The public comment period for this legislation has ended.

Senate Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

58 bill comments, 139 section comments

October 1, 2008 – This morning, the Senate Banking Committee posted online (in PDF) their version of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The bill, which started life as a three-page measure, reached 110 pages when it was voted down in the House. The Senate's new proposed legislation is included within a 451-page document filled with additional provisions. In order to facilitate a conversation about the specifics, we're parsing the bill's text, and have completed the first part, "Division A: the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008," posted below for review and commentary.

Unfortunately, because Congress has yet to enter the 21st century by publishing legislative data -- instead of PDF files of bills -- we cannot present the entire bill section by section, for you to review and comment on. (However, if you notice, the file name on the top of the PDF they published shows that the bill originally was an XML file.)

It is appalling that Congress posted this massive document the very day they intend to vote on the bill. Now more than ever, we the taxpayers need to tell Congress enough is enough. We can't expect that citizens or lawmakers themselves can decipher such broad legislation in such a short period of time.

Tell Congress to Read the Bill First! Click here to sign Sunlight's petition. Demand they take at least 72 hours to read the bailout bill!

  1. TITLE I - Troubled Assets Relief Program
    1. Sec. 101. PURCHASES OF TROUBLED ASSETS. (19 comments)
    2. Sec. 102. INSURANCE OF TROUBLED ASSETS. (2 comments)
    3. Sec. 103. CONSIDERATIONS. (4 comments)
    4. Sec. 104. FINANCIAL STABILITY OVERSIGHT BOARD. (5 comments)
    5. Sec. 105. REPORTS. (4 comments)
    6. Sec. 106. RIGHTS; MANAGEMENT; SALE OF TROUBLED ASSETS; REVENUES AND SALE PROCEEDS. (2 comments)
    7. Sec. 107. CONTRACTING PROCEDURES. (1 comment)
    8. Sec. 108. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST. (4 comments)
    9. Sec. 109. FORECLOSURE MITIGATION EFFORTS. (13 comments)
    10. Sec. 110. ASSISTANCE TO HOMEOWNERS. (18 comments)
    11. Sec. 111. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE. (8 comments)
    12. Sec. 112. COORDINATION WITH FOREIGN AUTHORITIES AND CENTRAL BANKS. (5 comments)
    13. Sec. 113. MINIMIZATION OF LONG-TERM COSTS AND MAXIMIZATION OF BENEFITS FOR TAXPAYERS. (6 comments)
    14. Sec. 114. MARKET TRANSPARENCY. (4 comments)
    15. Sec. 115. GRADUATED AUTHORIZATION TO PURCHASE. (5 comments)
    16. Sec. 116. OVERSIGHT AND AUDITS. (2 comments)
    17. Sec. 117. STUDY AND REPORT ON MARGIN AUTHORITY. (1 comment)
    18. Sec. 118. FUNDING. (3 comments)
    19. Sec. 119. JUDICIAL REVIEW AND RELATED MATTERS. (2 comments)
    20. Sec. 120. TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY. (1 comment)
    21. Sec. 121. SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR THE TROUBLED ASSET RELIEF PROGRAM.
    22. Sec. 122. INCREASE IN STATUTORY LIMIT ON THE PUBLIC DEBT. (3 comments)
    23. Sec. 123. CREDIT REFORM. (1 comment)
    24. Sec. 124. HOPE FOR HOMEOWNERS AMENDMENTS.
    25. Sec. 125. CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL. (2 comments)
    26. Sec. 126. FDIC AUTHORITY.
    27. Sec. 127. COOPERATION WITH THE FBI. (2 comments)
    28. Sec. 128. ACCELERATION OF EFFECTIVE DATE. (3 comments)
    29. Sec. 129. DISCLOSURES ON EXERCISE OF LOAN AUTHORITY.
    30. Sec. 130. TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS.
    31. Sec. 131. EXCHANGE STABILIZATION FUND REIMBURSEMENT.
    32. Sec. 132. AUTHORITY TO SUSPEND MARK-TO-MARKET ACCOUNTING. (3 comments)
    33. Sec. 133. STUDY ON MARK-TO-MARKET ACCOUNTING. (4 comments)
    34. Sec. 134. RECOUPMENT. (1 comment)
    35. Sec. 135. PRESERVATION OF AUTHORITY. (1 comment)
    36. Sec. 136. TEMPORARY INCREASE IN DEPOSIT AND SHARE INSURANCE COVERAGE. (2 comments)
  2. TITLE II - Budget-Related Provisions
    1. Sec. 201. INFORMATION FOR CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT AGENCIES.
    2. Sec. 202. REPORTS BY THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET AND THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE.
    3. Sec. 203. ANALYSIS IN PRESIDENTS BUDGET.
    4. Sec. 204. EMERGENCY TREATMENT. (2 comments)
  3. TITLE III - Tax Provisions
    1. Sec. 301. GAIN OR LOSS FROM SALE OR EXCHANGE OF CERTAIN PREFERRED STOCK. (1 comment)
    2. Sec. 302. SPECIAL RULES FOR TAX TREATMENT OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYERS PARTICIPATING IN THE TROUBLED ASSETS RELIEF PROGRAM. (4 comments)
    3. Sec. 303. EXTENSION OF EXCLUSION OF INCOME FROM DISCHARGE OF QUALIFIED PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE INDEBTEDNESS. (1 comment)

General Comments on Senate Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Mike on October 1, 2008

This bill is a disgraceful giveaway to the greediest elements of American society by politicians who have profited greatly from their campaign 'contributions.' The bill does nothing to fix the root problem, control exorbitant pay and bonuses, re-regulate cowboy capitalists, or help the average American citizen. Where are the hearings to determine the effectiveness? Where is the testimony of reputable economists?

