posted: January 27, 2009
Here are a couple of particularly illuminating quotes from Bill Moyer's discussion with political columnist and blogger David Sirota and Wall Street Journal columnist Thomas Frank about banks and the bailout:
DAVID SIROTA: What we have done is simply handed the money over with no mandate to actually change the behavior, change the structure of the banks, or change the management of the banks. So my take is pretty simple.
If we’re going to throw this much money — remember, $350 billion is half the bailout — if we’re going to put that kind of money into the banking system, we should get much more leverage. And the one other thing I think is really important, you’ll notice that in the entire debate over the bailout, nobody has really tried to make the point or ask the question: is spending $700 billion, a trillion dollars, giving it to the banks, is that the best way to improve our economy?
THOMAS FRANK: We're probably close to being majority shareholders in a lot of banks in this country. And yet we will not have the power to vote, right? We can't vote the shares. We can't appoint directors. These are the conditions of the TARP, of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. That's a terrible blunder.
If we're going to throw all that money to these people, we need to be able to tell them, look, you have to let us have directives. We have to be able to have a voice in the operation of this business.
You can watch the whole thing here on the PBS website.