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Fleecing of America: The Wall Street Bailout

Glen Greenwald of Salon.com has written what should be the wake-up call of the century. The $700B Federal bailout of Wall Street rewards all the fat cats who made billions through irresponsible, high-risk gambling, letting them keep their ill-gotten profits, while sticking the American public with the tab for the market’s collapse. And your CongressCritters, Republicans and Democrats alike, are responsible.

This is “redistribution of wealth” and “government takeover of industry” on the grandest scale imaginable.

What is more intrinsically corrupt than allowing people to engage in high-reward/no-risk capitalism — where they reap tens of millions of dollars and more every year while their reckless gambles are paying off, only to then have the Government shift their losses to the citizenry at large once their schemes collapse? 

We’ve retroactively created a win-only system where the wealthiest corporations and their shareholders are free to gamble for as long as they win and then force others who have no upside to pay for their losses. More amazingly, they’re free to walk away without having to disgorge their gains. How can these bailouts not at least be categorically conditioned on the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains from those who are responsible?


The current plan: 

(1) The Treasury Secretary is authorized to buy up to $700 billion of any mortgage-related assets (so he can just transfer that amount to any corporations in exchange for their worthless or severely crippled “assets”);

(2) The ceiling on the national debt is raised to $11.3 trillion to accommodate this scheme; and 

(3) best of all: “Decisions by [Treasury] Secretary [Hank Paulson] pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency”.


“Put another way, this authorizes Hank Paulson to transfer $700 billion of taxpayer money to private industry in his sole discretion, and nobody has the right or ability to review or challenge any decision he makes.”

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/20/bailout/index.html

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