Money talks, Congress bails. Mike

RRStubbs on October 1, 2008

Unbeliveable the United States Senate would even consider this effort to cover up this scam of the 21st Century. It smacks of the Kennedy Assination and 9-11. No Thanks. My Senator is Gordon Smith (R), and I will not vote for this turkey even if this piece of garbage passes.

Jean Walrath, American citizen and voter on October 1, 2008

I hope this is defeated--and then a smaller, less expensive bill is passed. Provide Paulson the wherewithal to get him through to the new administration and Congress (I read that he said $150B could take him to January); hold hearings with both the administration insiders and alternative views of what might work best; and do not allow a blank check to be given to any part of this Bush administration.

Please consider Sen. Clinton's idea of a 21st Century HOLC (Home Owners Loan Corporation)--it worked for FDR, provided jobs to unemployed bank and accounting types, and helped people keep their homes and farms.

Look at the ideas offered by the economists and analysts who called it right on this Big Me$$--Roubini, Robert Kuttner, Krugman, and many more; evaluate alternative solutions. It was pretty scary last night on Charlie Rose to hear Andrew Sorkin and Mort Zuckerman both say that they didn't kow if the Paulson Fix would work, but why not give a try? Well, $700B to $1 Trillion (or more, per some) is a pretty expensive experiment or gamble.

Bernie Sanders has a great idea for paying for this Me$$, by imposing a 10% surcharge on taxes paid by those earning over $500K individually and $1M as a couple.

Ron Greene on October 1, 2008

I would suggest recall petitions begin circulating immediately. Demand the representation that you deserve, and accept no less. This is YOUR government.

JP - Cut the BS and be HONEST on October 1, 2008

I wish I could agree with Ron Greene's sentiment about this being "my" government, but the sad, tragic truth is that it's not.

As "Deep Throat" (Mark Felt) said so applicably during Watergate: "Follow the money."

There are simply thousands of lobbyists with deep pockets and swag that makes the hill [sic] work. This is not my illusion, it's reality. The only cure is to take the money out of politics, and that's just not going to happen.

I sit here and am watching the Senate in real time voting overwhelmingly for this revised bailout. This is criminal, isn't it?

God help us, this is tragic. They are selling future generations down the river in the highest stakes gambling swindle I've ever seen.

Where is the leadership, the will of the people, the fairness, and honesty that will save us?

Lawrence Bowie on October 1, 2008

So, the Senate passed this bill, as Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington stated, under legislative blackmail - it was passed based upon 2 other pieces of legislation that has been needing to get passed. I am sickened by this action and I am just wondering do the People know what is transpiring on Capitol Hill.

Tim on October 1, 2008

I have made a list of those who voted in favor. I will never ever vote for anyone on that list ever again.

scrapman2457@yahoo.com on October 1, 2008

I'm 58 years old, and never cared much for politics or current events. Today, I am at a cross-road. I wish I'd smoked less weed and paid more attention in civics class. I am not an ignorant or foolish man.

I have heard comments form political "officiandos" who know more than I (on both sides) that say we are giving money to people who have been irresponsibloe or even criminal in their spending behaviours. Why are we doing this? Are we, the American people, irresponsible and criminal? I think not. Go anywhere in the world; ANYWHERE, and ask the average working person what they want. Decent income, food, shelter, and a little stability for their children, that's basically it. Ask a politician, no matter what the bent, and they will use double-speak and subterfuge to tell you a whole different story. What's the answer? In America, the answer is easy, let the PEOPLE rule, not the "priveledged" few, (to include politicians). What little I remember after all these years, is in line with this thought.

My years of ignorance and bliss have ended. I only hope the rest of the citizens of this great country begin the awakening process. I don't know the answer, but a band-aid will not stop the flow of blood to aq shotgun blast. I would like to hear from y'all. Does it take another crisis to vote in some guy who's sole purpose in life is to lie, cheat and steal? It makes sense to me.

Sus on October 2, 2008

If this is the complete text, have These Sections been removed? Or, is this just partial text. Because the bill I saw included them.

Section 308 — Rum excise tax to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

SEC. 309. EXTENSION OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CREDIT FOR AMERICAN SAMOA.

SEC. 310. EXTENSION OF MINE RESCUE TEAM TRAINING CREDIT.

SEC. 311. EXTENSION OF ELECTION TO EXPENSE ADVANCED MINE SAFETY EQUIPMENT.

SEC. 312. DEDUCTION ALLOWABLE WITH RESPECT TO INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO DOMESTIC PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES IN PUERTO RICO.

