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The Other Plot to Wreck America
By FRANK RICH
THERE may not be a person in America without a strong opinion about what coulda, shoulda been done to prevent the underwear bomber from boarding that Christmas flight to Detroit. In the years since 9/11, we’ve all become counterterrorists. But in the 16 months since that other calamity in downtown New York — the crash precipitated by the 9/15 failure of Lehman Brothers — most of us are still ignorant about what Warren Buffett called the “financial weapons of mass destruction” that wrecked our economy. Fluent as we are in Al Qaeda and body scanners, when it comes to synthetic C.D.O.’s and credit-default swaps, not so much.
For the full NYT OpED: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/opinion/10rich.html
Sen. McCain has put politics aside for a short while (so to speak), and has returned to Washington DC to be a key player in the mortgage bailout legislation, and he encouraged Obama to do so. Obama did not feel there was a necessity to do so, until he was invited to a meeting at the White House.
When one cuts through the rhetoric of the campaigns, and through the language of President Bush, what is the real rush in the $700,000,000,000.00 bailout in our mortgage crisis? Is there a potential for a rush on the banks by middle America, and is this the reason for the rushing?
We all have the basic understanding that our deposits are insured, up to $100,000 per depositor in each bank. But, though the FDIC is an arm of the government, are the assets and reserves of the FDIC adequate to substantially insure the depositors as the markets appear now? We have seen the bad paper on the books of Lehman Brothers and others, and the ailing troubles at AIG. Is it too far of a speculation to think that the assets and reserves of the assets were depleted as a result of the falling markets, and now are not in a position to sustain a run on the banks?
If the federal government is going to commit each of us to this $700,000,000,000 bailout, I believe that we have the RIGHT to DEMAND transparency in financial system. There is obviously “more than what we are being told” in this rush to legislation, because the majority of Americans are AGAINST this bailout. Someone, anyone…….. Washington……. can you hear us!!! Tell us what the real rush is if you want us to support the cause!!! Sen. Biden, I am Patriotic, but I want the true facts!!
Throughout the last few days, I have become more and more angered at the language of officials and legislators as they discuss the proposed $700 Billion dollar mortgage bailout, the AIG intervention, and the collapse of Lehman Brothers. I will approach this as a series of questions:
- What affect is the bailout going to have on the average homeowner?
- Many of the legislators want some form of assistance to those who have been subject to the foreclosure crisis, putting the full responsibility for their loans on the brokers and the system. Are the homeowners not just as responsible?
- If those who have been affected by the mortgage crisis are in some way assisted, what does that say to those of us who struggle to meet our obligations on a timely basis?
- If the Treasury takes over this large sum of bad debt from the banks and financial institutions, how will the markets handle the benefits of the bailout? Will the average middle class American see the affects in the marketplace?
- Why are they talking about including student loans, credit cards, etc. into the bailout plan?
- Since Bank of America has an “open door” policy with regard to illegal aliens utilizing their banking system, how much of this bailout will apply to monies that were lent on behalf of illegal aliens?
- Why are the legislators not addressing the $300 billion dollars that has been identified as WASTE by several different organizations, including the Congressional GAO, while we address this bailout at the same time?
The bottom line to all of this is, while there is an immediate necessity to stabilizing our marketplace, there is also a need to assure those who will be footing this bill who have been diligent in their own responsibilities that they are not going to suffer more as a result of their acceptance of their responsibility.