Opinion

The Great Debate

Play by the rules, close failing banks

By J Saft
February 3, 2009

James Saft Great Debate – James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Why not just play by the existing rules and rescue the economy, rather than the banks and their foolish shareholders and counterparties?

The choice for the Obama administration comes down to this: pay a subsidy to weak banks and reward failure and self-dealing or shut them down and start over again.

Because it doesn’t want to run the banks, and who can blame it, my bet is that the U.S. government will go the subsidy route, but it would be wrong.

A better idea is nationalization of the banks that can’t function combined with fresh capital for lending, perhaps in new institutions or newly managed ones built from the wreckage of the failed.
As Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz points out, the United States has an existing process to deal with failed banks.

“You have to have a certain amount of capital and if you don’t have enough capital you are going to be shut down. We have a legal framework and we should use that legal framework,” he said in an interview on Saturday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“What you need to do is carve out the narrowest thing that you need to carve out to preserve the payment mechanism. We are engaged in re-writing the rules and the question is: ‘For whose benefit?’”

Both bondholders and derivative counterparties — people who entered into a contract with a bank for payment if certain external things happened, such as the default of a third party — look to be the big winners in preserving the existing banks.

I would also be very interested to see where the cash from bailouts of banks and their complex international obligations flows. It seems to me pretty possible that in rescuing banks, you are bailing out their derivative counterparties, channeling cash to many people and institutions who were speculating, who took risks on the strength of the bank counterparties they were using but who had no contract with the U.S. government for these risks to be insured.

Many of them inevitably will be abroad and some may be unsavory. The political fallout could be huge.

The argument in favor of this particular bailout is that, as we saw in the aftermath of the Lehman failure, the knock on effect will magnify the impact of the crisis. But really, this is about how you want to take your pain, and who will bear it rather than how much.

NOT BAD BANKS BUT DEAD BANKS

And it’s not just that wiping out failed institutions would be fairer, it would also be more successful. So long as house prices are falling, efforts to prop up banks through insurance will very likely be swamped by future losses.

Let the FDIC or Federal Reserve take over the weak and even, as Stiglitz has proposed, take a big chunk of the money you would otherwise spend and use it to capitalize a new bank or several new banks with clean balance sheets. Those banks could take $150 billion or so and leverage it very easily but conservatively, thus allowing for more than a trillion of new credit. Keep management at arm’s length from government and sell it back to the private sector in three years or so. They won’t be best banks the world has ever known, but they will beat the ones we have now hollow.

In the meantime the bad assets of failed banks could be managed separately, in much the same way the Resolution Trust did with assets of failed savings and loans.

There is also an elegance in the barbell proposal of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,” to nationalize the banks, limiting them to utility functions like payments and simple deposits, but twin them with an utterly unregulated sector with no recourse to government insurance or support of any kind.

“They rigged the game. We pay them for their profits, there is no clawback so their incentive is to hide the risk they are taking,” he said in an interview in Davos.

“Which is why eventually, (speaking) as someone who loves free markets, a total nationalization of the part of the business that requires insurance and does clearing and payments needs to happen.
“I am angry with U.S. policy. What we had is exactly the opposite of socialism, they got TARP to pay their bonuses and to take more risk.”

It is true that if you let large banks go down and don’t bail out their counterparties many other banks may fail, including banks outside the United States. Mitigating that –  and that’s the best we can hope for — will take coordination, but those failures don’t change the basic issue.

Who has a call on the resources of the state and whose claims should take priority? I don’t think it ought to be derivative speculators, shareholders or bondholders. Get in line.

– At the time of publication James Saft did not own any direct investments in securities mentioned in this article. He may be an owner indirectly as an investor in a fund. For previous columns by James Saft, click here.  –

Comments
81 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Not only allowing it but funding it, and we are paying for this? No that’s not what I pay taxes for, I’m sorry.

Posted by Damian Palmares | Report as abusive
 

Come on, the common American should not fret about this complicated stuff. They should just go back to watching their televisions and let the tough issues be tackled by more reasoned people. Where else in the world besides America can you fleece millions of people from their hard earned money and yet have no civil unrest? Just tell them that all will be well and they will forget about it in a couple of months. The government that they so love will take care of them…

Posted by Anthony Afterwit | Report as abusive
 

President Obama, please nationalize the banks. Please stop giving tax payers’ money to those criminals.

