FIGHTING WORDS (“RAW CAPITALISM IS DEAD” EDITION)

William Greider:”The step-by-step rescues that the Federal Reserve and Treasury have executed to date have failed utterly to reverse the flight of investors and banks worldwide from lending or buying in doubtful times. There is no obvious reason to assume this bailout proposal will change their minds, though it will certainly feel good to the financial houses that get to dump their bad paper on the government.”

Dean Baker: “Financial institutions should be forced to endure the bulk of the losses with taxpayer funds only used where absolutely necessary to sustain the orderly operation of the financial system. The bailout must be designed to minimize the opportunity for gaming. The bailout should be designed to minimize moral hazard.”

Robert Reich: “Wall Street agrees to give bankruptcy judges the authority to modify the terms of primary mortgages, so homeowners have a fighting chance to keep their homes. Why should distressed homeowners lose their homes when Wall Streeters receive taxpayer money that helps them keep their fancy ones?”

James Kvaal: “Congress should also follow rapidly pass expansions of unemployment benefits and investments in clean-energy jobs. The immediate consensus behind passage of Paulson’s plan shows that, when it comes to addressing our country’s most urgent problems, money is no object. Congressional leaders did not blink at the 12- or even 13-digit outlay. We should remember that when it comes to other priorities, such as universal health care.”

Christopher Hayes: “But more than that, advocating a “strong dollar” under these circumstances is some old-school, hard money nuttiness. After donning a variety of ideological suits these last few days, McCain seems to have found his inner Andrew Mellon.”

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