November 12th, 2008
07:16 PM GMT
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NEW YORK - In September U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson lobbied Congress for $700 billion to buy up troubled mortgage related assets that were dragging down otherwise stable banks. We were told the very future of the U.S. economy was at stake.

Paulson has now admitted what many had already started to guess – they got it wrong. Treasury is no longer planning to use the money to buy toxic debt. That plan, it turns out, was too complicated and was going to take too long to implement. Instead, the government is going to continue to give money directly to financial institutions in exchange for shares.

Not only that, but you no longer have to be a bank, or turn yourself into one, to qualify for help.

Treasury now wants to open the bailout coffers to companies that issue credit cards, student loans and car loans. Paulson says the aim is to lower the costs and increase credit availability to American consumers.

Some say the fact that Paulson is willing to adjust and change the plan so quickly should be applauded; it shows officials are focused on coming up with the best possible remedy to fix the economy and are not worried about losing face.

Others are outraged at what they see as a lack of transparency and information.

Which companies are tapping the funds and what is it about their business or balance sheet that justifies aid?

What about those so-called toxic assets? What happens to them now? Won't they still be problematic?

There is only $60 billion left from the original tranche approved by Congress. How is the rest going to be spent? How much more will be needed? At Wednesday's press conference Paulson said that he felt the original $700 billion was enough to get the job done, but few analysts think that is realistic.

What about the $1.5 trillion dollars the Fed has lent out above and beyond the original funds? The Fed has declined to comment on where that money has gone or what they took for collateral. In fact, Bloomberg News is suing the Fed to release documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

It may be the Treasury and the Fed are taking a "what you don't know won't hurt you" approach. If the general public knew just how bad it was at some banks or key institutions it could spark a run on those firms and perhaps make a bad situation worse.

But the American public is in no mood for behind close doors operations. There is a severe lack of trust when it comes to government officials and business leaders. Taxpayers want to know just where their money is going. They don't like the fact that the rules of the game seem to be changing.

What do you think? Would more transparency help rebuild trust or would that just spark more panic? How can leaders in both government and the private sector rebuild public trust?

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Filed under: Business


soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Keith

    I am not sure if this this the correct place to complain about this but...
    It is so disheartening to see how these corporate executives are going to get their huge bonuses paid for by me and so many other teachers hard earned tax money! How about bailing out teachers who serve our nation on a daily basis from huge student loans? My wife and I have worked so hard to earn advanced degrees and raise two children in the mean time. The only way we get a bonus is to sacrifice our time to earn advance degrees and we have to take out more student loans for that. This is not right and our Congress men and women should be called on this! How about a bail out for those responsible for educating the future leaders and workers of our nation. Now that would be a well spent investment.!

    November 12, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  2. Marios Koumis

    At this point, transparency is the only option. We cannot afford any more uncertainties than the ones we already have to face. The sooner we know the full extent of the problems, the sooner we will try to find possible ways to solve them. After all, bad news are already to a certain extent being discounted by the markets.

    In my opinion, helping subprime homeowners is a good start. Buying subprime "toxic" loans is not a bad thing either. The real estate market will bottom out eventually, sooner or later, and that may leave the Treasury with assets that are far from unworthy. But most importantly, we must ensure that this doesn't happen again, not even in the next century.

    November 12, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  3. Dan

    Being better informed can only be a good thing. People are clearly willing to discuss issues and share opinions. Knowing which company gets what is not enough transparency. There need to be guarantees that the money will not be used to satisfy stockholders, loans in exchange for shares should be temporary and bought at the present market value and not speculated. Stockholders are clearly not loyal nor concerned about the future, therefore they should not be the deciding factor.

    November 12, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  4. Jose Garcia

    I am sure many Americans besides myself is sick and tired of all these corporate panhandlers begging for bailout money. I am also tired of the news mentioning that many Americans got into debt by buying homes they couldn't afford. I put the blame for the mess on the mortgage companies and the APPRAISERS. I believe many appraisers fluffed the price of homes knowing they weren't worth what was quoted. I feel that most of the money could go into allowing homeowners to re-do their loans to reflect the actual real value of their homes and provide the banks money for the loss.