Posted by ron_paulite | Report as abusive
 

I absolutely hate the idea of bailing out stupidity. Unfortunately, that stupidity doesn’t end with the banks. Some would look upon this financial fiasco and make claim that its proof that capitalism is a failure. I disagree. What has failed isn’t capitalism because we don’t have capitalism. We have a capitalist/socialist mix that has failed us, and its really the socialist part of the equation that is at the foundation of the failure. What we did was embed moral hazard into our home mortgage market. It started back in the 1990′s when Clinton HUD secretary Andrew Cuomo opened the door to both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase their exposure to sub-prime and Alt-A mortgages exponentially. Then into the next decade, Congress totally blocked oversight of the cancer growing at the GSEs. The CEOs didn’t care what they bought because the incrementally higher cash flow in the short run produced outsized bonuses in while sleazebags like Franklin Raines were in charge. Besides, Congress had their back. Congress would cover for them as long as they still had a team of lobbyists greasing the hands of corrupt Congressmen and Congresswomen. This is the embedded moral hazard.
Now add to the mix credit default swaps to be used as insurance, a large dose of stupid, greedy bankers,bad decisions at the SEC to allow leverage to increase from their typical 14-1 to as much as 40-1, an overly lenient credit policy from the Fed, mortgage companies that know moral hazard when they see it like a shark knows blood in the water, a raging real estate market, a Congress and executive branch cheering on the highest percentage of home ownership ever, ratings companies that admittedly would rate anything AAA including a cow, and a greedy and stupid public that thought real estate only goes up in value……..and you have one explosive cocktail.
So, should we now act like capitalists with the banking sector even while we still bail out homeowners, the auto industry, and every other stupid special interest group even though not doing so will likely create such a domino effect in bringing down many banks that today are thought to be strong? A good example is J.P. Morgan who has more invested in credit default swaps than any other bank but because of their wealth of deposits is strong as long as the domino effect is kept at bay.
Will we save money with this approach? HELL NO! Nationalizing this mess won’t get us off the hook at all and the extra collateral damage will put the dollar along side the Zimbabwean currency for resiliency.

Posted by SDDuude | Report as abusive
 

Dear Sirs, The mirror tells in the simplest form of all.
If through carelessness(or whatever causes) you fell and hurt yourself and the injury is not serious you get up, go home, nurse yourself and be well in a few days and live again. If the injury is serious and if so happens some good samaritan comes along, brings you to the doctor which happens to be very good and also that you are able to raise the money to pay him you can be well and live again.
If through carelessness, recklessness(and or other reasons)
you sail the high seas and you hit the stormy choppy waters and very fast you are drowning. Nobody knows how and have the courage to rescue you. Also nobody has the expertise and resources to rescue you without risking their lifes. But you have to be rescued so they say or your death will bring suffering to many. The US Administration would pilot the helicopter to pull you out of the water. It does not matter where the resources and helicopter will come from. It does not matter if the rescue drill works. It does not matter if the helicopter is up to the task. It does not matter if the pilot is up to the task. It does not matter how long it will takes.
Do it as they said the consequence of not doing is unacceptable. The mirror says it is just a repetition of what brought us here after all. No technicalities is needed to explain to your common readers

Posted by Tang Kin Meng | Report as abusive
 

I agree with all you have said, but more should be done.

In addition to helping out the weak banks the stronger banks should also have capital put into them OR new well capitalised banks formed. This will allow businesses and individuals more chance of getting loans. Now the established banks have a choice they have start lending or they may go out of business. The free market will do its magic of cleaning out the weak leaving the stronger banks to get the economy going again.

There will be many who will lose as a result, but what is the purpose of all this money being being spent? To keep insolvent banks and bankers alive or to kickstart the economy?

Posted by VDharmarajah | Report as abusive
 

That losses of Private Banks are being Socialised in a country that preaches the World the virtues of Capitalism,is not just obnoxious but a moral hazard. America will have to live with the stigma of this indefensible act for decades.

We hear the specious arguments that if Banks are allowed to fail, poor will suffer hardships and unemployment. While this may be true, the poor are not living in luxury so a little hardship or a lot more will not make a significant difference. It is the Wealthy who will suffer with Bank failures as their Assets will become virtually worthless. This is daylight robbery in a full Democracy. Everywhere it is the Rich who make the policies to keep themselves rich and the poor can keep working harder to remain poor. While the World changes some things never change.

