Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailouts and Debates and Plans, Oh My!

Hear today's episode of Radio Or Not here (runtime 46:30)

I'm a little late in getting today's show posted, only because this is a complicated situation. (And I obviously still have the Wizard of Oz on the mind, as I saw Wicked on Broadway last week!)

There is now a tentative bailout plan, as laid out in this 110 page bill. You can read it by clicking on the link.

Here are the key provisions of the bill:

Stages: $700B, over three stages. $250B will be available immediately.

Taxpayer protection: If the assets appreciate, taxpayers will make a profit. If the assets don’t, the president must propose legislation to recoup the money after five years.

Treasury will be allowed to take ownership stakes in certain participating companies.

Golden Parachutes: Companies participating in the bailout plan will not be allowed to deduct the salary they pay to executives above $500,000.
Also, they cannot write new contracts with golden parachutes for their top 5 execs if they are fired or the company goes belly up.

Oversight: Two oversight boards. The Financial Stability Oversight Board makes sure taxpayers are protected and all policies are in the economic interests of the U.S.
A congressional oversight panel will review the state of financial markets, the regulatory system, and the Treasury’s use of its authority under the rescue plan

Insurance: Industry pays risk-based to guarantee companies’ troubled assets, including mortgage-backed securities, bought before March 14, 2008.

I'm still not convinced. But I've heard enough experts in whose judgement on the economy I trust (more than my own), say we must do something. I'll admit that I'm a bit gunshy about believing anything the government tells us after being lied into this war. It's the boy who cried wolf on a massive scale!

In today's show, I look at the plan, I share with you an email from Michael Moore, calling this a coup staged by the rich. (Read it for yourself here.)

We also listened to a few clips from Friday's night's debate. I thought Obama clearly did better than McCain, and performed better than he did in any of the primary debates, though I wouldn't have minded seeing him land a few more jabs at the old man. A reference to McCain's obvious inability to walk and chew gum at the same time might have been a good one. See the whole thing for yourself by clicking here (I think Real Player is necessary to watch this video.)

We also listened to a bit of Tina Fey's brilliant portrayal of Caribou Barbie from this week's Saturday Night Live, lampooning her interview with Katie Couric. But I played it next to the audio of the actual interview, and Tina was speaking many of Sarah's actual words! Just when you think it can't get any better, we have Part 3 of the Couric-Palin inteview tonight, the VP debate on Thursday, and this:

Hear today's episode of Radio Or Not here (runtime 46:30)