    November 12, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  5. Sean

    Please explain why to bail out credit card companies that have created their own mess. The goverment has allowed these compainies to rape the american people with huge interest rates and now wants "US" to bail them out. Does this mean our debts are forgiven with these campanies or will they be able to double dip on debts? Plus all those jobs sent over to third world countries, seems to me they have created their own mess with greed and moving jobs out of America. I didn't vote for this bail out but I am sure going to pay for it.
    Broke in New York

    November 12, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  6. sandy

    why aren't we requiring that these banks fire the top executives before they can receive a bail out? they obviously are not good at their jobs or they would not be in the trouble they are. the AIG execs should really go . As for training sessions, using our money, why do they think they will be need to train anyone if they fail.

    November 12, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  7. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    Panic, schmanick. It is much more unnerving to think that Paulson and Co are hiding things from the public, for whatever reason they may concoct! That way, madness lies. It is... unsettling, to think this control-freak, Paulson, can decide what the public should know, or what he should conceal, about what is being done with their taxes!

    I don't trust Paulson. I don't believe he knows what to do. I believe the bail-out (as initially described, to buy up the toxic debt) was an absolutely necessary evil. There was supposed to be 'transparency', and 'no golden parachutes', and 'regulation', with that initial seven billions programme.

    The public are entitled to regular, online (and in print-newspapers) update, of exactly how much has been spent, what on, and with what result.

    A bank, in which a person deposits $12.37, is required to inform the customer, that his/her money is still there. I hold the US government to at least equally high standards!

    I am certain the auto-industry should be 'supported', with major reconstruction as a caveat.

    However, I would not be comfortable with the automotive funding being administered by Uncle Henry and his goons.

    Give the peoplw TRANSPARENCY, or Control-Freak Hank gives the money to someone else to administer!

    Better to know the number of wolves baying outside the door, than to have Paulson's thugs keep turning up the muzak, playing hand after hand of gin-rummy, twitching the drapes, to peek outside, and saying, 'What wolves? I don't see no wolves. Yo, Rocco, you see any wolves?'

    'No, Bruno, I don't see no wolves! Hey lady, take anudda valium already! There's no wolves, ok?'

    The Governor of the Bank of England announced today, that Things are actually much worse, than previously announced. Our economy is now deflationary - which is generally a precursor to More and Meaner Wolves, who won't go away, until late 2010, if we're lucky.

    I don't actually know what 'deflation' means in a practical sense, though I've been on this Earth since 1961 - and paid attention to everything because I was born curious. I have heard of 'deflation'. It goes with 'The Great Depression', in the USA. There's something to do with the Bank of England whacking an apparently huge (1.5% is 'huge') amount off the base lending rate (a thing I don't even pretend to understand, yet.)

    The BoE Governor was grim, solemn, and his speech sounded funereal. Britons have eyes, (so do people in the USA!) and nobody could make people here believe that things are less bad than they are.

    What gives Paulson and his Marauding Gang of Hooligans the right to carry on in the dark of 'night and fog'*? If they do not operate in complete transparency, how is anyone supposed to trust them? They work for the People, don't they?

    Or do they? More money for AIG, after the little $40,000 (or was it $400,000?) junket on which they went, after the last infusion of taxpayer money... that's just... [unprintable]. Everybody at the top of AIG - or who attended that junket - ought to have been summarily sacked, without severance pay, and the taxpayers paid back from their personal fortunes! This is the sort of thing that inspires a complete lack of confidence, in Uncle Hank's Loans and Hubcaps service.

    November 12, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  8. William Larson

    HERE WE GO AGAIN, THE OLD BAIT AND SWITCH GAME AGAIN. aSK FOR BAILOUT MONEY TO BE USED AS LOANS, NOW WE ARE GOING TO BUY STOCK. tHE PROBLEM IS THAT THE BANKS DO NOT HAVE TO BE HELD RESPONCABLE FOR WHAT THEY DO WITH THE MONEY GENERATED BY THE STOCKS. tHESE CEO WILL GET THEIR GOLDEN PARACHUTES OUT AND BE READY TO FLY THE COOP. wHAT HAPPENS IF THE BANKS GO UNDER, WELL THE MONEY GOES TOO.

    I'M TIRED OF HELPING OUT THE RICH. SO WE DO THIS, THE PUBLIC IS IN DOUBLE JEOPERDY. fIRST THEY GET OUR TAX DOLLARS AND THEN THEY CHARGE US HIGHER INTEREST RATE AND MAKE A TON OF MONEY OFF OUR BACKS.

    IF THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT TO DO, THEN FORGET THE WHOLE DEAL AND GIVE US OUR TAX DOLLARS BACK.

    November 13, 2008 at 6:48 am |
  9. amy

    Although I was a Obama supporter, I am certain that history will not be kind to the democrats for trying to "rescue" the dying u.s. car industry. Why waste tens of billions of taxpayer money where there is zero chance of any return on that money. instead use the money to invest in the country's deteriorating infrastructure (roads, bridges, ports, schools, etc) as well as invest heavily in new energy technologies that will provide long term profitable solutions to the country's energy dependencies. What made America great was it's ability to let go of unprofitable industries and then invest in new areas that increased the growth potential and standard of living of the country. Let's not resort to the failed statist policies of socialist European countries that offer no jobs growth, high unemployment and no hope for the future. Don't cling to the past when the future can be so bright!

    November 13, 2008 at 9:02 am |
  10. Steve Franks

    From Camp Bucca, Iraq

    Is the American Capitalist System collapsing? Is this the end of Capitalism as we know it? Will there be tighter controls on the lending of money by the banks and stricter regulation on Wall Street by our government? Will the Dow Jones again reach 500? As in 1980.

    What is Obama's plan? More people on welfare or motivate people to get off their duff to produce and save more?

    Will Obama pull our troops out of Iraq? Will he take into consideration that Saudi Arabia is running out of oil and Iraq now holds the largest oil reserves in the World? Is he aware that our departure will guarantee Iran, China and India control of the Middle East Oil?

    Where will Obama take us on foreign policy? Will he make us more dependent on Saudi Arabia, foreign oil or demand our auto industry retool to product more efficient vehicles? Or has he too been bought out by big business, big oil and Saudi Arabia? When will the American people ever take action into their own hands and revolt against our government officials continuing to commit fraud, waste and abuse of our money?

    Steve Franks
    Camp Bucca, Iraq

    November 13, 2008 at 9:45 am |
  11. bright ideas?

    why can the us public not find out the entire list of financial companies that have received financial aid using the 'bailout fund'?
    where is the 'freedom of information' if nobody can get get the information?
    what happened to the idea that the money was to buy toxic debt?
    did american express apply for aid before becoming a bank holding company?
    Hey heres an idea why dont the auto makers become a bank holding company, then take the money.
    its the people not the companies that need helping out of their toxic debt.
    force the us govt to release the details of all financial companies that have received money, and how much they got.

    November 13, 2008 at 9:50 am |
  12. Rod

    Why are we protecting the heads of businesses that have caused this country to head toward depression? If you lost your job or house or both, you're not in a recession, you're in a depression. Public trust in institutional behavior will not be restored until justice is served on those accountable, those responsible, those culpable. The investment banks lost our money and now want more of it that we will have to pay for with installment playments. Don't protect them, try them. Someone else will fill the need, if there is really a need for bad investment banks. The high price of energy made billions for the oil companies, so get the oil companies to bail out the big three auto makers. Without out vehicles, no gas sales, no corporate profits. The oil companies are sitting on piles of money, let them buy GM or Ford or Chrysler. These auto companies aren't worth the money they are asking Congress for and neither are the banks that Paulson is gifting. This problem gets worse by the day. An immediate response is needed, by Congress and the President. They need to ask themselves on whose back this country was built upon and help them out first. They are the ones that will return to invest, buy cars and buy and buy and buy. Right now the people that made this country great (the little guy) feels tapped out, mistrustful and screwed. The government appears to be sitting on their hands and watching, so the little guy does to. The President has his countdown calendar going and I'm sure he doesn't want to do anything more, but watch and say a long goodbye. In short, the government needs to demonstrate that the people of this country are more important than mis-managed investment banks and badly run auto companies. In case no one has noticed this is a national emergency, far greater than 9/11. This one is coast to coast and was brought on by our own countrymen. Try them and jail them, I say and let someone with integrity fill their void.

