February 20, 2009
When Congress passed the George W. Bush $700 billion bank bailout plan, the goal was to rescue our banking system by propping up the banks that deregulation had allowed to become 'too big to fail.' We now know that the bailed out banks didn't use our money to start lending more - rather they paid out big bonuses to executives and bailed out the banks' shareholders. In return for our money the American people got nothing.
We, the people, became majority owners in many of the major banks. But we have no voice in the way the banks are run. If taxpayers are footing the bill for rescuing the banks, why shouldn't we get ownership, at least until private buyers can be found?
Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman calls this a "a classic exercise in 'lemon socialism': taxpayers bear the cost if things go wrong, but stockholders and executives get the benefits if things go right."
Now the Obama economic team is proposing more of the Bush policy: the socialization of risk, the privatization of profits.
President Franklin Roosevelt once told a group of activists lobbying him, "I agree with everything you said. Now go out and make me do it."
As part of our effort to help President Obama "do the right thing" CommonDreams.org has just launched a petition to President Obama urging him to nationalize the insolvent banks.
We know that President Obama is hearing from Wall Street. We know that he is hearing from the financial 'wizards' and the lobbyists who helped wreck our economy in the first place. And we know that he's hearing from the inside-the-beltway Democrats who are terrified of the "N" word - nationalize.
It's our job to make sure he hears from the rest of us.
There are two ways for you to sign our petition:
- If you are a member of Facebook, please sign here: http://apps.facebook.com/
causes/petitions/75And, please join the new CommonDreams.org Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ CommonDreamsorg/32109457015
- If you are not a Facebook member, you may add your name to our petition here
A compiled petition will be presented to President Barack Obama.
Thanks for joining with us and for showing grassroots support for the bold, creative change Americans voted for.
for the whole CommonDreams.org team
p.s. Please forward this to your friends and family. Together, we can make a difference.
Sean Baker: The TARP Dog and Pony Show 2/12/2009
Paul Krugman: Bailouts for Bunglers 2/2/2009