Especially in light of this financial crisis. There are a bunch of smart people who have written and said some brilliant things about the mess that we are in. I will post a few of them below.
But before I do, let me say that I think Congress has done pretty well in crafting this bailout plan. They took the 3 page 'Paulson Document' and have made it a much better plan. It's a terrible thing that they have to vote for,, espeically considering the nearly trillion dollars in bailouts that have already taken place.
But I give credit to both parties in Congress for coming together and getting this bill done. That includes the House Republicans whose intervention I think added some strength to the bill when it comes to Wall Street having to kick in to make up the losses of taxpayers should there be any.
Now I just hope that the bill passes with 300+ votes in the house and isn't something that anyone plays games with. Should that happen,, I think we will see a bigger drop in the market than we are currently seeing.
So here are some things I think you'll enjoy.
1st is a rant by Jim Cramer of Mad Money who does a good job explaining what will happen if the Congress does not act and takes on economists and Alabama Senator Richard Shelby. Cramer is a bit of a nut and his ranting and raving make some people think he isn't a serious guy.
But I will say this, in an era, and I mean the last 30 years, where we haven't had anyone other than Bill Clinton be able to really explain economics to non-Wall Street people, Cramer has become that voice.
Click on this link to see Cramer talk of what he calls the 'investment in America plan.'
2nd, is an article from the Baltimore Sun by Cynthia Tucker. A Republican talking point over the past couple days has been to blame the "Community Reinvestment Act" (CRA) of 1977 (when Carter was President) that expanded credit opportunities to minority community's bears the blame for this crisis. This is being used in an unfortunate way and Tucker clearly lays out why.
The article focuses very little on what is really to blame, deregulation of the past 10-12 years, but shoots a whole in the theory that the CRA is to blame.
Click on this link to read this very interesting article.
Finally, is a speech that was given in 1999.
It was by a Congressman I have written about many times before whom I greatly admire, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee John Dingell.
This speech was given to speak against a deregulation bill titled Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. This bill deregulated banks that allowed them to team up with investment houses and insurance companies. Companies like Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros, and AIG.
Only 57 members of the US House of Representatives voted against this bill, so the blame lies with both parties and President Clinton signed it so I'm not even pointing a finger a President Bush here.
But for the record, Dingell,, who is the longest serving member of the House was called 'out of touch', 'anti-growth', and protectionist when he gave the speech below.
Turns out he was two things, prophetic and 100% right.
Keep in mind this speech was in 1999!
Madam Speaker, I yield myself the remaining time for purposes of closing.
Madam Speaker and my colleagues, I think we ought to look at what we are doing here tonight. We are passing a bill which is going to have very little consideration, written in the dark of night, without any real awareness on the part of most of what it contains.
I just want to remind my colleagues about what happened the last time the Committee on Banking brought a bill on the floor which deregulated the savings and loans. It wound up imposing upon the taxpayers of this Nation about a $500 billion liability. That is what it cost to clean up that mess.
Now, at the same time, the banks by engaging in questionable practices wound up in a situation where the Fed and the Treasury Department had to bail them out also at the taxpayers' expense. But it did not show.
Having said that, what we are creating now is a group of institutions which are too big to fail.
Not only are they going to be big banks, but they are going to be big everything, because they are going to be in securities and insurance, in issuance of stocks and bonds and underwriting, and they are also going to be in banks.
And under this legislation, the whole of the regulatory structure is so obfuscated and so confused that liability in one area is going to fall over into liability in the next.
Taxpayers are going to be called upon to cure the failures we are creating tonight, and it is going to cost a lot of money, and it is coming. Just be prepared for those events.
You are going to find that they are too big to fail, so the Fed is going to be in and other Federal agencies are going to be in to bail them out.
Just expect that.
With regard to the privacy, let us take a look at it. We are told about all the protections for privacy that you have here. If you want to have a good laugh, laugh at it, because here is the joke: The only thing the banks are going to be required to say with regard to what they are going to do with regard to your privacy, and this is everything, from your health to your financial situation, to everything else, is ``we are going to stick it to you.''
The privacy that you are going to have under this legislation is absolutely nothing. And what is going to drive that is going to be a simple fact, and that is that the banks are all going to be competing with the most diligence, and the
result will be that those protections are going to be manifested in a race to the bottom.
Consumers, investors and the American public will have no protection to their privacy whatsoever under this bill. The only thing the banks have to say and the other institutions have to say is ``we are going to stick it to you.''
Vote against the conference report