Cash strapped communities all over the country are now feeling the pinch of the egregious Wall Street CEO behavior. Mostly, it's in the costs for their municipal bonds which have rising interest rates now cause by what is affectionately called the "credit crunch."
Credit Crunch my ass.
This is about a blatant disregard for sound financial decisions, accounting and serious lack of transparency. And now, for their sheer stupidity, these CEO's and their friends and family members in the White House want the People's Congress (yeah, that's right, you work for the PEOPLE!) to write a F*&KING BLANK CHECK to bail them out. Cause all the union members screwed by "market forces" in Michigan and the behavior of CEO's like Dick E Dauch of American Axle are getting bailouts like this, too. Oh wait, they aren't, that would be welfare. But for Wall Street, we call it a bailout. Hell no, no Wall Street Welfare.
And I'm not the only one thinking this way, take Dean Baker for instance:
According to George Bush, our financial structure is in such desperate shape that if Congress doesn't hand a $700bn blank cheque to Henry Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, immediately, the whole structure will collapse. While no one should doubt the damage that Bush's policies have done to the economy, the fact is that Congress has some time to structure a bailout that is not just another give-away to the richest people in the country.
The policies of President Bush and the recklessness of the Wall Street crew did bring the financial system to the edge of an abyss. There was a near meltdown last week as Lehman Brothers, the huge investment bank, collapsed, and AIG, the nation's largest insurer, followed suit. Banks stopped lending to each other, creating a situation in which our system of payments (eg cheques and electronic transfers) stopped functioning.
Everyone should understand that we are in this mess for two reasons. First the financial regulators, both in the Bush administration and more importantly at the Fed, were completely asleep for most of the decade. As the housing bubble grew to ever more dangerous proportions, and lenders adopted increasingly questionable lending practices, the regulators did nothing.
The other reason we are in this mess is that the Wall Street banks got themselves hugely leveraged in real estate and other assets. In many cases they had no appreciation of the value of the underlying assets. They also apparently did not understand the complex financial derivatives that they had themselves created.
Now this situation has exploded in their faces, sinking several of the country's largest financial firms and bringing dozens of others near the cliff. As a result of this recklessness, the economy is now facing a recession with the unemployment rate rising rapidly. Millions of families are losing their homes.
So what is Bush proposing? He is telling Congress that everything can be put back in order if they just give $700bn to Paulson, with no strings attached.
No strings attached? WTF?
So, then Obama comes out and says what I've also been thinking (care of the Politico):
In Clearwater, FL, Obama began by talking about capping pay for executives whose companies participate in the bailout, and the prospect that that would be a deal-breaker for some CEOs.
"I cannot imagine a position that's more selfish and more greedy," Obama said, addressing executives directly.
"Do not make that mistake. You are stewards not only of your companies but also of workers and communities across this country who have put their trust in you," he said.
"This plan cannot be a welfare program for Wall Street executives," he said.
And then Ben goes on to summarize Obama:
And he raised the notion of a post-crisis "financial stability fee," a new tax on Wall Street, after it recovers, to pay back taxpayer losses.
Damn straight. You want the Wall Street Welfare, then you make serious concessions. There should be no blank check to these robber barons, especially for what they've now put our communities through in terms of municipal bonds and our freaking retirement funds!! Oh, and hell, while you're at it, let Congress know how you feel by heading over to the SEIU and signing the petition.