SEC. 314. INDIAN EMPLOYMENT CREDIT

SEC. 315. ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION FOR BUSINESS PROPERTY ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS.

SEC. 316. RAILROAD TRACK MAINTENANCE

SEC. 317. SEVEN-YEAR COST RECOVERY PERIOD FOR MOTORSPORTS RACING TRACK FACILITY.

SEC. 318. EXPENSING OF ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION COSTS.

SEC. 319. EXTENSION OF WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT FOR HURRICANE KATRINA EMPLOYEES.

SEC. 325. EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF DUTY SUSPENSION ON WOOL PRODUCTS; WOOL RESEARCH FUND; WOOL DUTY REFUNDS.

SEC. 402. PERMANENT AUTHORITY FOR DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION RELATING TO TERRORIST ACTIVITIES.

SEC. 502. PROVISIONS RELATED TO FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS.

SEC. 503. EXEMPTION FROM EXCISE TAX FOR CERTAIN WOODEN ARROWS DESIGNED FOR USE BY CHILDREN.

SEC. 504. INCOME AVERAGING FOR AMOUNTS RECEIVED IN CONNECTION WITH THE EXXON VALDEZ LITIGATION.

SEC. 505. CERTAIN FARMING BUSINESS MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT TREATED AS 5-YEAR PROPERTY.

And so on, and so on, and so on. Yeah... it's a CRISIS... and it's gotta be passed NOW! But, you just have to fill it up with items that, although some may be very important, SHOULD NOT BE IN THIS BILL!

I have completely lost faith.

ALSO... where are the caps on the "golden parachutes". I don't care WHEN the contract was signed.

This is crap.

I saw it in pdf form here: http://senateconservatives.files.word...

Old American on October 2, 2008

People – Stand Back and Look at What Almost Happened

I have been watching three CSPAN feeds intently for the last two weeks and what I see emerging looks like something out of a Jack Ryan movie. Look at the facts. Paulson drops a three-page bombshell on Congress telling them that if they do not pass it, as is, immediately that destruction of the US economy is imminent. Read the three-page bill at: New York Times http://tinyurl.com/4ts4mq The power it gives the Treasury is unthinkable and tantamount to an attempted financial coup. Look at the situation surrounding this: 1. Bush is out of it – ineffective and the worst lame duck I’ve ever seen (I’ve seen several in my 60 years). 2. The election is upon us and candidates are willing to grab anything they can to win. 3. Congress is getting ready to adjourn – holidays. 4. The economy is in a mess and everyone is worried. Paulson struck with military precision timing - in terms of a coup, it couldn’t have been better. To find out what he is really up to, read his “Blueprint” at: http://www.treasury.gov/press/release... dated March 2008. This document is outlining massive economic changes, you decide for yourself. Some of the little things in it like states will no longer be allowed to regulate insurance companies; you will be amazed.

I usually do not lean toward Republicans but one night on CSPAN when a small group of totally exhausted young House Republicans came to the press podium and recommended not passing the first house revision of Paulson’s bill (I believe this was the 109 page version) and started explaining how dangerous it was, I was floored. They went on to say how they were working on an improved version and that they were working closely with Democrats. I firmly believe this small group of men “On White Horses” rode in and may have just save us from a tyrant. I think they sealed the vote in their ten minutes of airtime and deserve some sort of medal. The final bill that passed the Senate tonight, although I am sure is not perfect, may indeed be the key to buying time until the true story is written.

If I am right on any of my assessments, Paulson should “resign”. I hope the latest version of this bill passes the house and may God continue watch over US.

Lucia V on October 2, 2008

Don't be fouled by thinking that your are saving Wall Street or that if the Dow goes up is because things are better. Dow is an index of many major corporations but it does not directly measures the credit transactions and credit market. Credit Market's measurements are much more complex. This is the main problem this bill is trying to address. Banks borrows and lend to Banks, Bank borrow from Federal Reserve, Banks get deposits so they can lend money to customers, bank lend money to business so they can make payroll and operate, customers borrow money to pay bills, buy food, buy clothes, buy houses, buy a car to go work, customers use credit cards so go adding it all up and only imagine. Really take a minute and imagine how deep you and everyone around you or anyone that pays you or rent your house, or have a job are soooooooooooo deeply attached to this credit market. It is out there. Only blinds can't see it. There are people living in Tents in Las Vegas. I am outraged to how low this Gorvernantes have brought us all. PEOPLE LIVING IN TENTS. How pathetic this is for a country that 8 years ago had a surplus. We are and were for 8 years surrounded by incompetents that lead us to this cliff. This Administration has Shamed us around the world and have shamed us right here in the heart of America. People are actually living in Tents because such high unemployment. Now I am unsure if we are any better that a 3r world country. We have come to the lowest since 1929. If you voted for this Administration ask yourself how incompetent someone has to be to lead this Nation that was so prosperous in the 90's to lead it right to the ground. In 70 years no one was that incompente just Mr Bush. Think hard, very hard and deeply. This election means getting out of the "Great Depression's door". Forget partisanship and vote for Obama. I have confidence that he'll lead this Nation in a direction we should be going for the past 8 years. I am confident and inspired by him that we can make this Nation great and an Attractive again. This Nation we'll again rise, be respected and seen as a "Real Power" once again. He's a man that inspires people and has shown determination and courage choosing the people not Wall Street since he started his career. We have much much work to do to be a strong Nation again and we all together, together as we have always been before this Administration shattered us apart. We all together with Obama we take this Nation from Depression's Door. We'll look back and smile at the lessons learnead and I assure you we'll make it. I already vision myself talking to my future kids and grandkids about our victories here. When we all believe and we all support we are stronger and no one can beat Americans. We'll come out of this stronger than ever. Wait and see it!!!

