Wall Street bailout bill gets fierce public scrutiny

Sharpen your red pencils. The government transparency group, Public Markup.org, posted the full text of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 — otherwise known as the $700 billion blank check to Wall Street — to encourage public discussion sans pundits and politicos.

So far the Main Street verdict isn’t good if the comments added to the bill are any indicator of public sentiment.

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

How will the government pay for this? Yes, it will be taxpayers money eventually but it currently has a $500 billion deficit, a $9 trillion current account deficit and God only knows how much in unfunded liabilities. The entire mortgage crisis was created by the creation of credit without sufficient collateral, this placed the financial institutions at risk. We are now being asked to have the government fund this, without sufficient collateral, putting the entire country at risk. This is insanity. Vote No on any Bailout, Rescue Plan or any other panic driven, poorly thought out, power grab.
posted by Randy Dixon, September 29, 2008

Sec. 101. Purchases of Troubled Assets.

It is significant to note that the term “troubled assets” is not defined. A troubled asset, therefore, can potentially be any asset. This term was no doubt intentionally chosen so as to allow the act to apply to assets other than those that are home mortgage-related. With $700,000,000,000 available to lobby-friendly politicians, this loophole is very likely to be exploited. “troubled assets” needs to be explicitly defined in order to prevent a raid on the treasury by the unscrupulous people and federal agencies who got us into this mess.
posted by Norman Schlanger at September 29, 2008

Sec. 110. Assistance to Homeowners.

Is it troubling to anyone else that our culture no longer even pretends to believe that, when you sign, say, a $200K note at, say, 6%, that you–

a) have any idea what you’re getting into?
b) have any realistic chance of fulfilling your financial obligation?
c) have any concept that you shouldn’t be rewarded for foolish, ill-advised risk?
d) should feel the negative repercussions of your poor decision?

This is the corporate equivalent of the welfare state toward which we’re all headed…as a stockholder living in a mortgaged home, I say vote no. Eat it now, don’t save it for later.
posted by ccscoachadams at September 29, 2008

Sec. 111. Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance.

This is extraordinarily weak. Most of the compensation at these firms comes as bonuses to “non-executives”. They should have limited compensation, including bonuses, to a specific dollar amount for all employees a companies where they are doing these deals.

As-is, this is just a huge transfer of wealth from taxpayers to i-bankers.
posted by Dan at September 29, 2008

Sec. 125. Congressional Oversight Panel.

How about we add that no member of the Oversight Panel shall be allowed to accept campaign contributions from institutions within the financial industry nor meet with lobbyists representing such institutions. Additionally, no member of the Oversight Panel shall be permitted to work within the industry nor lobby on behalf of the industry for a period of 20-years.
posted by R. Murnen (private citizen) at September 29, 2008

Public Markup is a project of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based government transparency group. In the interest of full disclosure, the Sunlight Foundation is a contributor to the Center for Independent Media, the parent organization of The Colorado Independent.


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