The public comment period for this legislation has ended.

Dodd's Legislative Proposal From Treasury Department for Authority to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets

83 bill comments, 268 section comments

Congress is moving rapidly to enact a gigantic taxpayer bailout of the financial sector, with a potential cost of $700 billion or more than $2000 per American citizen. We believe, as Justice Brandeis said, that "Sunlight is the best of disinfectants," and that all legislation ought to be open to public comment and consideration in real-time, not just after the fact. So, as a public service, we're posting for public comment the 44-page proposal from Senator Chris Dodd, who is Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Read and comment on the Senate's most recent bill, posted October 1, 2008.

  1. TITLE I - Authorizing the Treasury Department to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets
    1. Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. (21 comments)
    2. Sec. 2. Authority to purchase troubled assets. (37 comments)
    3. Sec. 3. Considerations. (7 comments)
    4. Sec. 4. Oversight. (36 comments)
    5. Sec. 5. Rights; management; sale of troubled assets. (27 comments)
    6. Sec. 6. Maximum amount of authorized purchases. (15 comments)
    7. Sec. 7. Funding. (7 comments)
    8. Sec. 8. Limits on review. (13 comments)
    9. Sec. 9. Assistance to homeowners and localities. (19 comments)
    10. Sec. 10. Maintaining insurance parity. (4 comments)
    11. Sec. 11. Minimizing foreclosures. (6 comments)
    12. Sec. 12. Termination of authority. (4 comments)
    13. Sec. 13. Increase in statutory limit on the public debt. (7 comments)
    14. Sec. 14. Credit reform. (2 comments)
    15. Sec. 15. Annual financial reports and audits. (4 comments)
    16. Sec. 16. Conflicts of interest. (8 comments)
    17. Sec. 17. Executive compensation. (31 comments)
    18. Sec. 18. Studies and reports. (4 comments)
    19. Sec. 19. Disclosures on exercise of loan authority. (7 comments)
    20. Sec. 20. Special inspector general for the troubled asset program. (4 comments)
    21. Sec. 21. Definitions. (5 comments)

General Comments on Dodd's Legislative Proposal From Treasury Department for Authority to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets

Where's MY Money?? on September 22, 2008

Decades ago people decided to start doing stupid crap and took out ever increasingly risky loans.

Now the house of cards is tumbling and you want to use MY tax dollars to bail you fools out?

Thanks for turning the American dollar into toilet paper. Now it's only going to be worth wiping my ass with.

[sarcasm] Oh yeah... Nice job guys... Definitely pass this turd as is...[/sarcasm]

jeff on September 23, 2008

This is the stupidest idea I've ever heard. People struggling to pay their mortgage get nothing. People living in a house they really can't afford are encouraged to stay there, and the banks who made money on too-risky loans aren't called to account.

Not to mention the whole "no lawsuits clause" - enough to make me say "No way!" no matter how good the cause.

Taxpayin on September 23, 2008

Paul Krugman nailed it here. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/09/2...>

If the taxpayers are going to get fleeced one more time by having to bail out companies who reward their people for risky speculation, then let's get some assets too. Heck, let's get all of those assets, shall we?

Personally I want to see as many of the guilty parties -- those who could have done the right thing and didn't -- lose everything too. I want to hear about culpability and punishment, not how much free money the banks get for squandering our money on bailouts and ruining our investments with their worthless financial instruments.

I want to see disincentives built strategically into the next system that include asset forfeiture and hard time.

This is not a game, it's people's lives, their jobs, their retirement, and their hard work that's being sacrificed on Wall Street this month. Bailing these fools out, even if we must, is odious and obscene.

Martin Sarsfield on September 23, 2008

Please everyone. Don't just whine and make sarcastic comments. Call your Senators and Congressmen and tell them to not spend the nation into debt to reward rich bankers with even more money.

onNYTurf on September 23, 2008

Lets step back a sec and ask a operational question all these plans assume. Who will run this vehicle? do they want to get "picked off" by unscrupulous brokers trafficking in this paper, or will they solely by direct from owners but how will they perform price discovery to know if they are paying a fair market proxy price or do they just want to pay 90 cents for debt worth 10? How will you get talented people to perform this trading activity if you don't pay them a lot? how do you incentivize traders to protect the government.. or do they want to be ripped off by the 2 - 3 remaining "expert" firms that coincidentally include the omnipresent and omni defended and propogated... Goldman Sachs?

George Pugh on September 23, 2008

Economist Paul Krugman has correctly noted that the Treasury legislation and now the Dodd draft only address market liquidity for mortgage related assets and do not address the capital impairment that has resulted. I suggest that a portion of the $700 billion be used to acquire "capital certificates" in affected institutions. The certificates would accrue interest at a rate tied to the Treasury's cost of borrowing and unless they were repaid in a certain period of time, say ten years for example, they would convert to common stock at a price that would severely dilute the existing common stock. Until the capital certificates were repaid the instiution would agree to restrictions on dividend increases, stock buy-backs, and if necessary, executive compensation.

In my opinion the banking system needs both capital and liquidity. This proposal would address to some extent the capital issue that is not addressed in either the Treasury or Dodd darfts.

B. Falkon on September 23, 2008

The NY Times didn't print my comment, but I'm hoping you will...