nat shenker mindell mfg. co on October 2, 2008

Another crisis is looming because all retirees over age 701/2 must take Requied Minimum Distribution

from IRA's before end of 2008 based on NAV on 1/1/08 which now are worth on avg 20-25% less. this will cause forced selling even if retiree has ample resources without depleting his IRA.The total amount which will have to be withdrawn could amount to many tens of billions of dollars which will depress stock and bond funds further. retirees should get option to delay RMD's for a reasonable period of time unt.il markets have chance to recover

Thomas F. Capizzi of WE THE PEOPLE. on October 2, 2008

When is the Congress of the United States of America going to realize that they work for WE THe PEOPLE. If the people do not support this pork and earmark infested bill, than maybe they should take the time that we are paying them for, to write a stand alone bill that would repair the problem not just throw money at it so the banks can repeat their mistakes or incompetence all over again. Hold these people accountable for thier actions. The American taxpayer is very unhappy and many years ago taxpayers in Boston were not very happy either. Common sense should but does not prevail in Washington. The CHANGE everone is talking about might be change in incumbents. Look in the mirror Congress and take a long hard look. Your opponent is looking over your shoulder, WE THE PEOPLE are looking over both shoulders.

Mike H. on October 2, 2008

Didn't this happen before the last presidential election? The Bush administration pulls a "crisis" out of thin air and demands unrestricted authority and an open checkbook to "handle" it. It doesn't matter if the bill actually works or not the money will be spent and irrecoverable before anyone can do anything about it. Sort of like the hundreds of billions in no-bid contract payments to KBR, CACI, Blackwater, Halliburton, ect. Again the average citizen loses and the well connected parasites in DC win.

Anonymous on October 2, 2008

Where is the treasury getting the $700 bilion? Does the US have a checking account with that kind of cash? Are they going to borrow it from social security? Will they raise taxes? I'm asking seriously here about the logistics of this bill, Where does this kind of money come from?

dddienst on October 2, 2008

I can not find anything in this bill that would prevent the FED from buying foreign own bad assets! America should not bail out the WORLD!

Jeff on October 2, 2008

Call the US House switchboard NOW and talk to your representative's office and tell him/her to vote NO. This is a socialist monstrosity. Josef Stalin would be proud of the US Senate today.

US House Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Holly on October 2, 2008

How are we supposed to trust this latest "oversight" committee? Who's going to oversee the overseers? Chriss and Barney?

robert C Smith on October 2, 2008

I am against this bill . I demand the resignation of both Chriss Dodd and his friend Barney Franks who are supposed to be the financial watchdogs of the Senate. These dogs had no bark when things started going bad and is it any wonder why when they received millions of dollars each from Fannie and Freddie AGAIN I DEMAND THEIR RESIGNATION!!!!!!!!!

Lynne Adams on October 2, 2008

Enough! I am sick and tired of hearing the talking heads say mainstreet doesn't get it. We get it just fine, how dare they be so condescending to their constituants. Not only do I detest this bill and all of the pork slop being added, it just once again screams POLITICS on both sides. Whoever votes for this, I will be voting against. WE DO NOT TRUST BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT TRUSTWORTHY.

Leah on October 2, 2008

I think that Washington Bigwigs are trying to cover their own "ass"ets, at the expense of the citizens. My biggest concern is who is to handle this bailout. Chris Dodd? Barney Franks? The same people who were suppose to regulate this type of activity? The control should not be in the hands of a couple of men. This is the truely scary part. Think about it.. this did not occur overnight.. Bush and his buddies are about to go out of office and are trying to make sure that their monies are secure. This also is a way to divert concerns over the oil and gas crisis. Let us all pray that God, honesty, and common sense come back to those in charge. I pray that the men making this decision are are doing so with the interst of all Americans at heart and not what kind of pay off will come to their own wallets

Kevin Englet on October 2, 2008

I am appalled that our elected representatives would even consider this measure. Given that it is opposed by so many. If it were so critical, why not examine the issue in detail. And not jump to a solution that may make us long for the Glass-Steagall Act's return.

Liz on October 2, 2008

I sm disgusted by all the "goodies" that had to be added to this bill to get it passed. If it was truly "necessary for the good of the country" I believe it would have passed without adding all the special provisions and giveaways. Isn't it time we amend the rules of the Senate and House to add a provision that only amendments pertaining directly to the topic of the bill can be added to any bill. That would help curb the earmarks and insertion of unrelated legislation that would never pass on its own merits. I am definitely no "constitutional scholar" but seems to me that would help bring some accountability to the process.

