Lectures Series Number One - Financial Advice

30thSep. × ’08

This is the most important political issue of our lifetimes. It’s the first time in history that the strongest political stance is to DO NOTHING.

3 Ways of Thinking about the $700 Billion Bailout
OR
How to Regain the Democracy

If your landlord evicted you and then asked you to buy the building for him as a “present,” what would you say?

Imagine if your landlord raised the rent, evicted you, then asked you for money to buy the building. To make matters worse you wouldn’t own the building, you wouldn’t even own the apartment, the landlord wants the money for free and gives you nothing in return, not even the building you just bought him or your apartment inside. So you’re homeless, then you’re peniless, and the landlord owns the building, for free. That sounds impossible right? That’s what’s going on right now, that’s the $700 BAILOUT PROPOSAL.

You’ve been reading about this and hearing it on the ‘news.’ Banks raised mortgages, people couldn’t pay. They repossessed property, evicting families. And now these same banks are asking the government to buy the properties so the banks can continue to own them. They could just give the properties back to the people in the first place, lower the mortgage and make more money. The amazing thing about the “balance sheets” of these banks is that a home, an asset to you, a place to live, is a liablity to a bank. It’s something they need to get rid of, to convert to cash, to make liquid, to melt down. Banks own all the property in this country already, they RENT IT to us, that’s what a mortgage is. And if we don’t pay the rent, no matter how long we have been paying it, if we miss a month or two, out we go.

Why NOT to bailout anything:

1) The economy is going to “fail” or go into a “depression” no matter what.
but this is good for most people because

a) the little bit of money you have will be worth more

b) American goods and services will be cheaper to manufacture and to sell overseas

2) We evicted people because they couldn’t pay why treat corporations differently?
when Americans were being evicted because of predatory lending and spurious mortgage practices no one offered to buy their homes and give them to them, no one even offered to waive late fees or lower interest rates for them, we let hundreds of thousands of people get kicked out of their homes

now the banks own those homes, the same banks that are asking us to pay them today

Buying a home = renting a home from the bank.

3) The economy is going to crash anyway.
European governments just tried to bailout their banks, spent billions, and it doesn’t matter their

4) The government already spent all our money on the War ! Man!
Why not ask the bomb manufactuerers for a cut of their profits. Come on Stan, I know you made a killing selling incindiary grenades, we don’t even use them over there, what say you give us 50% of the profit you made on that deal? You’ll still come out ahead, and we can use the money to

Why does writing politicians, calling, demonstrating, why does this make a difference:

Politics is a conversation happening in a back room that we’re not allowed into. We’re outside. We’re going about our daily business. We usually don’t have time or the inclination for these conversations. So if we stop what we’re doing, suddenly the men in the backroom pause, and listen. What’s going on outside. Have they caught on to us?

There is one person in that room who is not corrupt to the bone. There is one person who wants to do something ethical. There is one person who loves humankind more than he loves money and more than he fears danger. It is this one person who needs us to say the right thing, to ask people to do the right thing. So that when this one person speaks no one says he’s crazy or his viewpoint is from outerspace. We all need to speak so that one person can speak. Because the pressure to go along with the money with the power with the greed and the fear is overwhelming, it takes enormous inner reserves. The insider who speaks out, who voices the will of the people outside the room, is persuasive. Everyone knows the difference between being selfish and mean and being kind. The voice of kindness of brilliance, of innovation and creativity will only prevail in the back room if the front room is full of people restless and noisy for just and honest behavior.

As of this writing the House of Representatives has voted against the bailing out these companies 228 to 205. Write your congress people, cut and paste the arguments from this blog, or just say in your own way what you think about all of this. Why give handouts to huge corportations? In New York there are laws against peniless people begging on the subway. Why give pennies, all of our pennies, and our bucks, our Jeffersons and Franklins to the richest people in the world? Infinity divided by two is still infinity. They’re going to come out of this crisis fine. JP Morgan made his fortune during the Great Depression. Banks love these times, they can take all the money and property all over the world. The result of a bailout will be that the number of people who lobby politicians will go from 50,000 to 1,000. Without the bailout we’ll go from a Fortune 500 to a Fortune 500,000. More people should share the wealth of our collective labors not fewer.

Here’s who to write or call. Democracy is a muscle, flex it:

who voted which way: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll674.xml

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One Comment

  1. Mr. Marcovici
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

    been sending faxes everyday. he lists all the numbers

    other ideas…
    http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/09/alternative-ide.html

    http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/09/an-alternative.html#more

    i’m encouraged that the first proposal did not pass but the position ‘no bailout’ seems short-sighted.

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