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Deika Morrison: Reasoning the Reasons

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Deika Morrison: Financial Security Tips+Tools

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Make or Break

Tonight's announcement of a tentative agreement - "a breakthrough" - and the visible positive cues in tone and body language - is a welcome development.

However, the markets really, I humbly submit, cannot handle any more "roller coasters". If all the leadership in Congress did not believe there was a genuine tentative agreement then silence is literally golden. Again, why do we care about markets? Because all the people that these lawmakers represent have their savings and investments tied up in them. So, part of the lawmakers responsibility is to act responsibly with respect to the markets.

There is an expression I am so fond of: "You are trespassing on my patience". And I suspect if the markets could talk, that's what they would say. Confidence and credibility are very low, for good reason.

So, my two cents here:
  • Having made this announcement, no matter what, I repeat - no matter what - find a way to work out the details - constructively
  • Then vote as quickly - but responsibly - as you possibly can.
  • Do not come back with another "the deal fell apart", "there was really no deal" "we are not talking". The markets have already heard those messages - they do not like them.
  • Threats to "veto" are not helpful, to be diplomatic
  • If the US really wants to build credibility and confidence, it would be the BEST signal for every single person to vote for the new bill. This is not the time to score cheap points. If someone really cannot live with it, no person should have to vote against his or her conscience. But people need to understand the magnitude of what is riding on the ability of the US to restore confidence in the US governance system and prospects for the financial markets and economy - not only as a leader in the global economy, but even as a participant in the global economy. The world is watching every move, and fortunately still waiting - but it won't wait forever.

3 comments:

Joan said...

I just hope they do not approve the release of all the $700b at once. I am not persuaded that the taxpayers need to provide so much money.

Deika Morrison said...

So far, reported by the New York Times:

"The money will disbursed in parts, with an initial $250 billion to get the rescue effort under way, followed by another $100 billion upon a report by Mr. Bush to Congress.
The president could then request the balance of $350 billion at any time. If Congress disapproved, it would have to act within 15 days to deny the Treasury the money."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/29/business/29bailout.html?hp

Deika Morrison said...

From Office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- Sept. 28, 2008

REINVEST, REIMBURSE, REFORM

IMPROVING THE FINANCIAL RESCUE LEGISLATION

Significant bipartisan work has built consensus around dramatic improvements to the original Bush-Paulson plan to stabilize American financial markets -- including cutting in half the Administration's initial request for $700 billion and requiring Congressional review for any future commitment of taxpayers' funds. If the government loses money, the financial industry will pay back the taxpayers.

3 Phases of a Financial Rescue with Strong Taxpayer Protections

# Reinvest in the troubled financial markets … to stabilize our economy and insulate Main Street from Wall Street

# Reimburse the taxpayer … through ownership of shares and appreciation in the value of purchased assets

# Reform business-as-usual on Wall Street … strong Congressional oversight and no golden parachutes

CRITICAL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE RESCUE PLAN

Democrats have insisted from day one on substantial changes to make the Bush-Paulson plan acceptable -- protecting American taxpayers and Main Street -- and these elements will be included in the legislation

Protection for taxpayers, ensuring THEY share IN ANY profits

# Cuts the payment of $700 billion in half and conditions future payments on Congressional review

# Gives taxpayers an ownership stake and profit-making opportunities with participating companies

# Puts taxpayers first in line to recover assets if participating company fails

# Guarantees taxpayers are repaid in full -- if other protections have not actually produced a profit

# Allows the government to purchase troubled assets from pension plans, local governments, and small banks that serve low- and middle-income families

Limits on excessive compensation for CEOs and executives

New restrictions on CEO and executive compensation for participating companies:

# No multi-million dollar golden parachutes

# Limits CEO compensation that encourages unnecessary risk-taking

# Recovers bonuses paid based on promised gains that later turn out to be false or inaccurate

Strong independent oversight and transparency

Four separate independent oversight entities or processes to protect the taxpayer

# A strong oversight board appointed by bipartisan leaders of Congress

# A GAO presence at Treasury to oversee the program and conduct audits to ensure strong internal controls, and to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse

# An independent Inspector General to monitor the Treasury Secretary's decisions
Transparency -- requiring posting of transactions online -- to help jumpstart private sector demand

# Meaningful judicial review of the Treasury Secretary's actions

Help to prevent home foreclosures crippling the American economy

# The government can use its power as the owner of mortgages and mortgage backed securities to facilitate loan modifications (such as, reduced principal or interest rate, lengthened time to pay back the mortgage) to help reduce the 2 million projected foreclosures in the next year

# Extends provision (passed earlier in this Congress) to stop tax liability on mortgage foreclosures

# Helps save small businesses that need credit by aiding small community banks hurt by the mortgage crisis—allowing these banks to deduct losses from investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stocks

 
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Reasoning The Reasons by Deika Morrison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.