Barbara B. on October 2, 2008

Martha Coakley, the attorney general of Massachusetts makes a good point that financial institutions do not have to wait for Congress to bail them out. They can start taking action themselves by modifying the loans. There is no need to pass legislation with so much haste.

Today's Boston Globe carries her message that the banks have not been doing enough to help themselves or troubled homeowners: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/edi...

Barbara B. from Winchester, MA on October 3, 2008

Many thanks to the folks at PublicMarkup.org for posting / hosting this. I just read the whole bill and it is amazing what is hidden in there! In addition to the Secretary of the Treasury being given the power to spend hundreds of billions as he sees fit, there are other outrageous "gems".

The debt limit is raised by over $3 trillion to over $11 trillion in section 122. That is $82,000 debt limit for each tax payer.

In section 128 it states that as of now banks are not required to keep any reserves on deposits (they were going to wait until 2011 to spring this on us).

In section 132 Wall Street is allowed to overstate their assets and cook the books when the SEC's Mark-to-Market accounting rule is suspended.

There is nothing good here for "Main Street" middle and lower class citizens. It is basically a plan to allow Wall Street to take their profits before making our currency worthless.

Anonymous on October 3, 2008

It's very simple. Please think back to your long stoned-out days in High School..

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Our government is now raping our children and grandchildren. Who is to blame here? We are.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Mike H. on October 3, 2008

I'm with you anonymous, we the American people could send one hell of a message to the two party system this November. If we really beleive "washington is broken" and we need "change we can believe in", why would we vote for any candidate on the republican or democratic ticket. Washington IS broken, it IS time for change, not to democrat or maveric republican though, we should oust these thieves and liars who have gotten so comfortable with their stranglehold on the American government that they feel no need to respond to their constituents. Our system of government could be all that it was intended to be if we could just shed the parasites who are draining the American people and bringing on the decline of America as a world superpower. There are other options on those ballots, I for one will be researching those other options. I, like most Americans, am way behind the times on this. I have been lazy and taken prosperity for granted. I have voted for candidates based soley on their party affiliation, and I am ashamed of that. Not this time, I will be making an informed choice for change this November, not a choice between right or left, between democrat or republican, not a choice for the lesser of two evils. I encourage all voters to at least look into the other candidates on the ballot in your area, maybe there isn't a great "other" choice for president this time around, but if we seek out, find, and vote for the other candidates for the US congress, state congresses, governers, mayors, city councils, etc. 2012 will certainly see an increase in presidential candidates. I know every election year people say this and a lot of us wind up voting for one party because we don't want the other party to win, but how much worse could it get if the party you absolutely don't want in the white house wins? Why not vote for real change? It'll be a slow process, maybe several election cycles, but continuing to be trapped by the two parties we have now only means more legislation like this trash we have here. There is a definition of insanity that reads "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results." We need to break the cycle, create some real change, not election campaign BS change.

Anonymous on October 3, 2008

Well my worst fears were just confirmed in an interview with the new AIG Chairman on CNBC. "Assets" we are buying include credit default swaps. These contracts obligate the buyer to 100 times their cost, so this is a 700 billion dollar Trojan horse to saddle the taxpayer with trillions of dollars of bad paper. I'm sick this is actually going to pass. The taxpayer is going to be forced to stand behind every piece of fraud the banking industry has done in the last 8 years.

Mike H. on October 3, 2008

Follow up to my previous post:

 www.votesmart.org has lists of ALL candidates for this november election. I also googled "nj election" which took me to my home state's (NJ) division of elections website, where I was able to veiw and download the list of officially registered candidates for every office being voted on this year. Once you have the names it's no trick at all to find out plenty about the candidates on the internet.
Juan McCain on October 3, 2008

CHANGE! Change is comming alright. But it ain't the change that Obama is talking about. The American people have been empowered by the information age and it befuddles these so called masters of the universe.

Fellow citizens, speak up and speak loudly!

Mike H. on October 3, 2008

I guess old "Juan McCain" can be counted on to perpetuate the cycle of the two party destruction of America. Good idea, cast your vote for one of the two ruiners of American prosperity, stay the course Juan McSame, it's worked really well so far!

daniels107@yahoo.com on October 3, 2008

I think the Fed Chairman, Congress and President are jointly commiting fraud against the American public with passage of this "Emergency" Economic Stabilization Act. Isn't fraud still a criminal offense? It's almost as bad as the President's manipulation of oil prices with the executive control of Strategic Oil Reserves. These criminals need to be punished, not praised and rewarded. Seize the criminals' assets and move on to a "free and clear" America!!

Anthony K. on October 3, 2008

Uncertainty of the economic affects of this legislation is impossible to determine. Many Americans are being forced out of jobs and continue to face uncertain economic conditions while OUR GOVERNMENT struggles to deal with a course of action. This legislation ought to immediately offer WE THE PEOPLE flexibility to direct funds, without penalty, from any tax deferred savings as needed to secure a primary residential mortgage. Do not approve this legislation without first protecting homeowners by including provisions for these amendments in the tax code.

