Monday, September 29, 2008

An immodest proposal

Insure mortgages throughout the country, as well as auto & small business loans. Make the companies pay for it first out of executive compensation, limiting the compensation of all executives from the VP level up to no more than $1 million a year. Make this involuntary across the board; companies do not get to "opt-in." Give the government the right to renegotiate the mortgages with the holders as it sees fit. This is not voluntary either.

This really just does what has to be done but Paulson is not doing with Fannie & Freddie, as well as making it universal. (See how FDIC is managing IndyMac's mortgages.)

Subsidize this bailout of the taxpayers by the taxpayers further as needed.

Pay a $1000 bonus to anyone who has only missed one mortgage payment; pay a $2000 bonus to anyone who has missed none.

Nouriel Roubini at RGE Monitor thinks we should make a Resolution Trust Corporation for homeowners instead of the banks.

Insuring the mortgages brings needed peace of mind to the banks holding them, allowing at least a rough valuation. It takes care of the major root cause, the feared worthlessness of the home loans underlying all the complex securitized mortage-based instruments. In the meantime both the Fed and the Treasury are ensuring liquidity on a short-term basis. What else is needed to break the financial logjam?

I mean, if we're willing to contemplate $700 billion+ worth of socialism for banks, why not for actual voting people?

Friday, September 26, 2008

I don't understand the House Republicans' "plan"

The most I've seen of it is a one-page PDF over at Marc Ambinder's blog. How is insurance supposed to keep the costs off the taxpayer? Either we buy it, and if it's worthless we lose the money, or we insure it, and if it's worthless we lose the money. The other details of their program are laughable nibbles around the edges of the problem.

They shouldn't be getting any credit from the angry American people who don't want to bail out Wall Street. Either plan is ultimately a bailout paid by the taxpayers.