From The Nation:
Under Paulson’s draft plan, Congress and the courts would have been barred from reviewing or challenging his moves to stabilize financial markets — effectively making him the nation’s economic czar. That’s not just a dangerous power grab for economic and politic reasons. It’s unconstitutional.
So basically, this man is looking for $700 Billion in taxpayer money, to do whatever he thinks is right, without anyone having the ability to review or question his plan and whatever else he does with the money. ARE YOU FREAKIN” NUTS?!? This is just as bad as giving the President the blank check for the Iraq War! They’re looking for another blank check. I hope and pray this proposal does not go through and sensible minds prevail in Congress. Don’t get pushed and bullied into approving this plan.
And yet the folks that caused this mess, the CEOs and managers and those that made the loans, all go away scott free with their golden parachutes. Anybody who knowingly made loans to people who they knew wouldn’t be able to afford them, should be going to jail. Period.
Why were all these people able to do what the did? The answer is Deregulation. If you have some time, here’s a good writeup on the history of this mess.
Welcome to the Free Market system, where whatever happens, happens, until it’s the very wealthy that’s affected. I’m tired of these taxpaper bailouts for businesses who knowingly made foolish bets. The fact of the matter is, loans were given to unqualified borrowers. Those loan contracts were then sold off in the form of securities to investors, who may or may not have known about the riskiness of the loans. When people couldn’t pay their mortgages, they defaulted on the loans. Factor in a bad economy, made worse by the job market going down, gas prices going up, and you got worthless securities. Instead of bailing these lenders out, we should be filing more criminal charges and putting people in jail. This is basically socialism for the wealthy. Even economists and conservatives think taxpayers are getting a “raw deal”. If I forget to pay my credit card bill, do I get a bailout? No, I just get charged more, and my interest rate goes up. Why should people who live within their means be forced to bail out gamblers and cheaters?
Stop the housing bailout!!
NY Bank ‘loses’ 4.5M unencrypted customer records by ZDNet‘s Michael Krigsman — In yet another unbelievable story of data irresponsibility, the Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon lost two sets of unencrypted backup tapes containing private data belonging to 4.5 million individuals. Third-party vendors misplaced the tapes during transport to off-site locations.
This is ridiculous. In this day and age, where identity theft is commonplace, encryption should be standard practice. Safeguarding customer information should be priority #1. I’m all for limited government, but this is one place the government should get involved and make it mandatory, for any company that stores personal information, to make the data encrypted. The software and technology exists to do encryption/decryption in real-time, on-the-fly. Of course, for huge multi-national corporations, they say your privacy is important to them, but not as important as the bottom-line.
In its annual report, the Red Cross warned of a possible surge in “food-related violence” due to soaring food prices. It suggests that several factors are contributing to the rise is prices:
Drought and climate change have led to a slow down in the growth of agricultural production: in Australia, wheat production plummeted by 52% between 2004 and 2006, and grain production dropped by 13% in the United States and 14% in the European Union in the same period. The use of mainly corn-based biofuels is also contributing significantly to the current shortages. Lastly, changes in eating habits in the West and in the so-called emerging markets primarily in Asia, along with rapid urbanization, have driven up demand for food, putting further strain on supply. Speculation on food commodities is also a major destabilizing factor.
There’s been a warning of food riots every month, from different sources. Sounds like things may destabilize in parts of the world by the end of the year.
I hate mass chain email letters…In fact, I hate them with a passion. My mother-in-law always forwards the ones she receives. Now, I have her on my blocked email address list.
But this one that I received might make sense:
THIS IS NOT THE ‘DON’T BUY’ GAS FOR ONE DAY, BUT IT WILL SHOW YOU HOW WE CAN GET GAS BACK DOWN TO $1.30 PER GALLON.
This was sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. If you are tired of the gas prices going up AND they will continue to rise this summer, take time to read this please.
Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea. This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the “don’t buy gas on a certain day” campaign that was going around last April or May! It’s worth your consideration. Join the resistance!!!!
I hear we are going to hit close to $ 4.00 a gallon by next summer, and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn’t continue to “hurt” ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, whoever thought of this idea has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join with us!
By now you’re probably thinking gasoline priced at about $2.00 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $3.19 for regular unleaded in my town.
Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 – $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace…not sellers.
With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action.
The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can’t just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war. Here’s the idea: For the rest of this year, DON’T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL.
If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.
But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It’s really simple to do! Now, don’t wimp out on me at this point…keep reading and I’ll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!! I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) … and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x10 = 3,000)…and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth group of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers. If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted!
If it goes one level further, you guessed it…THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!
Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. That’s all! (If you don’t understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is send this to 10 people…Well, let’s face it, you just aren’t a mathematician. But I am . so trust me on this one. How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days !!! I’ll bet you didn’t think you and I had that much potential, did you! Acting together we can make a difference.
If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $2.00 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK.
Keep it going!!!
As I said back in March, riots over food prices have begun. In fact, this month in Haiti, the prime minister was ousted over food-related rioting and death.
A recent NYTimes Editorial describes the current situation. Although the rise in food prices are partly a result of “uncontrollable forces — including rising energy costs and the growth of the middle class in China and India”, rich nations are making the problem worse by increasing biofuel production:
The International Monetary Fund estimates that corn ethanol production in the United States accounted for at least half the rise in world corn demand in each of the past three years. This elevated corn prices. Feed prices rose. So did prices of other crops — mainly soybeans — as farmers switched their fields to corn, according to the Agriculture Department.
Rice is a staple for half the world. Rice prices have almost doubled this year, mostly due to countries like India and Vietnam banning the export of certain types of rice. India has tried to control domestic costs by raising the export prices of non-basmati rice. In Thailand, there are reports that about 200,000 tons of rice (worth over $100 million) have gone missing from national warehouses. Since January, thousands of troops have been deployed in Pakistan to guard trucks carrying wheat and flour.
In a world where there are millions of people who are wealthy, smart, and creative, we shouldn’t be rioting over food.