Blake Christian, CPA on October 3, 2008

A classic case of missing the forest for the trees.

The legislators were so focused on denying compensation deductions for CEO's that they did not bother focusing on either denying or deferring the tax deductions available to the financial institutions when they sell their toxic portfolios to U.S. government agencies.

Now these financial institutions will be able to sell these portfolios to the U.S. taxpayers and then claim hundreds of billions of dollars in tax losses (resulting in hard dollar refunds for both federal and state purposes) in the current year, or by filing amended returns to claim the write-downs in prior years. They can also carry back any current year losses to the two prior years.

For example a financial institution with a MBS purchased for $10 million sells it to a govenment agency for $4 million, the resulting $6 million loss will generate a combined federal and state tax benefit of approximately $2.4 million - further burdening the taxpayers.

The net effect of the tax impact will be hundreds of billions of dollars of tax refunds to these entities that are beling bailed out - resulting in adding another $100 billion plus to the $800 billion bailout pricetag.

The suggested solution, which I circulated to numerous Representatives and Senators, is to simply deny, or at least defer for 3 years (to avoid immediately carrying back the losses), any losses on portfolios sold to a U.S. government agency. A sale to a foreign government or any other non-U.S. agency would still entitle the holder to a full tax write-off.

This would encourage these Mortgage-Backed Security holders to find non-governmental buyers for their devalued investments - thereby saving U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars of additional costs.

This can still be accomplished in a Technical Corrections bill.

I also encourage states to consider a similar limitation.

For a more detailed discussion please see: www.blakechristian.typepad.com

Chris Straw, CPA on October 3, 2008

I don't think that the population understands the dire straits that the country is in. If people want to have their employers go bankrupt, then the bill should have been turned down. If people want small businesses, who employ a large percentage of the workforce, to survive, the passage is a blessing. There is no one group or organization of groups who got a windfall. The economy is belly up and on the brink. Think a little bit. Representing the employers of the country, Chris

David Klassen on October 3, 2008

It is utterly tragic this thing passed. The ONLY solution was one that would have been bottom-up, not this trickle-down steaming pile of crap. This bill most certainly isn't socialism---it is merely Government of the Corporations, By the Corporations and For the Corporations. Isn't that more akin to fascism?

Mike H. New Generation Electric, LLC on October 3, 2008

Chris Straw, don't speak for me Mr. Representing the employers of the country. Maybe YOU should think a little. Your comment is the same junk congress and the white house has been selling us all along. "The sky is falling! This is the ONLY legislation that can save us!" Please, this bill should have failed. The congress should have stayed in session, regardless of holidays or scheduled breaks and worked on a piece of single purpose legislation that was properly thought out and worked for ALL Americans, including small business owners. I happen to own my own electrical contracting business, and I am not for this panicked, poorly written, travesty of legislation. I'm sure the American economy would not have collapsed in a weeks time. I know my business could run for a week without credit. That is more than enough time to write better legislation that addresses the real issues, instead of shifting the power to control $700 billion in OUR money to a few APPOINTED, not ELECTED officials. I highly doubt the American public would have a problem spending the money to ensure our prosperity if it were absolutely necessary, which it isn't, and if it were done in a way that protected the interest of every tax paying citizen, not just the banks and wall street firms that have excellent lobbyists. So you think a little Chris, you are not representing this employer/business owner.

Aaron Woodward, Texan on October 3, 2008

I am proud that my congressman Joe Barton, voted against this legislation. I am, however, saddened that many republicans felt pressured by their leadership to vote for it. They forgot who their leadership was supposed to be. Time to get the torches and pitchforks out my fellow citizens!!

Alan W, California on October 3, 2008

Talk about being hoodwinked. Not only did they ramrod this through, but please take a look a the online record or the full text from page 319. HR 1424 is the Mental Health PArity Bill that got no news press, no transparency, but will cost Trillions more benefiting the pharmaceutical companies and their false advertising and products. eli Lilly and others are being sued by Attorney's General in 15 States for false advertising and ripping off Medicare. With the Bail Out Bill passing, they pass the Mental Health Parity without even a word of debate. How can Congress pass these Bills without reading them? I would be fired from my job if I signed an invoice, contract or form without reading it! Time for full transparency in Washington. The American Public just got hoodwinked into Trillions of dollars of Pharmaceutical payments disguised under this Bill. Just write a check to Wall Street and another to the Pharmaceuticals the largest lobbyists after Wall Street. Unbelievable!

Spoiler on October 3, 2008
<p>www.votenader.org Our two most prominent presidential candidates were two yes votes for this legislation. Time for everyone who said "I won't vote for anyone who votes for this bill" to pick the next president.

anonymous on October 3, 2008

I can't even understand this bill. And it's so big, it would take me days to read it. Why does it have to be so big and have so many provisions?

Karlie on October 4, 2008

I am embarrassed to say both my state senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray voted for this, this, oh, I am soooo disgusted right now. I agree with a previous poster that we should all be looking to change Congress as a whole. I mean our whole leadership. This has to end!

