Saturday, September 27, 2008
Brother can you spare $700,000,000,000????
The Conversation Cafe had a very productive discussion regarding the proposed Wall Street Bailout. In the course of discussing the financial crisis that is animating the proposal to write out a Treasury check for $700 billion to Henry Paulson, someone brought to the group's attention the recent book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" by Naomi Klein. Klein posits that crises are manufactured in order to push through unpalatable economic and political measures. You can read her post regarding the current crisis here. As well, the group agreed that any taxpayer bailout should, at a minimum, include the following conditions.
1. Reinstatement of the provisions of Glass-Steagall, which forbade speculation
2. Re-regulation of the finance, insurance, and real estate industries
3. Accountability on the part of those who took the companies down:
a) resignations of management
b) givebacks of executive compensation packages
c) limitations on executive compensation
d) admission by CEO's of what went wrong and how, prior to any government bailout
4. Demands for transparencey
a) with respect to analyzing the transactions which took the companies down
b) with respect to Treasury's dealings with the companies pre and post-bailout
5. An equity position for the taxpayers
a) some form of ownership of assets
6. Some credible formula for evaluating the price of the assets that the government is buying.
7. A sunset clause on the legislation
8. Full public disclosure by members of Congress of assets held, with possible conflicts put in blind trust.
9. A ban on political campaign contributions from officers of corporations receiving bailouts
10. A requirement that 2008 cycle candidates return political contributions to officers and representatives of corporations receiving bailouts.
Join us next Saturday at 2 p.m. as we continue the conversation.