The elephant in the room that none of the wonks are talking about is that this is all the result of "voodoo Reganomics." 41 was right all along.

Lew on September 23, 2008

At least the Dodd bill puts a restriction on bonuses for CEOs and some control by the government rather than the blank check.

hiro on September 23, 2008

The fundamental issue I have with the bailout is this: If I go to work every day and make extremely risky decisions that end up sinking my company, what will my reward be? That's right, walking papers.

These companies essentially did just that and now we're all forced to ride to their rescue.

In the meantime, many hard-working citizens are losing their homes. How is this right?

I say bailout the families and let the speculators reap their rewards.

John on September 23, 2008

This is Milton Friedman's Shock Doctrine...again. A giant grab by the Administration of what is the domain of Congress. You pass this and you've ruined all of us for good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kieyjfZDUIc

smarty smart smart on September 23, 2008

the only way that this help is if it requires the banks to rewrite mortgages so that people can afford to stay in their homes, this way the government can recoup some of this stupid investment

Margaret Knowles on September 23, 2008

We have other choices. Please see Karl Denninger's plan at http://fedupusa.org (three 10-minute videos on what Paulson has been and is currently up to, a peak at the treasury secretary’s hidden agenda, as he tries to convince our reps to let him hook his siphon to our future economy, to suck us and our kids and their kids dry)

He says first we have to re-establish trust in the markets by 1. balance sheet transparency 2. give all banks 6 months to reduce their leverage (some are at 80:1!) to 12:1 and 3. credit default swaps - put these on a regulated exchange and null out the bad ones.

the letter written by Karl Denninger to the Senate http://www.denninger.net/letters/paul...>

to Karl Denninger’s White Paper on the economic crisis http://www.denninger.net/letters/2008...>

Tpainter on September 23, 2008

The Banking Industry and Oil Industry Love Socialism as long as it only bennifits themselves. They are Robber Barrens and are again trying to rob us blind without any oversite. USE THE EXCESSIVE PROFITS OF BIG OIL to bail out the banking industry. Or, make them have to be accountable for their own failings. Or, both.

Shame is on the NEOCONS and there failed system of Corporate Welfare for the rich and the undeserving spoiled brats of this Great Country.

Scott, ASK Learning on September 23, 2008

For this to be in any way beneficial to the American people, there has to be far more transparency on where the money is being put and what the terms are. As it stands now, this is an appalling attempt at increasing government control over the private sector.

greg wood on September 23, 2008

Abandon this nonsense and form a crisis committee of Buffet, Hebner, Ichan, Welsh, Zell, Mills, etc. Give them enforcement powers to sift through the debris and initiate a plan to revive the economy. Fire yourself or take a 25 percent reduction in salary and benefits until the financial markets are strong.
Begin an investigation on all bureaucrats who did not heed regulations and fine them across the board, placing all remaining salaries in holding account to offset taxes on folks earning less than 70K per year. Impeach Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors: ignoring data that 911 was imminent, falsely reporting data to begin Iraq War, ignoring crisis of Katrina, manipulating energy commodities, supporting use of ethanol, and failure to watchdog regulations that would have prevented such a sudden financial crisis.

M. Scarbraugh on September 23, 2008

When trusting that our Congressmen do the right thing, I am sadly reminded that not even ten honest souls could be found in the biblical city of Sodom. Though our politicians obviously hear the siren song of power and money; each voter should be remembering the power of one vote.

fasteddy on September 23, 2008

It's not like the coming of this mess was a surprise. Ron Paul and Glen Beck have been shouting about it for years. What were the rest of us doing while they were exposing the corruption in our federal government? Not much.

John in Melbourne, FL on September 23, 2008

Enough! Let Bush and his Republican cronies pay this off. They should exaust THEIR wealth first, before any taxpayer dollars are used. If the Democrats cave on this (like FISA, AUMF, Patriot Act, PAA), I will switch to Independent and never support another Democrat. Now is the time to show who you support. The people or the big corporations and their overpaid CEOs. Grow a pair!

James101 on September 23, 2008

As unpalatable as this is, some sort of bailout should be done because the lack of one will likely cause a financial catastrophe, what Democrats must do is to make sure that the public gets as good of deal as possible on this(i.e. We dictate the rules) and not what Bush wants which is unlimited money, no oversight.

Andrew on September 23, 2008

I don't know how to say this in "legalese," but I think the spending priority here should be stabilizing the housing market by backing existing insecure mortgages, not buying business assets. As I understand it, a Credit Default Swap (CDS) is essentially an insurance policy on a loan (particularly mortgages). If Bank A wants to give me a mortgage but I have poor credit, they can get Bank B to offer a CDS so that if I default, Bank B pays the remainder of my debt. The CDS is poorly understood, and so the Bank Bs of the world treated it as a source of revenue (Bank A is paying them for the insurance after all) without fully understanding the risk associated (they have to pay up if I default, and they don't know how big of a credit risk I am). By securing the mortgages, you remove the liability associated with CDSs so companies are at least not forced to pay out on them (thus providing stability). Most existing CDS assets are horribly over-valued due to speculative, unregulated selling though, and there's nothing that can be done about that. CDS assets are going to have to be re-valued, because there simply isn't enough money out there to buy them all back. The CDS market in 2007 was conservatively priced at $45 trillion, no joke. That's more than the entire GDP of America several times over.

