Today feels like the day the last vestiges of democracy will die, as our government appears poised to demonstrate fully that they support Wall Street over and above their constituents. I am fed up. Here's what my Senator and Congressman received from me today...hope your letters were stern as well.
Dear Congressman Udall and Senator Bingaman:
Are you voting against this bailout bill today? I stayed up last night reading the bill, or the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” as congress is calling it, and I’m not happy about it.
First, the bill doesn’t place any limits on, or add any regulatory oversight over, the type of speculation that caused the crisis. That’s quite a departure from the days of FDR, who enacted the Truth in Securities Act and the Glass-Steagall Act to reign in speculation following the banking crisis of his day. Your first responsibility is to end the practices that have put Americans in harm’s way, but that’s not what’s going on in this bill. In fact, this bill would do more to perpetuate the bad behavior.
Second, the bill discusses, but doesn’t require, direct aid to the homeowners that were hurt by the speculative practices. We are not stupid – talking about helping someone is very different from actually doing it.
Finally, while the rhetoric in front of the cameras about limiting executive compensation has been firm, the language in the bill is not. The bill calls for the financial institutions to meet “appropriate standards” for compensation, but these are institutions that have already demonstrated that they don’t know what appropriate standards would be. The bill adds a few paragraphs on what the standards should include, but the language is so loose it appears to be idle posturing. Again, we are not stupid. Add some specifics, for heaven’s sake! Here’s an example: “No one at any financial institution shall be compensated at more than five times the rate of the firm’s lowest paid worker, and all employees shall receive the same terms for severance at the conclusion of their employment.” Fair enough?
My overall impression is that Wall Street is running the show here. You must stand with your constituents and oppose this bill. I’ve been talking with a lot of them, and I haven’t found any that want this bailout. Saying that you have to vote for it won’t cut it this time. You represent us, and we need you now. Please don’t sell us out by going along with this charade.
Sincerely, Mark Sardella