I wrote my congressman and let him know I opposed the bailout. For those of us old enough to remember the Savings and Loan crisis and the fallout, this latest financial meltdown was all too predictable. Just as predictable that Tom Menino will raise taxes by the maximum 2.5 percent each year and the real estate taxes will go up as well.
In 1993 I bought my first house during those tough economic times. I had to put $60K down on a building price of $160,000.00. With that kind of equity investment you have a real stake in your property. In 2006 I sold a condominium in the South End for 1.1 million dollars and the buyer only had to put down $50,000.00. I knew then that this easy money was crazy, and my partner and I cashed out and stopped buying property.
How is it that someone with only a liberal arts Economics 1 class could see this downturn coming but few others did? The simple answer is probably greed.
As "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" decried almost 40 years ago, there has been a loss of pride, of quality, of knowledge of excellence in this country. It has been replaced with the quick buck, the flashy car, entertainment news, and celebrity. Sarah Palin is the latest end result of this, but I fear worse could be forthcoming.
Here is a simple alternative to the 700 billion bailout. Treat banks as they treat us. Let the big banks which need money come to the citizens, fill out an application and be approved or declined on the basis of their assets, their credit history and their ability to pay. We can set up a blue ribbon executive committee with all the left, right, and middle. How about a board of Congressman Frank and Boehner, Senators Dodd and Gregg, Paulson from the executive branch, and maybe Warren Buffett, the mayor of NYC, and Senator Bernie Sanders to represent the People.
The banks can present their need for money, get terms from the Bank of the People, where we take equity positions, and they can make repayment terms. It would be transparent because they would have to fill out their applications showing all their assets, debts, income, etc.
Any comments on why this is any crazier than just handing over more than enough money to set up Universal Health Care in this country?