This afternoon, Barack Obama spoke at a campaign event in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He touched on the only true news of importance at the moment: the wobbling of that house of cards called Wall Street. With a $700 billion band-aid being positioned to cover the problem, that puts investment bank’s bad deals on the backs of United States taxpayers, Barack Obama’s stance is it’s a situation that must be handled, but he’s not in favor of a blank check.. “If we grant the Treasury broad authority to address the immediate crisis, we must insist on independent accountability and oversight. Given the breach of trust we have seen and the magnitude of the taxpayer money involved, there can be no blank check.”
He continued with a six point plan to solve the crisis.
- If you’re a financial institution that can borrow from the government, you should be subject to government oversight and supervision. Taxpayers who have now been called upon to spend nearly a trillion dollars to save our economy from the excesses of Wall Street have every right to expect that financial institutions are not taking excessive risks.
- We need to reform requirements on all regulated financial institutions, investigate rating agencies and potential conflicts of interest with the people they are rating, and establish transparency requirements that demand full disclosure by financial institutions to shareholders.
- We need to streamline our overlapping and competing regulatory agencies that cannot oversee the large and complex institutions that dominate the financial landscape.
- We need to regulate institutions for what they do, not what they are. Over the last few years, commercial banks and thrift institutions were subject to guidelines on subprime mortgages that did not apply to mortgage brokers and companies. This regulatory framework failed to protect homeowners, and made no sense for our financial system.
- We need to crack down on trading activity that crosses the line to market manipulation. We need regulators that actually enforce the rules instead of overlooking them. The SEC should investigate and punish all market manipulation.
- We must establish a process that identifies systemic risks to the financial system like the crisis that has overtaken our economy. We need a standing financial market advisory group to meet regularly and provide advice to the President, Congress, and regulators on the state of our financial markets and the risks they face. It’s time to anticipate risks before they erupt into a full-blown crisis.
Yesterday, on the other side of the country, Sarah Palin (not John McCain) drew 60,000 people to a rally in Florida. Anything about the economy? Let’s see..
“Americans are caught in kind of a perfect storm between high taxes, high gas prices, greed on Wall Street and a shortage of courage in Washington. But we need new leadership in Washington—we need serious reform on Wall Street.”
Compare those two solutions to the economic problem and vote accordingly.