    November 13, 2008 at 10:50 am |
  13. Rod

    Kind of strange how 700 Billion dollars are given to the banks and no one can really see the effects of it or knows where it going, but if 700 Billion was given out to the people of this country, the government would surely be able to see where that money went and part of it would once again return in taxes. What and who are more effective and efficient?

    November 13, 2008 at 11:13 am |
  14. j.allen

    Everywhere I look lately, it is said that lack of spending is at the root of he economic crisis in the US. It begs the question, "how can one spend what one doesn't have?" I am no economist but shouldn't we consider giving the people money to use instead of banks that seem to only be hoarding it so far?
    Trickle down does not seem to me to be working, so how about "trickle up". If the US government gave everyone a "dividend" like they do in Alaska, I think people would negotiate to pay their mortgages to get out of impending foreclosures, buy cars, buy goods and commodities, go on trips, buy food...etc. Then the banks would be vying for OUR newly received dollars, car makers would get revenue from car sales, grocers would sell more groceries, retailers would sell more and ultimately banks would be on the receiving end because vendors could pay their bills, credit troubled people and businesses would benefit, mortgage companies would rebound, there would be job creation and most criseses could be averted.
    But, we need larger amounts than 600 dollars to feed the economy, give the people a one time 25 thousand dollar stipend EACH. That may seem like a lot but its better than giving it to banks that won't even give or loan it to each other, let alone us down here on main street. I bet wall street would be happy and world markets would respond accordingly.

    November 13, 2008 at 12:29 pm |
  15. j.allen

    Just a further thought to my earlier post, think about it... to give auto makers billions of dollars to keep making cars while laying off workers because no one has any money and credit is to tight because we have no money, to buy cars, seems to be a complete excercise in redundance.
    Big insurance companies getting multi-billion dollar bailouts to do exactly what? What have they done with all the money they've made thus far and who can even afford insurance with no money, and what do we insure if we are losing our homes and can't buy cars?

    November 13, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  16. David Martin

    Paulson is a grifter, who in his previous incarnation as head of Goldman Sachs was deeply implicated in creating this mess.
    Since the crisis created by absurd business practises arose he has shown that he has no coherent strategy to deal with it, and has simply pumped cash to his banker buddies.
    The really worrying thing was the vote of confidence from Obama for him, and his subsequent formation of his economic team, whose 'brilliant' members comprise most of the figures most responsible for this epic of graft and criminal activity.

    November 13, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  17. Robert

    With the bailout helping the credit companies that helped write the bankruptcy laws, how is someone that now has the bad credit from foreclosure and no jobs going to be able to get credit?? They are not, I think we were lied to once again by our government and no one is being held accountable for how they are spending this money. If the auto industry gets some, then there should be some sort of plan of how they get to use it. Also what happened about the trillions that the Fed is spending but won't let anyone see what it's about without a FOIA request. Lou Dobbs was covering that, but haven't heard anything since.

    November 13, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  18. Scott

    The effect of transparency would do both, imo. However, the need for confidence in our financial system is so great at this time that the need far outweighs the consequences. It may be that we're falling into a depression, but the lack of trust will plunge us further. Without confidence, there is no incentive to buy. Quite the contrary, it's a reason to stockpile assets.

    November 13, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  19. mikeb6294

    If you want to understand this financial crisis and why it was so earth shattering that we bail out the financial institutions, just follow the money trail. First you have to understand what the Federal Reserve really is, an international banking cartel, not a US banking system. Look at the top share holders of the FED, and you'll find some of the same names that are getting bailed out. This crisis was hyped and sold to the American People to bail out the shareholders of the FED.

    The real problem of the credit crunch is the bad mortgages, with so many bad mortgages on the books, the banks can't count them towards the reserves to lend out. Solve the mortgage problem and you'll solve the credit crunch.

    November 13, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  20. d. griffith

    I think, the order they are spending the $700B and what they are telling the taxpayers is buying them some expensive time. I just hope in the end some of the money is left for us. It's sad the taxpayers are last on the bailout list.