David M. Cranford NJ on September 23, 2008

Sometimes it's better to do the wrong thing than to do nothing, but this isn't one of them. It's said that doing nothing will cause a catastrophe, but here's the news, the catastrophe has already happened, it's just a question of how to clean up the mess. I don't think pouring money on the same people that messed up is the way to go. NOT ONE red cent of taxpayer money to the mortgage bailout. Bailing is futile unless the hole is fixed.

dr.klausenstein on September 23, 2008

Dear Mr. Dodd, It seems to me that it is the financial institutions, the fed, and the Bush administration that are in the hotseat. Why then do you not bargain from from a position of strength? This is our chance to get in and investigate this mess and maybe, just maybe find out who and what is really happening. Promise them the money then give them the shaft!

Bruce Chassy on September 23, 2008

Who will bail out the millions of Americans who have lost their homes, jobs, pension plans and health coverage? Why wasn't the congress all hot and bothered about helping them when they went under? The question answers itself--congress' sees it's job to be to help the private sector and corporations take the little guys' money and future away from him. If a corporation is threatend, now that's serious and needs a bailout.

Do at least one thing. Make companies give equity shares of equal worth for the bail out money. Use that equity to help Americans who have suffered long enough from "Republican prosperity". Call it anything you want--call it socialism if you will, but it's better than just handing taxpayers money to big bankers. They should pay at least as much as they are loaned. When they get profitable again, they can buy back their shares from America.

Here's an idea. How about paying all those fat bankers civil service wages until they have paid off their loan from America? If it's good enough for the loyal Civil Servants who help this country work and get no praise for it, then it ought to be good enough for bankers who didn't know how to run their business.

I won't support a bill that doesn't demand compensation for the loan hard working Americans are giving to a failed business.

J.S. Grasso on September 24, 2008

Let us suppose that this debacle rivals the market crash which lead to the Great Depression. Why not utilize that 700 billion dollars to fund a new public works program. In essence invigorating our economy from the ground up with a new infrastructure and energy construction mandate that will rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges, build wind turbines and give grants for scientists and small technology companies focused on "green" energy and living.

Thus ends the thoughts of a quixotic man.

Mark Dionne on September 24, 2008

The bailout will postpone the inevitable, and the eventual reckoning will be even more severe.

What is needed are better education, moving away from oil dependency and reducing taxes that favor the rich.

Nancy on September 24, 2008

How can you bailout something that is a bottomless pit? How can all these supposed MBA's and finance wizards not know what was in these bond bundles?? They overinflated the values from day 1 and kept right on going as long as they weren't caught. People need to be held accountable. All the documentation for these fraudulent transactions must be somewhere. Use the RICO laws and send them all to jail.

Steve DiGiacomo on September 24, 2008

I beg Senator Dodd to just say no to this Bail out. Let the Bankruptcy take place and let a FREE MARKET Prevail. If there is a need to pump money into the Banking System, then provide money to the Regional Banks that did not participate in creating these Gambling instruments. Let the institutions that were operating soundly have money to help operations BUT DO NOT give money to Goldman or Morgan, etc. If they can not survive then they will learn a lesson. We will survive this. To BAIL them out only delays the problem and a greater depression will follow.

Jasmine Van Pelt on September 25, 2008

I'm ready to believe that there's a crisis in credit liquidity, and that the government needs to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy so that home-buyers can get mortgages and businesses can get business loans.

Why would we want to entrust this needed lending to the fools and charlatans who have run companies worth tens of billions of dollars into bankruptcy? After all, we need credit so that capital can be used PRODUCTIVELY! It has just been revealed to us that these people have been using it DESTRUCTIVELY, to the point where the US and world economies are on the brink of collapse.

Instead, find the healthiest banks and investment brokers around, pass legislation regulating lending and financial markets, and entrust the hundreds of billions of taxpayers' dollars to people who are making a profit at lending and investing because they know how to do it right, not people who have gone bankrupt doing it wrong.

If the root cause of the crisis is mortgages being defaulted on in massive numbers, then obviously mortgage lending needs to be REGULATED to forbid lending to people who can never afford to pay off their loan. This is FRAUD!

If the world economy is threatened because of cascading credit default swaps and the bundling and slicing of debts, then Congress needs to outlaw these dangerous practices. Warren Buffet calls them weapons of financial mass destruction. Capitalists who make loans or invest capital need to take personal responsibility for evaluating the risk before they make the investment, and have the business skills to take an active role in the management of their investment after they make it. The idea that the risk involved in making a loan or investment can be 'hedged' or 'insured' away has always been and is now proven to be NONSENSE! The only thing that has been ensured is that foolish or criminally negligent investment decisions, instead of just bankrupting the fools who made them, send shockwaves through our entire economy that threaten to bring it crashing down.

Bring back Glass-Steagall. They promised us an economic miracle if we would just deregulate them and let the free market flourish. Now the miracle has been revealed to be a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

If the House and Senate think going home to run for re-election is more important than saving us from another Great Depression-- guess who's not going to get re-elected?

