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Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street bailout’

Who Needs Corporations?

Posted by msrb on September 24, 2008

Wall Street Bailout: A Terminal Moral Hazard!

The proposed bailout of Wall Street is nothing short of rewarding a gang of thieves for robbing the bank.

Edward S. Herman, a professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania, said today:

“Essentially, the Bush administration plan is Wall Street bailing itself out with taxpayers’ money, after Wall Street had failed to carry out its financial functions with efficiency and integrity, and with the bailout organized by one of its own (Paulson) who had resisted all reforms that might have prevented the crisis. This amounts to a hard-to-beat conflict-of-interest program.

The victims of the financial crisis get nothing in this bailout, the taxpayers get no stake or payback in exchange for their $700 billion payout, and the difficulty in evaluating the purchased assets by a broken regulatory system makes it likely that the folks who are responsible for and have profited from this crisis may be able to squeeze a further windfall out of the buyout process.”

Herman has authored books including “Triumph of the Market” and “Corporate Control, Corporate Power.”

Herman’s esays can be downloaded here: Coldtype and The Threat of Globalization

The Absurd Premise of Corporate Personhood

Lewis Pitts, a public interest lawyer in North Carolina and a member of the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy, said today:

“It is striking that nearly $800 billion can be magically produced to bail out financial institutions when for years we’ve heard there isn’t enough money for universal health care, fully funded, quality public schools, to fully fund current promises of services to children such as foster care, special education or mental health treatment. The problem is far deeper than needing more regulation of corporations and the economy. The recent past tells us the bailouts will simply prop things up to allow a return to deregulated, profits-before-people policies that cause human misery for most people and huge wealth for a few.  Look who the regulators will be: types like Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson, who are true-believers in free market fundamentalism except when government bailout is needed to prop up key financial institutions. What this crisis moment should open up for debate is the need for real democratic decision-making and planning of the economy so the interests of the majority are served. This historic moment begs us to question the basic premise of capitalism that as John Maynard Keynes once said ‘is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.’

“One absurd premise of today’s capitalism is the notion of corporate personhood, the present legal concept that a corporation is a ‘person’ with constitutional rights that can be wielded against real human beings and defeat their democratically enacted laws designed to protect life and nature from corporate harm. Corporate regulation and government intervention in the market and economy are crucial. However, having Foxes, like Bernanke and Paulson, guarding the Henhouse will never provide the systemic, democratic changes needed. Now is the time we must re-think the notion of democracy, civil and economic, and whether we even have an approximation of government of the People, by the People, and for the People. These are the real homeland security issues.”

Related Sources and Links:

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Posted in Bernanke, Corporate Personhood, financial meltdown, Paulson, POCLAD | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Quote of the Day: Run On the Bank

Posted by msrb on September 23, 2008

A Hanging Offense

“The goldsmith bankers in Amsterdam got a law passed making it a hanging offense to start a run on the goldsmith. But one day there was a run, and of course the goldsmith could not pay.  The matter was resolved not by hanging the unknown individual who started the run, but by hanging the goldsmith.”

Source: for the common good: redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future by Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr. Quoting Russel G. Barber, Jr. The One Hundred Percent Reserve System.

Posted in goldsmith, government, money, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »