Here's what I'm thinking...
• We need Resolution Trust Corporation v2.0 to shut down the bad actors and seize their assets and sell them off to the highest bidder instead of some half-baked scheme for taxpayers to buy their house of cards. If this was the counter offer to their desperate plea for a quick bailout, how many of of these companies would suddenly realize things aren't really so bad after all and retreat to the board room to figure out some way to restructure and survive?
• The idea of letting Paulson and the Treasury do whatever they want outside any federal law or oversight is outrageous. It would be like a fourth branch of government (or fifth counting Cheney?) with a blank check and no balances. In a real corporation (which Bush apparently wants the Treasury to be) there's a board of directors providing oversight on behalf of shareholders who have capital at risk. In this case, the board of directors is Congress, who is supposed to be looking out for taxpayers, who are the shareholders being asked to take all the risk.
• Just like investors who have been duped, the federal government will have no idea what they are buying or what to do with it. Even on a straight up equity sale of shares nobody knows what they are buying any more. Quarterly reports are works of fiction and earnings conference calls are performance art. With derivatives they don't even have to lie -- they can just hide mistakes and corruption under impenetrable layers of bullshit. Corporate America's stock in trade is now deception.
• Congress should be laughing these guys out of the room and telling them to come back when they are ready to be serious. Instead, Congress and the spineless Democrats are negotiating with the Bush administration and their corrupt corporate pals. We shouldn't be negotiating with these thieves. We should be sending them to jail. Even Bob Corker said he doesn't understand why Congress is negotiating around the fringes of the proposal instead of debating whether it's even a good idea to start with.
• The notion that credit will dry up and business in America will grind to a halt if this deal is not approved is ridiculous. There's good money to be made by responsible lenders who exercise due diligence in making loans to reputable companies. Republicans are basically telling us the only way business can operate in America is if shady lenders make dubious loans to corrupt companies and then get taxpayers to bail them all out when they turn out to be idiots or liars or both. Seriously? They should all go bankrupt, and in some cases straight to jail, while we get back to doing business on the up and up according to, you know, actual conservative principles where calculated risk involves reward and consequences.
That's just what I'm thinking. I could be wrong.
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