Saturday, September 20, 2008
The NY Times has a great chart illustrating what has happened to the stock of financial companies in the last year. You can click on the image to get a sharper copy.
The Bush Administration wants another $ 700 billion to bail out companies that have made megabucks by sucking the American public in with worthless bundles of bad loans, luring them to overutilize easy credit, raising interest rates and foreclosing mortgages that force people out of their homes. I realize that drastic action is necessary to deal with this debacle. I just hope that ordinary people will receive as much of a financial bailout as the financial companies.
Here's a modest suggestion. Let's condition the bailout on companies recouping all salaries and stock option values in excess of $ 250,000 from every officer, director, manager or salaried employee of these companies during the last three years -- reducing maximum credit card interest rates to 18% or less -- and matching mortgage payments of families who are struggling to make their payments (assuming their homes are no more than 75% of average value and their incomes are no more than 150% of average income or some similar limit).
I know that this is a fantasy. The rich get bailed out and the poor get evicted. But one can dream of the federal government using our taxpayer dollars to benefit the people generally rather than the banking tycoons.