    November 13, 2008 at 7:01 pm |
  21. sanaa abuyounes

    I think bailing out companies is a good idea and also bailing out home owners is a better idea. But we need to stop companies from laying off people. It is simple to lay off less people companies should give people salary cuts. In big companies it makes sense and especially cuts from the top first then down. The companies that get bailed out should be monitored. First the top people should have a drastic salary cut, also no commissions and if they stay their expenses should be monitored. Also a big problem could be solved if we just tax these oil companies way more then now. There is definetly something wrong that they are making so much money in profit while every one else is tanking. The oil companies should also monitored on gas prices. They can not , and there is something wrong and it is not logical that they are getting that profit from decend means.. They should be investigated big big time. Not by the government but by regular commettee. that commettee doesn't have anything to loose because they are not donating money to their party.As for the home owners all houses that are affected by the forclosure problems including those that they homes are located in those areas should have their mortgages readjusted midway to the recent prices, and people who are facing forclosure should have a grace period to try to work things out and readjust the cost of their homes to midway difference. What i mean if a house was bought at $400000 and now it is at $300000 it should be refinanced at $350000. That way they can have a brake.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:44 am |
  22. Julio

    I'm no financial whiz, but isn't this better then buying bad mortgage debt? Shoring up financial institutions capital assets I think is a better use of tax-payer money.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:21 am |
  23. Dan Tayler

    As a prior government official myself, I don't trust them a bit. They've shown what they can waste at DHS and DoD already. We need transparency and we need it right now.

    November 14, 2008 at 9:42 am |
  24. HONDO LANE SMITH

    Everybody has their own idea of the problem. The bottom line is the American people are out of money to spend on bigger houses and better cars. The big corporations and wealthy individuals are all hoarding their money. The more they get the less we have it is all a matter of circulation. when they fail to circulat we do not get as much because they are tightening their belts The only way to rivive this is for them to turn loose of their money the dollar has became weak because we print more money to circulate but when the banks and big corps build dams on the rivers of economy and the money still ends up right back with them. printing more money is not the key just like people businesses are not immortal let them die do not prolong our suffering. they will be replaced with bigger and better eventually no matter how many billions of dollars we put to this it only prolongs it what needs to happen is for that relief money to go to the people who have lost their jobs so they do not lose their homes grant them 24 months of amnesty to their housepayments while new jobs and companies are created do not give it to those who purchased more house than they could afford they should be responsible for their actions also Pay off our national debt first and foremost take care of our citizens second. Then we can plan for the future.

    November 14, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  25. eric vates

    First let me thank you for taking the time to read this email. My name is Eric Vates and I have been employed in the retail automotive business for over 18yrs. Through the past 60 days we have heard nothing but the imminent demise of our industry. I believe there is a relatively easy solution to this problem. The Auto industry is based on the ability to retail vehicles, if you can not sell cars companies can not build them, workers can not assemble them and banks can not finance them. With this truth in mind I believe if we attempt to spurn the retail end of the business it will jump start the industry. ( more vehicles sold will increase demand which increase orders to the factories and suppliers increase business to the banks via auto loans etc etc ) Just as eating a diet high in fiber will reduce your risk of heart attack, eating a bowl of Cheerios during a heart attack will not stop it, as will giving Auto manufactures money for future development will not help our current crisis. The idea is rather simple… incentivize consumers to purchase US manufactured vehicles now. Here is how I think we could tackle this daunting task:

    Vates Plan

    Issue a tax rebate up to half of a consumer’s sales tax on their federal return.

    Every new car sold in the US generates huge amounts of sales tax for local municipalities and states. What ever total tax amount that a consumer has paid allow him/her to deduct up to half of that amount off their Federal Income tax ( Tax credit ) . Sales taxes on autos use to be tax deductable. Also bear in mind the millions of dollars in local sales tax that would be collected during this drive to help offset local municipal budgets.

    Offer rebates over and above current incentives backed by the Government bailout for Domestic produced automobiles.