Carey in Canada on October 4, 2008

I'd like to read the entire "rescue agreement" if it's available. From what I've heard, there's "something" about Nascar in it, getting money for something? I'm not up to date on U.S. politics, however, as a neighbour to your north, we are directly related to the finances of the U.S.A. If anyone has a link to the entire document, please forward it. Thank-You

<p>ifxboats@yahoo.ca>

P.S. If everyone worked 4 days per week, 8 hours a day, there would be NO unemployment.

Tom Bass - American Citizen on October 5, 2008

This bill carries lots of pork and tax extensions into 2010. There are provisions for the following, which have nothing to do with the substance of this bill: Mental healtth County School Funding Exxon Valdez litigation Provisions for TV and film production Wool product duty suspension Wash. DC investment tax incentives Tax credits for Katrina Employees from 2 to now 4 years 7 year cost recovery for a race track facility Railroad Track Maintenance.....HUH? Indian reservation business property depreciation Tax credits for Puerto Rican production County Zone Academy Bonds? Many extensions of corporate, foriegn and businees tax provisions. Extension of eco-developmen in Samoa Increased limits on the excise taxes for rum in the Virgin Islands and in Puerto Rico

I,for one,am sick of our government and their way of doing business. Yet again they prove that no matter what happens thay will get their pockets lined or line the pockets of someone that is going to get them re-elected no matter how important or how dire the situation is at hand.

Carey in Canada, I found this link to the bill: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billt...

Bill on October 6, 2008

Paulson is moving to fast-track the reverse auction that will shift worthless assets from Wall Street firms to the government. Missing is any consideration of the stock-injection plan (provided for in the bill), one that most economists believe would better protect taxpayers, but also one the banking industry fears the most. If Paulson is successful, he'll never have to pay for another country-club membership as long as he lives. Don't buy the 'socialism' rhetoric. DEMAND (!) from your congressional leaders a debate on the stock-injection plan. The next 15-45 days will swing hundreds of billions one way or another...

An American Citizen on October 6, 2008

Shame! Shame! Shame! What has happened, sickens me. I have no faith in my government anymore. We the people, need to stand up to this and become more proactive in holding our representatives accountable for their actions in this body of government. It is time for community petitions and rallies to take back this country. It is time for the American people to be heard and not live under the control of a government controlled special interest groups or financial institutions or the big oil companies. It is time for us to stand for what our four fathers stood for. TRUTH. This is why this country is where it is now. We have been living a lie. This country has been slowly cannibalizing itself since the 70's. The government has pratraid this illusion to us that we are to live life to most and if you can't pay cash for it, ask someone to loan you the money for it.From the BMW's right down to the Tommy jeans. We have this mind set of what happiness is suppose to be like and that version of happiness can not happen without the endless flow of cash or otherwise known as CREDIT. I myself am just as guilty even though I do not over indulge. I feel really disappointed right now , mainly in myself.But this blow is not one that has knocked me but has awoke me from my sleep. I know now that I must start paying more attention to my government and to be 100% active in the rehabilitation of this great nation. It is time for me to reach down into the roots of my history and the one's who came before me and fought for a country of freedom and liberty and truth and justice. I believe that we are going to see a true change in this country now because I believe that I am not the only one who has awakened to the facts that ''We the people.." have been groomed into thinking that our government is for us and that the next candidate to elect is better than the last. Pig dung! We have been hoodwinked for quite sometime while these wealthy men and women fight for there piece of Washington pork.They make promises they never keep. They tickle your ears to make you have that good fuzzy feeling inside, almost like this candidate knows exactly how I feel. So then they are voted in and the next thing you know BAAM! you have been HOODWINKED! Where are our true leaders? Where are the people that will think like Main Street folks and not like Wall Street? Where are the leaders who will fight for their country as a whole and not be persuaded by piece of pork in their face? This government needs to realize what we the American people are feeling. I urge you to go out and petition the people in your community and make it known how Main street truly thinks about this government. An American Citizen

Richard Doyle - Fedbailoutwiki.com on October 6, 2008

I was gratified to find this site with so many comments and so much passion. I want to second the Anonymous poster who wrote: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." I also want to repeat one "Juan McCain" ( not be confused with one of the "Keating Five") who seems to write in favor of a Nuevo Deal for America. Juan writes:

"CHANGE! Change is comming alright. But it ain't the change that Obama is talking about. The American people have been empowered by the information age and it befuddles these so called masters of the universe. Fellow citizens, speak up and speak loudly!

