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Press Release

    Ten Reasons to Oppose the Wall Street Bailout

    09/29/2008

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    1. NO REFORM: The plan attempts to mask, rather than reform, imbalances in credit markets and in U.S. economic public policy. The plan props up reckless and failed banks by buying "troubled assets" instead of focusing on real reforms that go after government sponsored culprits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and sustainable policies that will increase the availability of private capital and expanded economic growth. 

    2. TREASURY POWER GRAB: The plan raises Constitutional concerns by dramatically expanding the power of the current and future Treasury Secretaries, giving the government agency power to directly purchase assets from for-profit financial and non-financial firms.

    3. STUNNING PRICE TAG: The $700 billion bailout figure is as much money as the combined annual budgets of the Departments of Defense, Education and Health and Human Services. It amounts to $2,300 for every man, woman, and child in America. 

    4. INCREASES NATIONAL DEBT: Instead of cutting spending elsewhere, Congress will borrow all $700 billion on global capital markets, and the bill raises the national debt ceiling to a staggering $11.3 trillion.

    5. GLOBAL BAILOUT: The plan includes taxpayer purchases of distressed assets from foreign banks.

    6. HURTS RESPONSIBLE AMERICAN BANKS: The plan punishes responsible U.S. banks by keeping reckless, insolvent investment banks in business. As BB&T CEO John Allison wrote in a letter to Congress on Sept. 23rd, "....this is primarily a bailout of poorly run financial institutions.... Corrections are not all bad. The market correction process eliminates irrational competitors."

    7. FLAWED PROCESS: Members of Congress and the public will have less than 24 hours and no hearings to discuss and understand the impact of this sweeping plan. This rush to pass a wildly unpopular plan without benefit of significant public debate and input will also undermine its legitimacy and effectiveness.

    8. BY WALL STREET, FOR WALL STREET: Treasury Secretary Paulson, the architect of the plan, was formerly the head of Goldman Sachs, one of the firms responsible for the mess and a direct beneficiary of the bailout.  Further, the advisers managing the bailout auctions and assets will be Wall Street firms and will likely receive billions of tax dollars in fees.

    9. OTHER OPTIONS NOT EXHAUSTED: The idea that taxpayers will make money on the bailout is not credible. There are ready buyers for these "troubled assets" -- Merrill Lynch sold its entire portfolio of mortgage backed securities in July-- provided the price is low enough. If a profit was possible, private speculators would readily buy these troubled assets.

    10. MORALLY OFFENSIVE: The plan violates basic principles of American capitalism and honest governance by creating a system of "private profits, socialized losses" that transfers money from taxpayers directly to Wall Street investment banks. Free market capitalism only functions if individuals and firms are held accountable and are allowed to both succeed and profit, and also to sustain losses and even fail.