Capitalism is probably dead and gone forever now. Please invite the Congressmen to preside over the last rites.

Posted by F.Daruwala | Report as abusive
 

All commentors seem to be taking issue based upon emotion and the talking points foisted to them by the media. The problem the west is facing has been faced by Russia in the 1980′s – 1990′s and by Western Europe in the 1920′s and it is the on-going problem of centralized wealth and closed-ended control of capital.

The “bailouts” are another example of supposedly competent, responsible folks being scammed for trillions of dollars by a long-term plan to dominate the world’s capital markets completely and preside over the wealth of the entire world totally.

Stop thinking in financial terms! The financial houses and any institutions who even touched CDO-based aquisitions of capital MUST FAIL. This is more along the lines of GAMBLING than banking and finance. The bettor takes ALL the risk; if the number doesn’t ‘hit’ he loses. PERIOD. No one walks into the Nugget and pays the bettors anything to get them back on their feet. Lucky are those who get a free breakfast. PERIOD.

Posted by crashcrisis | Report as abusive
 

As I stated before, the declared economic emergency is going to allow governmental actions to focus on symptoms to the detriment of causitive factors, and we badly need to address the question of debt securitization and debt insurance such as CDS. As long as we continue to seperate the originator of loans from the ultimate lender there will be irrational lending, but solving the problem will wrest economic control out of federal hands and doom Fannie, Freddie and GNMA (not that the first two aren’t deep enough in doom).
There are probably rational arguments on both sides of the FASB 157 question. The truth is that world economies are going to have to face the fact that most real estate prices and many industrial loans to leveraged companies will probably not stabilize in value short of 50% of 2007/2008 prices. Do we accept and plan for reality, or do we let Mr. Market have his way on his schedule?

Posted by Gary Leeper | Report as abusive
 

Can someone here recommend how I can become more educated regarding the economy (ie stations, programs, etcs). I have been reading reuter’s lately and I would like to learn more about. There is so much debate now about bailing vs not bailing, the unemployment rate etc. Can someone direct me a path to follow so I can be more “educated ” regarding this, (sorry did not get my degree in business: in sciences ;) So, besides reading the NY Times and Wall Street Journal, what else do you recommend for a clearer understanding

Posted by Kasia | Report as abusive
 

You have got to be kidding me. Nationalize the banks? what idiocy. Russia went bankrupt and so will we if we follow their example and become more and more socialist. We haven’t had real free market capitalsim for years thats why we’re in trouble. The real problem is the FEDERAL RESERVE. They are the root problem and they cause the recessions and depression. Do some fact checking even Bernanke said the the Federal Reserve CAUSED THE GREAT DEPRESSION in an interview in 2002

Posted by doug | Report as abusive
 

Doug, yes it END THE US FEDERAL RESERVE. END FRACTIONAL RESERVE.

End the casino banks.

Create sound money and prudent banks.

I recommend listening to US Rep. Ron Paul, NH. dailypaul.org

Posted by skinner | Report as abusive
 

Here is a suggestion:

Instead of giving money directly to the large banks (citigroup, morgan stanley, lehman, etc ad nauseum) we, as taxpayers operating under a CAPITALIST system, should simply buy up all existing available shares of all failing banks with federal bailout money. When the taxpayers own > 51% of a bank, it is considered “nationalized” and can be audited to pieces by the IRS, SEC, etc. All accounting “irregularities” can be exposed. The lending can be done in a controlled, regulated way by a bureaucracy without greed as its primary motive.

Posted by Bob Johnson | Report as abusive
 

The recommendation in this column mirrors George Soros, and others in the press. The questions that need to be answered before anyone should consider the path proposed of a U.S. Government lead cram down financing of the financial system are as follows:

1) Do the big investment players like Soros who propose this direction actually have any evidence that this is the best direction for a world financial system crisis, or is it just a speculative short trading position on the banks that they currently hold?

2) No one seems to question that it is a Government lead policies of increasing home ownership in the U.S., started in the 1990s that got us into this financial mess, which all the banks supported – some more than others. Why is it not the responsibility of the government(s) now to clean up the mess?

