Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for the ‘Congress’ tag

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown Takes A Stand: His Reasoned Reply

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We received the following letter from our U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. I feel a whole lot better knowing some of  his thought process on the $700 Billion “bailout”.  I am sure that he shared the same thoughts with all of his constituents who wrote him concerning this issue so I am sharing it here.

Thank you for expressing your concerns with the problems in the financial sector and how we address them.

A lot of Ohioans, including me, are angry at the thought of bailing out people who made a lot of money making bad business decisions that created problems in neighborhoods across Ohio. I agree that we need to avoid rewarding excessive risk taking. These institutions made unwise decisions, and taxpayers should not be expected to simply cover their losses.

On September 20th, Treasury Secretary Paulson sent a proposal to Congress that would have given him almost unfettered authority to spend $700 billion purchasing troubled assets from financial institutions. A few days later, my colleagues on the Banking Committee and I held a hearing at which Secretary Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, and others testified.

They made a strong case for the need to act quickly to prevent further damage to our economy. The turmoil in the credit markets has the potential to do great damage to a lot of innocent bystanders. I am afraid that if we do not act, the economic instability could affect thousands of American jobs and the savings of countless middle class families.

But Secretary Paulson’s proposal was not the right answer. No Secretary should be given a $700 billion blank check. Taxpayers must be given an opportunity to recover their money, and assurances their tax dollars will not fund lavish pay and golden parachutes. We need strong rules to guard against abuse and we need to ensure that Ohio is helped and not just Wall Street. The legislation adopted by the Senate, with my support, makes each of these changes.

This was a difficult vote. But Ohio has already lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs over the past seven years as our unemployment rate has spiked. Retirement and college savings accounts have shriveled. Credit is becoming more expensive for small businesses. We cannot gamble on even greater economic dislocation.

This week’s vote was not the end of our work on this issue. In the months ahead we need to enact tough rules to govern our financial markets to ensure we never find ourselves in this situation again.
Sincerely,
Sherrod Brown

I will post U.S. Senator George Voinovich’s reply when received.

 

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 3rd, 2008 at 11:14 am

The Nation Waits with Bated Breath–Is It a Loan or Is it a Bailout?

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Warren Buffett knows if you are going to take on great risk, be sure to negotiate a hard bargain and at least have the option to make millions.  I just received my latest edition of The Economist where I learned this. 

I haven’t seen anything on line about the $700 Billion Bailout of the banking industry.  Personally, I like the idea of loaning them the money.  You see, when they get behind on their loans because they haven’t the money to pay back the American taxpayer, we can have our servicing agent, the government, tell them that their “client” has informed them that they can no longer work with them and that they are in default.  We, the taxpayers, will then own the banks.  In other words, we can foreclose on them. Turnabout is fair play.

Why in the world would we the American Taxpayer give the money to the banks without getting something in return?  Shouldn’t we let the free market decide which banks would survive and which would become part of the collateral owned by the United States?  After all, I believe that is what U.S. Treasurer Hank Paulson recommended not so long ago when told that the housing bubble had burst and that the walls were crumbling down.

Of course, no one knew just how far the rolling stones would fall and now that retirement and pension funds, local and state governments will be affected by this debacle, something should be done.  But I ask you, why should we give them this money with no strings attached so that they can again “play the game” with no repercussions for the reckless way they played “the game” this time?

Could that be the problem with this whole scenario?  It wasn’t a game, it was people’s lives, it was people’s savings, it was America’s way of life.  It was only a game to those who saw only the numbers and never the faces behind those numbers.

I see no reason that we the American Taxpayer should bail out the financial industry without receiving something in return.  After all, according to the investment gurus, our world revolves on ROI (Return on Investment).  Maybe not so much.

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 29th, 2008 at 3:50 pm