In this current Wall Street crisis please note that the $700 billion bailout does not include the bailout costs of Bear Sterns (up to $29 billion), Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac (up to $100 billion is authorized), AIG (up to $85 billion) and backstopping money market funds already invested (potential costs if there were a (highly unlikely) complete collapse about 2 trillion dollars). Nor does it necessarily include the potential automobile bailout to create modern cars of around $25 billion or the various bank bailouts like IndyMac ($8-9 billion) done, or to be done, by the FDIC. These are the bailouts off the top of my head – no doubt there are more.
Why shouldn’t we let the Secretary of Treasury (Henry Paulson) be the sole arbiter of what happens to 700 billion in taxpayer dollars (as section 8 of his proposal suggests)? I have no idea what Henry Paulson’s plan for the money is – but beyond that reason being good enough, Paulson was elected by no one, has spent most of his life in the industry he now must save from itself, and at least until recently shared the anti-regulatory ideology that got us into this mess. Further, it’s likely that Henry Paulson’s unknown Treasury Secretary successor (coming in with the new president) will make major, big money decisions – and that person is as I’ve said “unknown.” Why not give me the $700 billion (no strings attached) for safe-keeping – hey, at least you know me.
3. When they talk about immediate action in a crisis, assume the worst and that they will only be stopped by your elected officials when you call and talk to them.
Give your local congressperson and senators a call – do it now – stop it now.