Let's take a month to do this right, rather than being rushed into doing it wrong in the next few days.

shameful investment banker on September 25, 2008

This Act should be better name "Financial Institution Obligor Rescue Act". It indeed increases moral hazard rather than diminish it. A more efficient economic solutions would be : - to put an unlimited guarantee to deposits up to a maturity of less than 3 months for a limited duration (such as 6 months) : that will force people that have cash to put it into sound institutions - for the institutions that weren't able to gain the trust of the investing public, the balance sheet should be segregated between "before bankruptcy" and "after bankrupty" operations. The "before bankruptcy" would be liquidated. The "after bankruptcy" balance sheet would be capitalized by the taxpayer so that credit would continue to flow in the economy. After no more than 5 years, the "clean" entity would be IPOed. The proceeds of the IPO would first go to the state to pay for its initial capitalization investment plus an capitalized interest of CPI+10%, the remainder would go to the liquidator of the "before bankruptcy". Essentially, that is a specific bankruptcy procedure that aims to avoid disruption of the flow of credit in the economy.

much better bang for the buck !

Brian Cady on September 25, 2008

Instead of sending good money after bad, wouldn't we be better off committing 0.7 trillion dollars to that which characterizes human's unique ability, our ability to learn or be taught?

What would the economy look like with 0.7 trillion invested into education and science?

Wouldn't that lead to a rebounded dollar and renewed international standing?

Brian Cady

Daniel Ulibarri on September 25, 2008

The solution is simple.

Put the money in the hands of the taxpaying public through loans from front line lenders. Let the money trickle up for a change!

Government should allocate the money and sit on it.

If the government needs to step in, it should do so by lending the money to the "first line" lenders who lend the money to the public, small businesses and so on. That is where the gap is so put it there and skip on the middle-men fancy profiting for pushing paper and risky deals.

How will the financial problems of Bank and Finance institutions get fixed? The old fashioned, way, earn it!

People like Paulson with over $500 million in stock at Goldman, Sachs are not going to let their wealth go down the drain without a fight, so let them use the expertise to solve the problem instead of allowing the easy handout method.

I believe that if the super rich stand to lose and there is no government welfare for them, they will get off their butts and do what they paid for with hefty salaries to save what they can. They are not stupid and will not tank all they own.

A bailout will just lessen the incentive for them to make a real fix.

Let’s not be blinded by fear and dire predictions from the people who were wrong in the first place.

Daniel Ulibarri, Ph.D.

Mary Lickert on September 25, 2008

Please look at Senator Dodd's top donors for 2007-8 on openSecrets.org -- a who's who of Wall Street culprits. Thanks for your warnings, Senator Dodd. You are just an enabler. Our government does not work. I support the plan of Senator Sanders. Don't delete this.

Connie McBride on September 25, 2008

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.

So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.

That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.

A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.

Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads

Put away money for college - it'll be there

Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car - create jobs

Invest in the market - capital drives growth

Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves

Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( 'vote buy' ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it.

Sell off its parts.

Let American General go back to being American General.

Sell off the real estate.

Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.

Sure it's a crazy idea that can 'never work.'

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion

We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC .

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Amy Kuhlmann on September 26, 2008

I say use some limited amount of bailout money to keep credit flowing for ELIGIBLE borrowers (including rewriting mortgage terms) and let the fools who bought houses they couldn't afford (if the deal sounds too good to be true, it almost always is) and the crooks who lent them the money sink. As was proved today by the purchase of WaMu, there's always a financial institution who practiced better economic principles who can buy out those who didn't, even if it's only pennies on the dollar. And then freeze ALL the assets of the crooks in charge to pump back into innocent investors' accounts instead of exacerbating the situation by giving them golden parachutes. Did we learn nothing from Bush's last "the sky is falling and you must act immediately" act? Or is he just hoping that his cronies get bailed out before the country catches on?

Jennifer Verner on September 26, 2008

Senator Dodd,

You are a disgrace. Anyone who has followed this crisis knows the role you have played in bringing it about. And now you expect the American people to once again bail out irresponsible members of our society who don't know how to manage their finances at the expense of those of us who work hard, live within our means, and save money.

How dare you! Millions for ACORN, an organization that has been prosecuted for vote fraud all over the country. Do you think we don't know what you're after? You claim that you want to protect mainstreet! What a lie. We know how much money you have taken from lobbists for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and many of the large Wall Street firms that will most benifit from this legislation. We know who you really serve. You are a democrat first, and an American second.

And now you and your fellow democrats are going to have to deal with "Pottery Barn" economics. You broke it, You fix it. You have the majority, and the support of President Bush. If you, Pelosi, Frank and Reid don't pass a bailout plan, the democrats have no one to blame but themselves. Don't think the American people don't know that.

Anonymous, thinking sensibly on September 26, 2008

Ok. So, if someone paid more for something, they want government (read my money) to recoup. What about they getting paid more for doing this worthless trade - should we try to recover their bonuses? Shall we call this a malpractice and sue these peoples involved and get the money back and then create a bailout fund. This bailout is ridiculous and is not going to end with 700Bil, like the war in Iraq, which ran many times more than what was initially sought. Kill it before we start the march down this path.

