Friday, January 15, 2010

Time To Act

From the WSJ:
Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their people about $145 billion for 2009, a record sum that indicates how compensation is climbing despite fury over Wall Street's pay culture.
An analysis by The Wall Street Journal shows that executives, traders, investment bankers, money managers and others at 38 top financial companies can expect to earn nearly 18% more than they did in 2008—and slightly more than in the record year of 2007. The conclusions are based on an examination of securities filings for the first nine months of 2009 and revenue estimates through year-end.
These 38 firms are the ones most responsible for destroying our economy. They have been bailed out to the tune of trillions (forget TARP-TARP is the tip of the iceberg). After having their buddies at Treasury and the Fed give them all this taxpayer money, they made the ludicrous claim that it was so they could lend and so that they could make sure they stayed solvent. Instead, they are paying it out to themselves in the form of bonuses.
Furthermore, the main problem hasn't even been solved. Many of these big banks are still facing insolvency. They have used Obama's mortgage modification plan as a way of pretending these loans are still good. But since they aren't doing an permanent principal reductions, these loans will eventually go bad, and the banks will be insolvent. But by then, they will already have their bonus money!
These banks are so powerful now that they don't even bother to show up when the president asks to meet with them. They've convinced Sen. Dodd to scrap to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which might have helped keep them from doing some of this again. They don't even care what you, the taxpayer, think about what they're doing with your money, even though you are probably seething.
They write the regulations they want, and kill the regulations they don't. They suck up all of the nation's capital, siphoning it off to be used to build yachts and mansions and private jets, leaving none to invest in factories or small businesses that might actually provide jobs.
Obama's lame attempt at taxing these banks will do little more than provide some much-needed revenue, although it will be only a tiny fraction of the money taxpayers have handed over. It will not stop the bonuses for the people in charge. It will not stop the ongoing transfer of middle-class tax dollars to rich bankers. It will not prevent these bankers from destroying our economy even more; indeed, it will probably encourage them by legitimizing their behavior.
If you've had enough, call your senator and congressman. Call them right now. Here is a link to your congressmen's phone number. 
Tell them you've had enough. Tell them you will accept nothing less than to force these big banks, and their monopoly on money and power, to be broken up. Tell them you want them smaller, you want them regulated, and you want it now. Tell them that you're paying attention, and that they will not get your vote if they don't listen. And then pay attention.
Do it right now.

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