One of my heros is Dennis Kucinich, and he came out with a plan that is the best thing I’ve read on how we should deal with this. You can read it here, but his plan is outlined below:
- Reinstatement of the provisions of Glass-Steagall, which forbade speculation
- Re-regulation of the finance, insurance, and real estate industries
- Accountability on the part of those who took the companies down:
a) resignations of management
b) givebacks of executive compensation packages
c) limitations on executive compensation
d) admission by CEO’s of what went wrong and how, prior to any government bailout
- Demands for transparencey
a) with respect to analyzing the transactions which took the companies down
b) with respect to Treasury’s dealings with the companies pre and post-bailout
- An equity position for the taxpayers
a) some form of ownership of assets
- Some credible formula for evaluating the price of the assets that the government is buying.
- A sunset clause on the legislation
- Full public disclosure by members of Congress of assets held, with possible conflicts put in blind trust.
- A ban on political campaign contributions from officers of corporations receiving bailouts
- A requirement that 2008 cycle candidates return political contributions to officers and representatives of corporations receiving bailouts
And, most importantly, some mechanism for direct assistance to homeowners saddled with unreasonable or unmanageable mortgages, as well as protection for renters who have lived up to their obligation but fall victim to financial tragedy when the property they live in undergoes foreclosure.