This IS of course, the change Obama is talking about: he has raised more money than any presidential candidate in history through information technologies, and it is this change that truly terrifies the status quo- the loss of broadcast media's monopoly on the reporting and construction of policy. If we put these two samples of this website together, we find a happy fact: it is precisely new community driven information technologies like wiki that can give us the eternal vigilance over the State and Markets for the maximization of our freedom and the minimization of market manipulation and circumvention. Part of the problem with mortgage backed securities and derivatives seems to be that they were black boxed - "marked to model" by computer simulations rather than evaluated by an actual market. "With a thousand pairs of eyes, all bugs are shallow" says Linus Torvalds, whose Linux operating system proves that collective intelligence and global eternal vigilance can produce highly reliable and extremely valuable systems and technologies. Why not use this same collective intelligence to overhaul and oversee our global financial system? I started http://fedbailoutwiki.com/ to help start this process. The goal is a wikipedia style system for evaluating transactions with radical transparency. Come check it out and add, well, your two cents :)

Remember: this bill is only the beginning. This is a whole new era and an unbelievably complicated deal. Let's make sure this was the deal we want, rather than the deal we were sold.

http://fedbailoutwiki.com/

lisa.w., nc w/b to mesassy@verizon.net on October 9, 2008

i am embarrassed to admit that i have not been a good citizen and paid more attention to the workings/inner workings of our government. this economic life- saver without a boat, is atrocious. it doesn't take an economist to realize everbody's been swindled. i'm 50 and i did pay attention in civic's class - even in the 7th grade, i had an issue with an entity who could give themselves a raise! since then i have given issue to the power of insurance companies, the i.r.s., big oil, the pharmaceutical industry & fda, lobbyists, campaign funding and pork politics. government has become w-a-a-ay too big and until this changes, regardless of who or how it is accomplished, things will not be righted. remember the old saying "ignorance of the law is no excuse", times have surely changed and i beg to differ - it is a legitimate excuse. with all the laws, local, state, and federal no one could ever keep up with them! the idea of passing new legislation without eliminating "old" laws is ludricrous! i feel if i can't be in washington to lobby for things, why would other's be allowed to, and if campaigns were allowed to spend unlimited funds to get elected - what were we really electing? now at half a century, i have a problem with us ignoring the absorbitent abuse of our citizens by big oil and blackmail by high finance. as a taxpayer, i believe our larger interests would be best served by abolishing the current system of lawmaking and opt for a true, one-man-one vote process. an approach where we the majority of people determine what's important and needs reform and who would be single-handedly responsible for decision making. when the founders of this country, created a political process the had to have representatives, that was before t.v., phones and the internet. in this age of technology that concept is out-dated, unnecessary, and over-time has become extremely corrupt! i believe there is a more innovative way to assure democracy and that's by the "simple" majority of the people who live under it's direction. with our present perdicament, i'm looking for leadership with longterm, proven-effective success. here's a novel idea . . . follow the foreign policies of "switzerland", adopt the ways of "liberals" when it comes to health, education and welfare, leave personal,familial,community responsibility to the "conservatives" and ask the jewish (no offense - just respect) to handle our economics, leave civil rights to the "libertarians", taxes and big business to be overseen by the "independents", the "green party's" approach to the environment, justice like King Soloman's, and leave alternative energy to institutions of higher learning (m.i.t., etc.,), and never stop depicted God on our currency! i vote "me" for president!

CSNyberg on October 11, 2008

I am astounded and furious that our wonderful economic system in general has (probably)been destroyed by the power hunger and financial greed of the Democrats in Washington. TWICE the Republicans tried to get bills passed to control the mortgage packaging practices of Fannie and Freddie. Both times all the Democrats voted against those controls while and perhaps because they were accepting huge paybacks from Fannie Mae.
Isn't anyone interested in Barney Frank's being guilty of corruption and conflict of interest while he, as Chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, told Congress that all was well and those protective bills were unneccesary, that he was having a not-too-secret affair with the Managing Executive of Fannie Mae, Herb Moses. Someone please tell me what the #s on those bills were. I will make it my personal mission to expose those voters for their casual use of the monumental power we gave them! And I plan to do it before this election comes to the polls. I will pay for ads in the newspapers and DEMAND the copy space OR the liberal papers will find themselves meeting me in court on the same "Freedom of Speech" grounds that they hold so dear. And where is the rest of this bill? This is not it in it's entirety. Also, I am going to hunt down the authors of all the Pork: expose them and ask their constituents if they were consulted on each item which has been added to a debt that I must now pay. Also, Is anyone here willing to do the leap of faith and demand Line Item Veto from their polititians? And I mean NOW, this term or you dont get my vote. If not, why not! Ask yourself if there is a more important job or position in this country than to speak for the individual citizen. When our candidate or representative OK's a bill with one dollar more spent than it's original purpose, he is being bought. That's such a flagrant form of corruption that we, the voters, have to stand for a change in the way they write bills and vote. I realize, of course, today, Oct 11th, that the economy is so far gone that most of the protective efforts used to shore up the dam will not show improvements for weeks or months, BUT, does anyone agree that "The Fair Tax" would pay for the Stabilization much faster than any ordinary tax would during a recession (or depression). I've done the math on this and plan to make these calculations public. Getting the Fair Tax passed wil be an incredible difficult process because it will remove most all of Congress's power over our money and they will rebell, but I think that when all citizen join the bandwagon they will have to submit. They will have to return to the job for which they were hired: Govern and make laws regarding our country's security, education and prosperity ,not spend our money with our approval.

L. Mansell on November 4, 2008

This bailout did nothing to solve the most pressing economic issues facing the U.S.. It doesn't resolve the credit issue for business. It is not going to "save" our economy or help the average American, much less those on the verge of losing homes. We've flung an unbelievable amount of money down the drain, without benefit to taxpayers. Corporate welfare strikes again.