No. of Recommendations: 78
As Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, put it Friday morning on the ABC program “Good Morning America,” the congressional leaders were told “that we’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally.”

Mr. Schumer added, “History was sort of hanging over it, like this was a moment.”

When Mr. Schumer described the meeting as “somber,” Mr. Dodd cut in. “Somber doesn’t begin to justify the words,” he said. “We have never heard language like this.”


Not to bring partison politics into this but this abdication of Congressional oversight and review after hearing a really bad story from "the experts" has a terrible, familiar ring to it.

Like many others here, I suspect all the government money and promises being thrown at this won't affect the final result more than maybe 10% plus or minus. Instead of standing around with bogus solemnity as they watch the same financial surgeons that put the patient on the table in the first place cut him open again, there are simple things they could be doing to eliminate the incentives that produced this 20 year fraud in the first place:

1) re-introduce meaningful anti-trust enforcement and limit the size of banks -- trust me, having Bank Of America and JPMorgan get bigger and bigger will NOT help things in the long run
2) re-enact Glass-Steagul, add an extra clause to EXPLICITLY state that federal programs will NEVER implicitly or explicitly backstop losses at investment banks or hedge funds, then send a framed copy to every financial CEO with a cover letter simply stating "THIS MEANS YOU, JACK."
3) initiate a criminal investigation into the bond-rating firms who provided AAA ratings on paper until the day it bankrupted its holders and collected fees for their efforts
4) initiate a criminal investigation into the auditors of these firms who signed off on these asset valuations for firms carrying TRILLIONS in liabilities with only BILLIONS in actual cash assets.
5) craft and pass legislation altering bankruptcy laws that place pension obligations for a) any Cxx or EVP position, b) anyone earning more than $200,000 / year or c) anyone with more than $1,000,000 in pension owed at a bankrupt firm DEAD LAST after all other obligations

I've commented numerous times before that it's the people with 100x or 1000x more than average Americans who are concocting these frauds and gambles to swing for the fences, knowing if they take a 90% loss using other people's money, they're still ahead of the rest of us by a factor of 10x. Until those incentives are removed by ensuring the people at the top are WIPED OUT when they do this much harm, the gambling will continue.

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.