3) We know the government took action during the 2006 – 2007 timeframe to stop the increase in home inflation – see Greenspan testimonies during this time frame which lead to a major pullback in underlying capital to support mortgage financing. Again, the instigator of the current crisis can be linked to government actions, so why is it not the government responsibility to fix the problem?

4) Does anyone believe that wiping out the creditors and shareholders of the existing banks in the U.S. is actually going to fix the problem? The owners and creditors of the existing banks are pensions, 401K and IRA investors, etc., a very large minority shareholder base. They were not investors becasue they were looking for a quick buck. However, the same may not be said for the money sitting on the sidelines waiting for a cram down.

5) Is there a better way out of this mess? Of course there is. A FDIC like model for insuring deposits needs to be created for insuring assets such as non-recourse mortgage loans which our federal government has determined in “its infinite wisdom” an area in which government meddling is required in order to promote economic growth. Since this is the case, we cannot expect sound private institutions to take the blame for government policies run aground. The only insurer of last resort for these actions is the government (i.e. taxpayer), and the government can easily set-up an insurance fund which all banks pay into going forward which will begin to properly reflect the price / risk of the policy. The foreclosure / work-out agency (“bad bank”) would be the caretaker. The insurance rates if too high, will act to brake risk when needed, rather than stop the system entirely. All of this can be done today, with the existing institutions in place, without the proposed cram downs run the very high risk of just being disguised trading positions of very large investors around the world at the expense of minority investors which are primarily U.S. based.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive
 

I agree with your observation. Let the market forces work.

 

We are going about trying to fix the economy and banks the wrong way. Trying to get a population that is over extended alraedy to borrow and spend more just by lowering interest rates while the fear for there jobs is not going to work. What is needed is not a bailout of banks but a bailout of taxpayers. I think the government should refinance all outstanding mortgages. It should reduce the principal for each one anywhere from $50,000.00
to $100,000.00 by doing this you would free up money for comsumer spending, stop a majority of foreclosures, and improve the quality and prices of these assets on the banks books. we could also eliminate mortgage interest deduction to help pay for it. Part of the problem is nobody knows what these things are worth but with the knowledge that the majority of mortgage principal would be paid back prices for mortgage backedd securities would improve. As mortgages are paid off, the only thing left would be
the really baad assets giving a much clearer picture of what the real amount of the losses are. Short term would be expensive but as people continue paying there mortgages, income would exceed what is going out and principal and interest earned would pay for amount mortgage was reduced over life of loan. This would free up cash for consumers to spend, provide jobs, and help other depressed assets as economy stablizes. As the government and the Fed helped create this problem by deregulation and encourging people to borrow and spend they should be willing to bailout the the people hurt most by their actions not the ones who profited the most.
We should also do something to encourge people to save more maybe a credit for interest earned and not tax it.
We can no longer live off borrowing other peoples money.

Posted by Andrew McGowan | Report as abusive
 

Thank you! I came to exactly the same conclusion a while ago but this is the first time I’ve seen it in print. I was beginning to think I must not understand banking.

Let the speculators take their hits rather than the taxpayer, the “lost” money from the bubble is not coming back, let real estate deflate to where it belongs and pick up from there.

Add one thing: I would use this mechanism to solve the other major problem that is destroying the economy, the freeze in the credit market. Make the “new” banks loan money rather than hoard it as the TARP-ified banks have. Banks that should be allowed to fail and be seized. You would un-freeze the credit markets tomorrow to save all of the otherwise healthy businesses needing to borrow operating capital and enable qualified consumers to borrow to make purchases.

For that matter you could require all banks to loan from directly from TARP to consumers and businesses, paying the banks by commission to administer the loans.

The loans must be based on prudent standards however, not just to get money out there, idiot lending standards is what got us into this mess in the first place, anyone with half a brain could see the real estate bubble forming as far back as 2001. When granting mortgages don’t base them on a market value that is a bubble value, base it on genuine market fundamentals value. Duh.

Posted by Add one thing | Report as abusive
 

Don’t nationalize, THAT’S WHAT ICELAND DID.
>>We don’t want to assume their debts!<<

Force ‘em into chapter 11 or the FDIC seizure equivalent. Segregate the debt, sell off the seized banks when the economy is better and give the shareholders the proceeds and the debts to take their lumps .