Those who cannot learn from history... on September 26, 2008

700 billion? It's the final handout of the Bush administration to their cronies. Yes, it's a big loss but hardly 5% of our GDP. Economic cycles happen, the next year or two will suck but it's probably best to let the greedy investment banks fail and allow more conservative and responsible companies to come through. The only intervention needed by the government is to reinstate Glass-Steagll Act that enacted the needed regulation that protected us after the Great Dpression until the financial sector decided to rape the country for short-term gains with the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. Oh, please remember the Republican congress of the time passed it over Clinton's veto threat.

To his credit, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) voted against deregulation, the only Republican to do so!

Wayne E. Pfeffer (Joe Taxpayer) on September 26, 2008

Ayn Rand is not just turning in her grave, she's spinning like a tornado. Current American businessmen complain continually about over regulation, more oversight than what is necessary and government hindering their ability to make money. So, when the government backed off the regulation and allowed the current crop of American businessmen to do what they wanted, this is what we get. Ayn Rand's ideas on capitalism should be being practiced. If the businessmen want the respoonsibility of making the money, then they also need to take the responsibility of losing the money.

These are the same people that bitch to high heaven about throwing money to welfare and food stamp recepients, are they not asking for the same thing now? People on welfare have made poor decisions and are presenting their need as a claim on taxpayer money. Now these idiots on wall street are presenting the same bad claim check to the government for the same hand outs.

We should not have bailed out Bear-Stearns, we should not have bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and we should sure as hell not continue to bail out wall street. These are the people who want the government to stay out of their business, well, then the government should remain out of their business.

It all comes down to personal responsibility and each person's acceptance of it. Most welfare recepients do not want to take responsibility for the state of their lives and now these wall street 4$$h013s don't want to take responsibility for their actions.

Wayne - Individual on September 27, 2008

Our $700B Investment

There are no provisions for reimbursing taxpayers as the securities are liquidated.

The taxpayer investment program is effectively a $700B tax increase. The bailout approval may be an unanticipated, tacit approval that creates a real opportunity for the government to consume all of the future revenue derived from the proceeds of the investment and apply it to unrestricted increases in future spending.

Setting the merit of a $700B bailout aside, we need to ask what the likelihood is that the American people will ever see any of their investment returned to them. Understanding the massive annual spending needs of the government, you have to consider that upon the return of these funds, they will be entirely at risk of being fully consumed in future governmental spending programs.

Without strict controls on how the American people will be reimbursed for this unprecedented investment, there will be no way that the American public can actually collect on their investment.

This may be a vote creating a future $700B+ savings account for the government to use as it sees fit, in future spending earmarks.

Scott on September 27, 2008

Our government is so short sighted. Let's just print money to protect rich people and corporate greed. Who cares what happens to the majority of society or the potentially devastating long term impact of continuing to drive up our debt. This is the first step towards a serious downfall of our economic system and will only create a larger gap between the rich elite and rest of society. Actions like this continue to push me to live in a different country. Why should civilians behave fiscally responsible when the government and corporations obviously do not?

Republicae on September 27, 2008

"...That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

Republicae on September 27, 2008

It is obvious that this government, the Congress, in particular, are not aware of just what has been happening over the decades in this country. They seem to be willfully ignorant that the Federal Reserve is the promoter of one of the most dangerous monetary systems, and history proves that fact. What we are witnessing is the End of the DEBT STANDARD of the Federal Reserve's Fiat Monetary System.

Since every single "dollar" must be "borrowed" into existence under such a system there is a very real mathematical terminal point in the life span of our monetary system. This Bailout Bill will do absolutely nothing in the long-term, but only hasten the time-frame of monetary collapse. It is impossible for a DEBT STANDARD of Fiat Money to continue indefinitely, and after decades of government excesses and abuses, this monetary system is coming to an end rapidly. There is nothing to prevent it and the more the government "spends" the more debt it heaps upon this country the faster the monetary system and all that is connected to it will collapse. Every investment, pension, 401k, government program, Bonds, Treasury Notes, insurance and all commerce that depends on the Fiat Monetary System will meet the same fate as the monetary system itself: total and absolute collapse.

Unless and until this government returns to a strict Constitutional operation and sound monetary system we will not be able to avert the collapse of our economy, our society or our government. The answers to every problem facing this government are found in the Constitution, to ignore that incredible document left to us is to do so to our own peril.

Rick Honer on September 27, 2008

While the US rants about democracy in other countries, this crappy legislation is thrown together under the alarm cry of "crisis" and the taxpayers are ignored. If this process had gone on in any other country we'd be mocking them.

The ineptitude of the experts is appalling and there for all to see. A quick read of Bernacke's and Paulson's comments only 2 weeks ago compared to their testimony before Congress a few days ago illustrates this point. Why would we believe anything they have to say at this point? Anyone in Congress that supports any form of bailout is a sucker and ought to be voted out of office.

