Thanks to Jim for posting the actual text of the 700 billion dollar Wall St. welfare bailout proposed by George W. Bush. In reading this legislation, my eye was caught by Section 3, which reads,
“Sec. 3. Considerations.
In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for–
(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and
(2) protecting the taxpayer.”
Wall Street bankers have been inept and incompetent in their management of the fundamentals of the American economy. The free market has not been a genius, as right wing ideology says it is. The free market has been a raving idiot.
So, if working Americans are to put themselves 700 billion dollars in debt, for the sake of helping irresponsible investment bank fat cats to settle their own debts, we ought to get something in return. We ought to expect that there be some regulation of these Wall Street bankers, so that they cannot put our nation at risk of ruin through their own lack of discipline again.
The power brokers of Wall Street also ought to pay some real price for their negligent and greedy endangerment of our country’s well being. As long as the government is giving Wall Street firms assistance, those firms receiving assistance ought to be banned from giving their executives the outrageous salaries to which they have become accustomed. Incompetence deserves no reward.
Section 3 is where these regulatory reforms and enforcement of accountability ought to be included. Yet, there’s not really anything there. Section 3 merely states that the Secretary of the Treasury will “consider” protecting taxpayers from the consequences of Wall Street’s gross ineptitude. The Secretary of the Treasury is supposed to “consider” market stability as well. But, is the Secretary of the Treasury given any power to force Wall Street to become fiscally responsible? No. Is there any actual protection for the taxpayer, other than that the Secretary is asked to think about the concept every now and then? No. Is there any reform? No. Is there any accountability? Zip.
Wall Street is broken because Wall Street is incompetent and corrupt. We need legislation that fixes Wall Street’s culture of irresponsibility, rather than just throwing money at the problem.
The bailout legislation fails completely to fix Wall Street. The legislation should not be passed until it is amended to include needed reform and accountability – and if the power brokers of Wall Street refuse to support the reform and accountability the American people demand, let them eat their bad loans.