fate | September 22, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Just say "THANKS, BUT NOT THANKS" Congress. We don't want the bailout. Let the chips fall where they may and let the green green grass of large estates go fallow. Isn't anybody else out there tired of the crap from our elected officials? Is there no accountability anywhere anymore?

Posted by: cgjoyce | September 22, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Why not make any credit from the govt temporary (e.g. 30 days) for any other immediate crises, and take the time to evaluate just what is needed to resolve this issue in full? This is how the War Powers act should have operated, with the president having to come back for continued approval of troop deployments every so often, rather than a blank check given right away in response to a crisis that does not have a clear solution at the time of the vote.

In any case, even many Republicans are now admitting that Bush has the "Anti-Midas" touch--everything he has been involved in has been a disaster. Whether it was a "more humble foreign policy", a "permanent Republican majority", "American exceptionalism", FEMA, and now the American economy, he has demonstrated total incompetence and lack of curiosity and awareness. If Republicans were truly patriotic, they would push for any direction that was different from the last 8 years, and that realistically is Obama.

Posted by: Ken Perkins | September 22, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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