Tim on September 27, 2008

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Apparentely those in congress have never heard this before. Mr. Bush has time and again used fear to make us hand over more power and money to his little administration. At least he is consistent, everything he has done is not well thought out and eventually leads to disaster. This bailout is no exception, the only thing going for you idiots running this country is that not enough of us have woken up yet. So of course Mr. Bush will get his silver spoon way again, and you congress people will roll over like the good little dogs you are, and we the taxpayers will pay for it. Only problem is, that we are waking everyone up, and will continue to do so. Right now, hard working citizens are falling behind one by one, and one by one, you create new opposition for yourselves. Your bailout package is a $700 billion dollar bandaid that will eventually fall off and the cut will be so infected- you will have to amputate. Where do they find some of you congress people, not all, but some of you are the weakest sellouts known to man. Your bailout package is bogus, and your character is even worse. We have had enough of paying for the rich, whilst we become poorer and poorer. Voting yes for the bailout most certainly means voting yourself out of office, by the time you are up for reelection, we will have educated millions about politicians like you.

Allan Honrath on September 27, 2008

Who are we kidding? $700 Billion???? Who does it protect? The wealthy and powerful whose interests will be hurt if this doesn't pass. Likely 90-95% of Americans, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren now and in the future, will pay for this boondoggle. Meanwhile, the wealthy and powerful will become moreso.

Right now we are borrowing $2 BILLION A DAY to service our national debt. What will another $700 Billion add to this and how does it ever get paid back? And what does it do for the national interests of our country?

To accept any form of the bailout as presented by Paulson and Congress is aggegiously, morally wrong.

How about this as a bailout plan? Those who have billions, individually and in corporations, trusts, et.al. take it upon themselves to fix the problem they created. Believe me, they have more than enough resources to take care of themselves, the Goldman Sachs, Bank of Americas, JP Morgans, etc. etc. Don't be fooled by their scare tactics of the system collapsing. The only serious thing that will collapse is their wealth.

We the people meanwhile, demand that $700 billion be invested in the following: a simplified version granted, but I'd leave the specifics to minds more acutely refined on these matters:

1) $200 Billion - Alternative energy tax credits that promote energy independence in the next 10 years.

2) $100 Billion - Education. This will provide real, long lasting benefits for the entire country.

3) $100 Billion - Health care so that all people can gain access to affordable healthcare.

4) $100 Billion - Rebuilding Infrastructure in this country, from roads to bridges to utility transmission to transportation.

5) $100 Billion to provide relief to those being foreclosed with a cap of $500K of total assets.Allow bankruptcy judges to modify existing mortgage contracts.

6) $50 Billion to overhaul the IRS and increase serious enforcement of the egregious abuses of tax evasion by wealthy individuals and corporations. David Kay Johnston's book "Perfectly Legal" shows how the most powerful and wealthy in this country create the laws with Congress’ backing on both sides of the aisle that allow them to avoid the great majority of the taxes they owe through a myriad of ever changing tax shelters, and then shift the burden on the already overtaxed people in the bottom 90-95% of income and wealth. This will increase tax revenues, according to Johnston, of over $300 Billion annually!

7) $50 Billion - Redevelop pension plans for employees for real long term security for our work force, not just the corporate owners, directors and stockholders.

Now I ask: Are the majority of Americans going to benefit from this type of plan, or the one proposed by Paulson and Congress?

pdubya (business owner) on September 27, 2008

ANY infusion of fiat currency into our system will only devalue our dollar, causing hyperinflation and a decade long Greater Depression.

"Doing nothing" (a politically bigoted, divisive term) would result in a deep recession, painful but relatively short-lived.

Let us examine our monetary policy and not put ANY fiat money into the market. It will kill our dollar. So, lets KILL THE FED and return to our constitution.

Sammy on September 27, 2008

I believe that concern about how we feel is very important. As others have noted, will the government rescue my business if it falters? I think not! So quit wasting your time to come to an agreement that your tax payers are totally against! STOP THE BAILOUT! WE DON'T WANT IT!

Greg on September 27, 2008

Could someone please point me to exactly WHERE in the Constitution of the United States of America that bailing out companies with taxpayer dollars is authorized?

No bailout. Not this bill, not any bill. These companies were ran irresponsibly and bought securities that were a HUGE risk. The taxpayers of this country should not be paying for this. Let these companies FAIL or find their own private funding.

Annette Hardman on September 27, 2008

This is GARBAGE!!! No bail out for the banking cartel. Nothing but complete abolishment of the Federal Reserve, Fractional Reserve Banking and interest! Money backed by Gold and Silver is the only way to go. THE GOVERNMENT ONLY CREATES MORE PROBLEMS TO GIVE THEM MORE POWER OVER THE PEOPLE TO "FIX" THE INITIAL PROBLEM THEY CREATED!!!! Now Congress wants to abdicate sole power to a Banking Czar with no oversight and everyone wants a piece of my tax dollars?????? Screw this. America is going DOWN!! With or without a bailout just like the Banking elite (THE FED) have planned. Congress should just go home instead of this bail out BULLCRAP!!!! Arrest Bernanke, Greenspan, all CEO's who profited off this PONZI SCHEME and all congress critters who abide by this RAPE AND POWER GRAB OVER AMERICA. WANT A REVOLUTION? THIS IS JUST THE THING TO BRING IT ON BOYZ AND GIRLZ!!

LONG LIVE AMERIKA

Patriot Films on September 27, 2008

I strongly oppose ANY and ALL bailouts in ANY and ALL forms, and ANY legislator that votes yes to ANY bailout plan shall be removed from office.

