Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.
The Secretary's authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time.
Sec. 12. Definitions.
For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) Mortgage-Related Assets.--The term "mortgage-related assets" means residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before September 17, 2008.
In 1933, a few years following the stock market crash, Congress passes the Glass-Steagall Act, in hopes that regulating banks will help prevent market instability, particularly amongst Wall Street banks.
In 1999, former Senator Phil Gramm (who is, incidentally, Senator John McCain's economic adviser and cochairs his presidential campaign) set out to completely gut the Glass-Steagall Act, and did so successfully, replacing most of its components with the new Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: allowing commercial banks, investment banks, and insurers to merge (which would have violated antitrust laws under Glass-Steagall).
Everything in between Glass-Steagall and Gramm-Leach-Bliley (i.e. Savings and Loan crisis/bust) was, in large part, the incubation period for what would take place over the nine years that would follow the passage of Gramm's Act: an experiment in deregulation.
“Treasury’s 840-word legislative bailout proposal comes to more than $830 million per word,” Stephen Ellis, the vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a fiscal watchdog group, said in a statement on Monday, adding that “when they come up with a title, that will drive the average dollar per word down.”
For years now, they’ve told us that we can’t afford—that the government providing healthcare to all people is just unimaginable; it can’t be done. We don’t have the money to rebuild our infrastructure. We don’t have the money to wipe out poverty. We can’t do it. But all of a sudden, yeah, we do have $700 billion for a bailout of Wall Street.
"A critical - and radical - component of the bailout package proposed by the Bush administration has thus far failed to garner the serious attention of anyone in the press. Section 8 (which ironically reminds one of the popular name of the portion of the 1937 Housing Act that paved the way for subsidized affordable housing ) of this legislation is just a single sentence of thirty-two words, but it represents a significant consolidation of power and an abdication of oversight authority that's so flat-out astounding that it ought to set one's hair on fire. It reads, in its entirety:'Decisions by the Secretary 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.'In short, the so-called 'mother of all bailouts,' which will transfer $700 billion taxpayer dollars to purchase the distressed assets of several failed financial institutions, will be conducted in a manner unchallengeable by courts and ungovernable by the People's duly sworn representatives. All decision-making power will be consolidated into the Executive Branch - who, we remind you, will have the incentive to act upon this privilege as quickly as possible, before they leave office. The measure will run up the budget deficit by a significant amount, with no guarantee of recouping the outlay, and no fundamental means of holding those who fail to do so accountable."
'Decisions by the Secretary 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.'
In particular, we elected the democrats to Congress in 2006 to stop the bleeding. They've done nothing. The banks didn't fail us, because the banks do what all companies do, look out for their own interests. The government, particularly this Congress, has failed us because they've done nothing at a time when we specifically put them there to do something.
Sweden did not just bail out its financial institutions by having the government take over the bad debts. It extracted pounds of flesh from bank shareholders before writing checks. Banks had to write down losses and issue warrants to the government.
That strategy held banks responsible and turned the government into an owner. When distressed assets were sold, the profits flowed to taxpayers, and the government was able to recoup more money later by selling its shares in the companies as well.
Sweden told its banks to write down their losses promptly before coming to the state for recapitalization. Facing its own problem later in the decade, Japan made the mistake of dragging this process out, delaying a solution for years.
Then came the imperative to bleed shareholders first. Mr. Lundgren recalls a conversation with Peter Wallenberg, at the time chairman of SEB, Sweden’s largest bank. Mr. Wallenberg, the scion of the country’s most famous family and steward of large chunks of its economy, heard that there would be no sacred cows.
The Wallenbergs turned around and arranged a recapitalization on their own, obviating the need for a bailout. SEB turned a profit the following year, 1993.
"Although conceptually separate from democracy, republicanism included the key principles of rule by the consent of the governed and sovereignty of the people."
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, with an emphasis on liberty, rule of law, popular sovereignty and the civic virtue practiced by citizens.
"Does anyone really think we live in a Democracy right now?
I mean, seriously?"
'Democracy' is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system.
As in Athens, the right to participate was restricted to men, just as it was also in all later democracies and republics until the twentieth century.[emphasis added]
If we approach market capitalism from a democratic point of view we discover, when we look closely, that it has two faces. Like the emblem of the Greek god Janus, they face in opposite directions. One, a friendly face, points toward democracy. The other, a hostile face, points the other way.
Democracy and market-capitalism are locked in a persistent conflict in which each modifies and limits the other.
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