Thanks to Mr. Whitney for the text of the Obama speech, here's the video
"I cannot imagine a position that's more selfish and more greedy," Obama said, addressing executives directly.
"Do not make that mistake. You are stewards not only of your companies but also of workers and communities across this country who have put their trust in you," he said."This plan cannot be a welfare program for Wall Street executives,"
Where are the titans?
A great article with some insight on some of the things that must be done can be read at Foreign Policy.com, in the story entitled "Seven Questions: How to Clean up Toxic Waste"
Raghuram G. Rajan, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, says that the Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout plan is flawed and argues that the private sector needs to step in and help out—or risk a mammoth public backlash.The article concludes with this question
But I’m sure you can sense that people are angry and they want their “pound of flesh,” so to speak?To which Mr.Rajan answers:
Yes, but rather than focusing on penalties, we should make sure that the cost to the taxpayer is minimized and that there is burden-sharing. I don’t see any private-sector willingness to get together and say, “We’re the problem, and we’re going to be part of the cost.” The private sector should be willing to raise more capital on its own, and in a sense should be forced to do it before we put more public money at stake.I say, put down the golf clubs and park your yachts and show us the way, be "stewards not only of your companies but also of workers and communities across this country" as Mr. Obama put it so well.
Where are the titans of the financial sector at this point? Why aren’t they coming together in a room at the New York Fed and saying, “This is a severe crisis for the financial system and we are going to put up some of our own money to refloat the system.” They should find ways to ensure that the public is not giving a windfall to the financial sector, because it will actually hurt them in the long run. The taxpayer is not in a forgiving mood.
While I would like to just be posting your run of the mill working family stories, this situation takes precedence, and is the single most important issue to all of us. Hastily made decisions could possibly cause tremendous inflation, and cause starvation across our country. We must come to a common conclusion as to how we can help our economy, simply giving one person the power to dispense our tax money at will, without legal and Congressional oversight, is not the answer. We need our leaders both politically, in labor and in the private business sector to step up and look out for us.