It is time for Congress to:

1.) End the Bailouts - Congress must revoke the Federal Reserve's authority to bail out failed businesses at taxpayer expense.

2.) Cut Taxes and Curb Regulation - If we really want to stimulate businesses and revive the market, we need to cut corporate and capital gains taxes, spurring investors to come back to the market and making it easier to attract new workers and clients. It is also time to end failed legislation like Sarbanes-Oxley, which has crippled capital markets, diminished our competitiveness, and greatly harmed small businesses.

3.) Reduce Spending - We must freeze all non-entitlement spending by the federal government at current levels and eliminate wasteful spending both domestically and in our trillion-dollar overseas budget. Our debt has to come down, and it won't until we start living within our means.

4.) Reform the Monetary System - If we are to have long-term economic progress, we must end the system of printing money out of thin air. The current laws limiting the circulation of gold and silver-backed currency must be overturned. We can no longer base our money on the empty promises of bureaucrats that it is sound.

The federal government is trying to scare us into accepting more tyranny. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/

Adam on September 27, 2008

This proposal is 100% absurd. No one I know of supports ANY "bailout" of private corporations. We the people know better at this point. These pieces of legislation are nothing short of criminal according to our Constitution. Anyone in the Senate or House that supports these proposals should be tried for treason. President Bush an Secretary Paulson should be tried for fraud treason. Me and my house will not stand for this. Listen to the thousands of people calling Senators and Congressmen in direct opposition to these efforts. Let these companies FAIL. We the people will survive just fine thanks.

Joe Citizen on September 27, 2008

When you cretin's in Washington figure out what coining money is and actually put it into practice everything will work out fine.

Pass this and you doom yourselves along with all the rest of us. You should be on your knees begging Ron Paul and http://mises.org/ to take the lead on this ,they have the answers.As this it it will fail and be the straw that breaks the camels back.

Repeal the Federal Reserve Act Now The creation of money was entrusted to Congress and not to be handed over to private banking interest's to fleece and rape this wonderful nation since 1913

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

Steven on September 27, 2008

Shelve this whole mess. The reason we have this problem in the first place is because back in 2000 the banking giant Goldman Sachs created these sub prime loans that could be sold once again wrapped up as mortgage backed securities (derivatives) which is what the taxpayers are buying, theyre basically worthless. The President and CEO of Goldman Sachs at the time these were created was none other than Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. And now Mr. Paulson is demanding full control over 700 million dollars of our money, with zero oversight or accountability for the problem HE IS ULTIMATLEY RESPONSIBLE FOR!! WAKE UP AMERICA!! THIS IS A GIGANTIC SCAM!!

W. Rogers American Citizen on September 27, 2008

Please, say no to this bailout plan. The Federal Reserve could raise the money by selling shares to the public. This is authorized in their charter. Shares could be given to each taxpayer, also. That way as stockholders we could put in our own board of directors. Ultimately we could liquidate the corporation and distribute the proceeds to the shareholders. The Fed is going down anyway. Their balance sheet is filled with toxic debt and assets like Maiden Lane LLC. Only 39% of their assets are Treasury Securities. They used to have close to 90% of their assets in Treasuries. This plan is about saving the Fed before it goes bankrupt.

Jeff on September 27, 2008

stipulation: Bill must include Bush is to be immediately removed from office with no retirement and no perks of any type.

FreeLiberty on September 27, 2008

Senators & Representatives up for re-election: You are on notice. Your yes vote means you should clean out your desk--don't bother coming back.

Senators up for re-election in the next cycle: We will for once have long memories! This is your last term.

Mr. Paulson, Mr. Bernanke should be arrested.

Steve Moroney on September 27, 2008

THIEVES, ALL OF YOU! Every single one of you, with very few exceptions, have violated your oath of office in every conceivable way. You treat the Constitution like it's a doormat, and every one of you who support any bailout should be impeached.

Bush listens to Bernanke as if he's the lord of the economy, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that Bernanke and his foolish policies aren't the exact reason why we're in this mess. Endless, artificially cheap credit for years and now the bubble is bursting. And Bernanke has the gall to sit there as if this was unforseen. The Fed's whole schpiel for even existing is supposed to be to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen, and yet it happened. And now you fools in Congress are going to take this criminal's word on how to solve this crisis? And all the while there was a guy right there amongst your ranks who has been warning you all about this very situation for years, and you didn't listen. And now, when he's offering you the easist solution you STILL DON'T LISTEN!

This proves 1 thing very clearly... The federal government does not work for the people. You are all criminals and you all deserve to go to jail for your blatant crimes. You're no longer fooling everyone. Every day more and more of us are waking up to the fact that you are all in it for yourselves and for your corporate buddies. America is a fascist country and has been since the Fed was unconstitutionally handed control of our money system. The jig is up. And you all better start amending your ways or you will all be first on the target list when the revolution begins. And believe me, we're not too far from a 2nd American revolution when you blatantly screw the American people with bailouts like this. We're not stupid you know, just gullable for trusting you even this far. But it won't go much longer, I can promise you that!