    Almost all manufactures have some form of rebates to lure consumers into showrooms to purchase their products. On top of those rebates offer a one time $1500 to $2000 rebate that will be taken out of the bailout money that is set aside for the automotive industry. If we have $25 Billon set up in loans for Ford Gm Chrysler etc, lets use that as incentives for customers to purchase products instead of research and development on projects that will not be on the road for years if ever. The rebate will help consumers purchase cars at reduced prices ( like the coupons for digital converter boxes ) and will be repaid to the Government from the manufactures as part of their bailout money therefore not affecting their cash flow and allowing public perception to be positive ( we are helping you the consumer not the large auto manufacturer get out from bad practices ) Also only domestically produced vehicles qualify. If the are built in the US by American workers then they qualify. This bill is to keep American workers working not those in other countries, so vehicles produced in Mexico, Canada, Germany, Korea, Japan etc are excluded Even if they are badged with a domestic brand.

    Have a Government insured loan program for Automobile loans.

    Since the US government has backed up a large portion of our banks, we should force them to lend to credit worthy consumers for auto loans. In the same vain of thought as FHA , HUD or VA loans the government could use some of the $700 Billon dollars set aside for banks to lend to consumers who right now want or need a car loan. The loans could be backed by an insurance policy ( like PMI ) that would deflect the risk of bad loans or future losses ( AIG another government subsidiary could under write ) . With the full force of the government backing auto loans would once again become easier to get and help business prosper again. This part of the plan would also be a large source of income for other parts of the economy. Banks would receive new loans ( secured by the government funding once again not hurting their cash flow ) insurance companies ( AIG ) would underwrite policies for the security of the loans and new jobs in oversight would be created.

    The plan is simply and really elementary if you sit back and think about it. If consumers feel good about a deal they will buy. Give them a reason to feel good and they will come. When retail in the auto industry picks back up then so will the other 10 jobs for every one person in our industry. The beauty of the plan is that it calls for no new funds just allocating the funds already set aside to good use.

    November 14, 2008 at 11:59 pm |
  26. shirley

    i think we all want to spend but are afraid too the money he has gave away has made the rich richer and by the way who is watching him check his bank account this bail out is not working

    November 16, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  27. Mary Kelley

    I have a few questions???? Aren't some of these big auto companies owned by foreign companies??? Why aren't they paying for some of the bail out??? Isn't this a world economic crisis???

    November 16, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  28. rick fidler

    I am a retired salaried buyer from GM. Please read on.............What the so called experts neglected to rationalize is that the trade policies with China and the War in Iraq is the root cause of all our ills. Blaming the auto companies for not have the right products at the right time is ludicrous. Yes , some of the blame lies can be attributed to the glut of poor mileage vehicles in the Market. But, the biggest factor is that cars and trucks in general are not selling at all because of the lack of jobs. GM,Ford and Chrysler historically sold a set base number of trucks do to the demand by industry users such as Carpenters, Construction workers, Landscapers, Brick Layers etc etc. This is a mainstay number and the demand even in poor sales years were always steady. These vehicles were the bread a butter of the industry do to the reasonable profit margins. There will always be a demand for vehicles that will hold more than two people. Try going camping, hunting,fishing or going to baseball practice with all that equipment in a small Electric bug. The consumer won't stand for it. The American people enjoy the freedom associated with the ability to travel and vacation utilizing there own vehicles. Domestic Tourism will die without it.
    Now , as for China ....the current administration has out right refused to force this member of the WTO to let it's currency float and not have it pegged to the US dollar. Also, there is no pressure on them to stop the subsidizing. As a buyer of auto parts, I saw the quotes. Our domestic suppliers could compete easily with the Chinese in all areas accept Raw Material. This gave China the competitive edge. So, in order to compete they literally floated all there production tools to China and set up joint ventures. Guess what happened to most of these suppliers workforce. You got it, laid off. Their tier two suppliers went out of business along with local stores, restaurants. These workers lost everything.....including their homes. The trickle down effect was a torrent and the Bush administration did nothing. So who is left to buy domestic vehicles? Today, even Hospital workers are loosing their jobs ....who can afford to get sick?
    The message you are sending to the American people is that Republicans do not care about families who will be hurt by not saving the big three. The stigma left behind will be a battle cry for the Democrats for decades to come. “Republicans are the selfish breed that put this country into a recession!” When your children cried because mommy and daddy lost their jobs…..they will be reminded why ……when they cannot go to college like the rich kids…..they will be reminded why. When some of them grow up to people of influence they will be respond.

