I am writing to express my opposition to the $700-billion bailout of the financial services firms. All it would do is postpone the inevitable by artificially sustaining the valuations of real estate and mortgage-backed securities above their intrinsic values.The media has been reporting that they're being deluged with such messages, with those opposing the bailout ten times as many as those supporting it. It seems the American people are dead-set against bailing out the greedy financial services firms. I hope congress listens to us when it comes time for them to vote. Unfortunately, as of now, it seems the congressional leadership has their collective foot on the gas and they're headed straight at the cliff of this bailout.
If we didn't bailout the financial services sector, there would be economic repercussions. But it would be mostly localized to those sectors with values that are currently artificially inflated. It would not lead to the collapse of the entire economy.
It seems that secretaries Paulson and Cox forgot everything they learned in economics class. Otherwise, they'd realize that what would actually happen in the economy without the bailout is a redistribution of assets and debt to where they would be put to their highest and best use. This is what we should want to happen in our economy because it would actually lead to the strengthening of our economy in the long run, not the destruction of it.
If you want to put $700-billion dollars to use stimulating our economy, do it from the bottom up. Imagine the boost the economy would realize if we suddenly injected $700-billion dollars into it for things like rebuilding our infrastructure, developing alternative forms of energy, and providing healthcare to the uninsured. With that amount of money being injected into social good, the advancements and benefits the American society and economy would realize would far outweigh and counterbalance the drag that would be created on them from the retraction of the financial services sector.
Even the financial services sector would end up healthier in the long run. Sure, fiscally irresponsible firms would go under if we didn't bail them out. But there are plenty of firms that have put their assets to good use and neither greedily provided subprime loans nor loaded up their balance sheet with mortgage-backed securities. These are the firms that would end up dominating the financial services sector when the others go bankrupt, and Wall Street would be better off for it in the long run.
I ask that, if you must support some kind of economic rescue package, don't make it the one that secretary Paulson and president Bush have presented to you. It simply creates a moral hazard and encourages future irresponsible behavior by Wall Street fat cats. Make it one that will create long-run benefits to the future of the American people.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Letter to the leadership
I've become convinced that the Fed is going about this "rescue" of our economy all wrong. So I decided to send the following message to the Senate Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the chairmen of the Joint Economic Committee and the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee, as well as my own senators and congressman: