Private Risk and Public Money
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President Bush wants to put up hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to save the financial system. He says failing to act would be riskier still. We look the possible consequences of a massive bailout in an election year. Also,New York Times columnist Tom Friedman talks about a grander vision for government spending.
President Bush stands with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, left, SEC Chairman Chris Cox, right, and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson as he delivers a statement on the economy. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
The Wall Street Protection Bankruptcy Plan ()
At the White House this morning, President Bush stood with the Treasury Secretary, the head of the Federal Reserve and the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He described this "pivotal moment for America's economy" as one which had begun in the credit and subprime-mortgage markets only to "spread throughout our financial system." Time magazine says Washington is preparing the "mother of all bailouts" in an article written by Justin Fox.
- Justin Fox: Business Columnist, Time Magazine
The End of Capitalism? ()
What may become the government's biggest intervention into American business is being engineered by an administration that has championed a hands-off approach to the economy. But President Bush says the government needs to rescue the economy by buying up the bad debts of banks, Wall Street brokerages and other financial players. Congress had been planning to go home next week to campaign for re-election, but leaders of both parties have agreed to take up the bailout proposal as soon as this weekend. Time magazine calls it "the mother of all bailouts," and stock markets around the world jumped at the prospect of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. But a lot of questions remain. Will it reward those who made bad investments? Will it protect home ownership, retirement plans and personal savings? Where will the money come from? Will it tie the hands of government for years to come? Will Congress go along? What does intervention so massive mean for free-market capitalism?
- Bill Emmott: former Editor in Chief, The Economist
- Naomi Klein: Journalist and writer
- Kenneth Rogoff: Professor of Economics, Harvard University
- Gail Russell Chaddock: Congressional Reporter, Christian Science Monitor
A Hot, Flat and Crowded World ()
In his latest book, Thomas Friedman talks about the need for a Green Revolution to deal with the consequences of global warming. What would be government’s role and how does it square with the massive resources now being asked to bail out the financial system? Friedman, the foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner whose books include, The World is Flat 3.0: A History of the Twenty-First Century and his latest, Hot Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America.
- Read an excerpt from Hot, Flat and Crowded.
- Thomas Friedman: Foreign Affairs Columnist, New York Times
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