D Edwards - Citizen on September 27, 2008

This bailout strategy will only serve to perpetuate and expand the very problem it proposes to fix - and it will do so by borrowing against the future earnings of already overburdened taxpayers. This is a very expensive and inadequate bandaid slapped on top of a nasty, festering wound. It may give the illusion of helping in the short term, but underneath the wound will continue to deteriorate. Do not allow these fools to cover this up; force them to give this wound a vigorous cleaning by allowing the bad debt to be liquidated. Yes, it will be painful, but the alternative is so much worse!

Robert Chapman, The International Forecaster on September 27, 2008

"What should happen here is that the toxic waste should be categorized according to rates of return, risk based on default and foreclosure experience, and the degree of impairment of collateral through reduced real estate values for homes covered in any particular derivative. The fraudsters should start by selling the best stuff first, which should be easier to value, to break the logjam in the derivative markets. They can net fund the government insurance premiums from the sales proceeds. They can then put the sales proceeds from the good stuff into payment of government insurance premiums for the not-so-good stuff as they continue their ominous cascade of de-leveraging. Values on faltering real estate derivatives should rise up as the once toxic waste gets the full backing of the US government, thus minimizing losses due to the lack of marketability and liquidity. The real crap should be saved for last and be written off without insurance for the tax benefits which will help them keep future profits from what will hopefully be more legitimate operations."

alice gregory on September 28, 2008

This is pure socialism. We are turning into Russia and China. The government does not care how we feel about this rape. I will quit paying my taxes. We will never be the same after this. And I don't mean for the good. I think that every offical that votes for this mess should not be re-elected. We need to find out who these people are and campaingn against them.

DJ Norton on September 28, 2008

Senator Dodd does not want to initiate any investigations because he would be at the top of the list - money for ACORN in this bill is more than a slap in the face to the American taxpayer. At a minimum Dodd and Frank need to go. DJ Norton Voter and Taxpayer

Angela Thornton, Rightful Owner Of Money! on September 28, 2008

VOTE NO BAILOUT! VOTE NO BAILOUT! VOTE NO BAILOUT!

The bank I used to work for is in absolutely fine financial shape! The brokerage I use is fine! In fact, they're so fine that they didn't lose money on junk in the '80's. the Tech sector in the '90's and they don't hold any mortgage backed securities!

Fire Paulson and Bernacke! Let the failures fail, and let the success storesi rise from the ashes.

We should all be in the cars headed to Washington.

cayla99 on September 28, 2008

Who do these people think they are? Neither Congress nor the President have the constitutional right to use taxpayer money in this fashion. This is beyond a disgrace, I couldn't care less what is or is not included in this bill. The only thing that would make me happy is no bailout at all

Darren Terry, Taxpayer on September 28, 2008

The government can't fix a problem that it has created. The answer is to get OUT of the free market, including CLOSING DOWN Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and that totally unconstitutional thing called The FED!

We're SICK and TIRED of the crap you're giving us, Congress. Either represent US or get out of the way!

Revolution is the only option left to those deprived of votes and monetary value. Ever hear of "No Taxation without Representation!"??

B.W. on September 28, 2008

I was wondering, what impact does this bill have on Mortgage Servicers? Are they still going to be the servicer on the loan or will the government take on that particular task? Furthermore, does this force the servicer to take assistance action that they would not normally take? One last thing...I don't see any sort of credit protection for the actual homeowner in here. Doesn't the little guy get any breaks for being put in their respective situations?

Dan Dixson on September 28, 2008

I see nothing about the participation of Wall Street in this bailout. Not even a trace of international participation. Isn't the entire world economy hinging on this? Where does this "Money" come from if the market for Treasuries has dried up from a lack of faith by China, Japan and others. Where is the real re-structuing of this debacle? This is only an extension of business as usual, in the hopes of continuing the real-estate bubble. What terrifies me most is the fact that I don't see any effort at all to force the de-leveraging of the CDO instruments that are turning a trillion dollar problem into a $600 trillion dollar problem which will soon explode. This bailout is nothing more than a morphine shot while our limbs are about to be torn off.

Americans for Honest Government on September 28, 2008

We know that we live in a country rule by corrupt politicians that sold their soul to the lobbyist of the Multinational corporations, the financial Bankers and special interest; their greed for power, money and lack of responsibility is destroying our country: but we have enough and we are committed to change it, the gang of corrupt members of congress will pay for their betrayal.

You are a taxpayer, the Government is taking your money from you to bail-out the corrupt financial system; have you give your consent for this bail-out to your Representative, your Senators?

         http://www.informationclearinghouse.i...

Juan Reynoso voteforamerica@hotmail.com

Americans for Honest Government on September 28, 2008

The events leading us to this economic catastrophe began with the Clinton administration followed by George W. Bush and will continue with Obama or McCain as Presidents; the sad fact is that there is no leader in sight capable of reversing the downfall of the United States of American; the American economist have failed our country as badly as the Republic and the Democratic parties. The economic reality is that we are in a depression and this so call bail-out will no be able to stop it; it will make worse, because we have another bubble burst that is coming, the revolving and credit card burst.

Juan Reynoso voteforamerica@hotmail.com

The Movement on October 7, 2008

This bill should have included DODDS, FRANKS, RAINES giving back all they benefited from FANNIE/FREDDIE. In addition, DODDS and FRANKS should be be investigated and locked up.