    November 17, 2008 at 1:14 am |
  29. dskinnison

    I so do not understand why Sec. of Treasury Paulson still has this job and that anyone is still listening. I realize we are all treading in unfamilar waters but we at least the person at the helm that knows how to row the boat. I personally believe it's past time for him to jump ship before he sinks us so deep we'll never recover.
    For the sake of the country, keep Paulson locked in an empty room until further notice.

    November 17, 2008 at 5:24 am |
  30. Joey

    Paulson must be going mad! There is nothing worst then trying to repair an old house w/ lots of defects.
    That is just what the entire U.S. Economy is. Old & defective. Just like a ship, when one patches up one side, another lick springs from another end.
    Let the chips fall where they must & start all over agin from scratch.
    Only in this way can so many wrong things in the American business culture can be made right.
    I hope american Corporate/ Industrial sector stop acting like spoied brats & learn to accept the consequences of their choices.

    November 17, 2008 at 6:46 am |
  31. BIG B

    i cannot believe that this is happening!!!! this is by far a rip-off. who is gettining the money ? are they co-workers/friends of paulson.bernake and greenspan? how much did theyALL pay themselves over the last 10 years? would it be enough to have saved the companies? will anyone recieve any punishment. how can we give jews money to give to jews who paid themselves out of this world bonuses lied and decieved the people for their beneifit. what is happening is a criminal conflict of interest ,oh and barney frank another jew who is part of the greed problem. does anyone really think he will do anything –no way that would be like going against family. i would like to see names faces , lifestyles and just who and how much these CEO'S paid themselves and i am sure they are figures that would blow peoples minds and cause an uproar that would see no equal. and the tip of the iceberg is we as a people take it and believe the propaganda that we will suffer, we would ,but that is the way to get answers because if the american people find out from fact that we just got TOOK there wiil be an education process that the wealthy do not want told. THIS IS A THEFT FROM THE 95% BY THE 5% AND IS WRONG!!!!!! [i know anti-semitic] but facts do not lie per population less than 10% of the population they are 80-90% involved all the way around and that is frightening and will anyone dispute these facts? President Truman warned not to let the jewish self-promoting buddysystem into the U.S. financial system and 58 years later he was right on the money, truth is i don't care whether it is hindu.buddhist,muslim aethiest or whatever just get it right for the masses not for the few. and really i mean really have the peoples interest and well being in mind not your own personal interest,

    November 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  32. Michael Glass, Ed.D.

    My Two Cents on the Economic Crisis
    After eight years of the economically-challenged Bush administration, why should anyone be surprised at their generosity in giving billions of dollars to America’s largest insurance company and some of our largest financial institutions, while at the same time refusing to assist average middle class Americans as millions of them lose their jobs through managerial incompetence and their homes through foreclosure. Why would anyone even expect the Bush administration to want to save the jobs of hard working union employees in the automobile companies? The Bush administration hates unions and their leaders. I suggest we exile many of these Bush administration officials and corporate leaders to Guantanamo as financial terrorists.
    I strongly urge the new President to refrain from appointing any of these Goldman-Sachs-type, so-called business leaders to his administration. These so-called leaders are more concerned with furthering their own strategic financial needs and those of their buddies on Wall Street and their golden parachutes than the needs of any of the residents of Main Street America. When someone is paid millions of dollars a year to not achieve success in their business or industry, how can you expect them to comprehend or empathize with the plight of struggling middle-class Americans?
    If for some reason Washington decides to help the auto industry, my suggestion is for the government to purchase all the unsold vehicles languishing in car dealerships and automotive plants across America and distribute them via national lottery to anyone who has lost their job or their home as a victim of this corporate and government incompetence and greed.

