CNN Money has an article on alternatives to a bailout if no deal is done.
Among the steps that the government could undertake are:
-Suspend so-called mark-to-market accounting rules, which during the past year have required financial firms to write down more than $500 billion in losses.
-Change federal requirements that force banks to keep a certain level of cash on hand for every dollar they lend out.
-Give banks the chance to exchange loan notes for notes from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. As a government agency, the FDIC’s notes would be more valuable than the banks’ notes, allowing the banks more flexibility to make loans.
-Purchase on a massive scale mortgage-backed securities issued by finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Bush plan calls for the Treasury to buy a broader range of mortgage-backed securities.
-Extend limits on short sales of financial sector stocks.
-Cut the fed funds rate – the Federal Reserve’s target for short-term lending – perhaps all the way to zero, or in coordination with rate cuts by other central banks around the globe.
Feel free to post links in your comments to other alternatives…
My Representative, Phil English, (R-PA) voted against the financial bailout package today. Here is his statement in support of his stance.
Contact: Julia Wanzco (202) 225-5406
News for immediate release
September 29, 2008
English Responds to House Vote on Financial Rescue Package
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, legislation aimed to restore confidence in the American financial markets. U.S. Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.) a member of the Joint Economic Committee, voted against the legislation and released the following statement:
“From the outset, it has been my strong belief that any rescue proposal necessarily include real consequences for bad actors, strong taxpayer protections and accountability and transparency of any tax dollars used. I believe that the bill considered today failed to meet these minimum thresholds. Despite my belief that the right action by Congress could have a positive effect, this bill’s flaws and unchecked risk to the taxpayer, in my view, outweighed any potential benefits.
“This legislation fails to encompass critical financial safeguards for taxpayers, savers and the economy as a whole and lacks clear parameters and shifts the power to unelected bureaucrats in the Treasury. The bill creates a program where the same people whose mistakes have hurt the financial system will be able to game the auctions and leaves open the door for golden parachutes for top executives. And, while included on a limited basis, the insurance program is not the centerpiece of the initiative.
“There are weak guarantees of oversight as well as weak taxpayer protections. This legislation allows the program to be used for non-mortgage debt like credit card debt, forces taxpayers to bailout foreign banks, and turns over more than five percent of the Gross Domestic Product to Treasury with only very broadly defined terms.
“Further, the bill fails to get at the core problem which created this mess. Finally this measure overlooks opportunities to attract new, private capital into the market to help stabilize the marketplace.
“While I support the need for congressional action to stabilize the credit markets, the legislation negotiated by the Bush Administration and congressional leaders created a Rube Goldberg device that was ineffective in bolstering the economy, protecting the taxpayer or restraining the authority of the central government.”
The Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 failed to pass the House floor today by a vote of 205 to 228.
Politico.com has this summary.
Public sentiment is very strong against a bailout. Word is there will be another vote. Armtwisting must be intense.
Here is the discussion draft of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 just out today.
Copies are floating around but it is next to impossible to get to www.financialservices.house.gov. I suppose any official revisions will be posted there.
UPDATE: DC Examiner has a great side-by-side comparison of the initial bill, the Democratic bill and the current bill referenced above.
I am glad to see ACORN has been removed.
UPDATE: The House website is accessible again and there is a summary of the bill. Michelle Malkin raises some points of concern about the bill here. I think her reading of the Fast Track issue seems right. I am used to reading mental health bills and do not know this area well. However, I interepret the legislativease to mean that the Congress has 10 days to object after Paulson submits a request for anything over 350 billion. If Congress does not object, he is free to drawn down more billions to buy up bad paper.