    November 18, 2008 at 9:05 pm |
  33. Ron

    I've only got one comment concerning Mr. Hank Paulson who said he didn't see this economic crisis coming, nor did anybody on Wall Street or in our financial institutions. I consider myself a blue collar worker even though I have a college education where I graduated "Summa Cum Laude, and I was telling people over a year ago we were heading into a recession. For his position, Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Paulson is incompetant, and should have been dismissed from his position for such a poor job performance where he has been wrong on everyone of his actions. However, He is one of the best salesman I've ever seen, he could sell refrigerators to an eskimo. Just look at the sales job he did on Congress that left them with egg all over their faces looking like the most irresponsible Congress in history!

    November 19, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  34. Someone

    I want money too. And then I will stay with the money, without to buy anything, waiting the worst. I want to buy GM stocks, but with money not mine, with Paulson's money. This country isn't United States, is United Stocks. Money, money, money. Everybody is crazy. Dow down, dow up, dow, dow, dow ... This crisis is not true. Who will be the winner in this history? The Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of this crisis will be the world's bosses after markets rebound. They will buy the world with cents. Who will win with all this? Who's the next to want government money? United States meltdown! Everybody think only about itself. When this market lies will end? This crisis is the bigger lie of the financial market history. There isn't crisis. It's the replay of Enron lie, but in global scale and reverse order. By the way, will world end, the people will do not exist after stocks close?

    November 21, 2008 at 8:36 am |
  35. André Guimarães, São Paulo, Brazil

    Here in Brazil the leaders of government always come on TV to say lies and to defraut people. But in USA, after Bush, it happen too. How the government didn't know the true about subprime? If it knew, why did not do anything before? Remember the Enron's scandal in 2001. For many years, Ken Lay, Andie Fastow and Jeffrey Skilling defrauded markets, people and media, until bankruptcy. That time, stocks did rise and it was lie. Now markets fall. It is lie too. The burble needs end, it means dow approximately at 8,000 points. The commodities burble is the same thing. But everybody wants win, also when markets fall. It's impossible. In Brazil credit cards interest rate is 8% until 12% per month, what means 151.8% per year until 289.6% per year. The leverage is 4X. So, the situation is worse than U.S., but a paradox: it's the cause of Brazil be better then U.S. now. Here in Brazil we are tired of the lies of the banks about the necessity of high interest rates. It's pure cuteness to defraud clients. We in Brazil don't believe the United States are in crisis, this crisis is made to do losses and more losses in the world and some like Soros and Buffet to be more and more rich and world bosses and to do United States a powerfull country after world meltdown like happened after Second World War. If this plan don't get right, so U.S. meltdown will happen, and then the First World will be a place like Germany in the Hitler's time, and then Hitler will comes back. Business men, the bosses and CEOs are playing with fire. This situation is more one lie of the financial market to do fortunes without any work. Like Sarkozy said, it may be the end of civilization. Thousand of jobs did cut and this will be the crisis real. All because the lies of the financial market, lies that continue. Financial markets did transcend reality.

    November 22, 2008 at 6:17 am |
  36. Cathy

    Bail out taxpayers, not Wall Street. Why not spend some of the $700 billion bail out money on the taxpayers. The little bit of stimulus money months ago was nice but not enough to do anything for anybody. Give the appox. 300 million tax payers each $100,000. Tell everyone to go buy a car. Pay off your debt; catch up on your mortgage payments; buy a new house. For those that don't need the money, give it to charity; create a job. Let the trickle effect start with us (taxpayers) and work its way up to Wall Street and the Big Auto guys. Why reward those that did wrong. Reward the taxpayer and the joy will be spread!

    November 22, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  37. Abbas Rakhshani

    To build new, you must destroy the old. So, the falling apart of these monster institutions is only tragic if there are no plans to rebuild them. The only assistance we should give these companies should be what they need to restructure themselves under set guidlines.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  38. Jason

    This is just the begining people. Wait till Obama gets into office. More Taxes aand even more money being given to the Big guys that got him in office. Bye Bye United States of American hello United States of China.

    November 28, 2008 at 11:49 am |
  39. richard tilley

    subject / investing in america / example : u.s. savings bonds
    reinvent or update this program. this in my opinion is a much better solution to our financial future than a 401k or a risky stock market .
    invest in our future as well as our countries . a win / win situation . tks

    December 1, 2008 at 1:01 am |

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