Posted by STOP | Report as abusive
 

Thank you Mr. Saft and Mr. Stiglitz. Finally, people who are willing to stand up and advocate ideas grounded in common sense. Will the exercise hurt and be painful, yes. However, if the feds had stayed out of the fray last year and not intervened the bad banks would be gone, the marginal banks would be working to manage their way out of the mess, we would have already reached a bottom, and the US taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for the next bejillion years.

Posted by bubbadude | Report as abusive
 

All this effort to resurrect what has failed and died will lead the US to a truly grim setting in the near future. How very un-American America has become.

Posted by Morozov | Report as abusive
 

James I wished the American policy makers had half the common sense, Integrity or Ethics you have. There is a moral hazard to baling out Banks that were highly leveraged, took unacceptable Risks and speculated with Derivative products – all for the sake of higher Profits and Bonuses. In the absence of disgorgement clauses to claim back the Money from the wayward Bankers, better means of invigorating the Economy should have been explored.

Even with a change in Government it seems that the same cabal of discredited Financial experts continues to dictate and pursue a failed Policy. A highly indebted Country can least afford to throw good Money after bad. The Price of these decisions will be borne by the American citizen already reeling under severe Financial stress. A Policy that is expedient is not the best one, especially one which can create multiple problems tomorrow. Cant understand how America has not only produced such terrible Economists but so many of them have reached the TOP.
Greed has conquered common sense !

Posted by F.Daruwala | Report as abusive
 

The problem seems to be that we are treating most of these institutions like they a teenagers who dipped into his mother’s purse for money, instead of prosecuting them for the fraudulent waste they have incurred. After hearing that the CEOs were going to Vegas to have a “conference” using taxpayer’s money, I can only think that my struggles to balance my checkbook every month is a futile endeavor if the system is so broken it can’t recognize outright theft when it sees it. Send the idiots to jail, clean out the banks and start over. And I like the idea of capping CEO compensation to $500K, as I can live on $50K without denting anything. Make them learn to live with what they’ve got.

Posted by T. Moore | Report as abusive
 

well . . . . everyone has good ideas and they make sense concerning the existing banking and FDIC regulations to deal with under capitalized banks.

However I think that there is a bigger problem and no amount of spending will solve it as the total value of the credit default swaps exceeds that of the planetary GDP. The value of all the credit default swaps exceeds the GDP of every nation on the planet combined.

They can spend and finagle economic theories but at the end you can’t get blood out of a stone. When the chickens come home to roost we will all be trying to dig out of this and not just in America but the whole world.

The problem is not an American economic crisis the problem is a world economic crisis, quickly heading to disaster!

Posted by peter m | Report as abusive
 

Thats why this is a heist, and not a ‘crisis’.

Real solutions are not even being discussed in the halls of power – only money to be falling from the sky upon they who created their own ‘crisis’.

It isn’t the first time either – nor will it be the last.

Posted by BaronvvonvLufthoven | Report as abusive
 

AMEN! Should have been done in the first place — it would have likely prevented the world-wide financial tailspin we now face. Now it may be too late. Set up a Special temporary agency to start extricating the bad apples one at a time, but re-structure them possibly in groups, beginning with the largest. Use the existing apparatus to re-open the shut-down operations under a local community oversight. Forever ban the former management(s) from re-infiltrating such activities. Force them to be re-trained through Job Corps, WPA, CCC, or something similar. Ask China for advice as they regularly operate this way. We’ve come full circle anyway if we are going to have to now nationalize what otherwise should be private enterprise. The jail system is not large enough to handle all those responsible for this mess. They maybe could be sent to national disasters around the globe to help clean up nature’s mess.

 

Forget the banks for a second,they are only utilities:
The biggest decisions of this financial crisis have just been made. Did you miss it? GM, Ford, Toyota, and others have just begun the biggest event since the space race between the USA & Russia, the biggest change since the Model T Ford.
They have all embarked on the challenge of dumping gas guzzlers,and electrifying the transport industry. The Government & BIG business has finally plugged-in, and the auto-makers have switched on. The question is who will win??? The Chinese, the Japanese, the Russians, the Middle East, or will the US prevail??
Mark my words.
This will be the biggest decision made in this Century. I can’t wait. LET THE RACE BEGIN!!!!!!

Posted by Brad | Report as abusive
 

Sorry forgot to mention Nissan before,
Yet another auto maker in the race for the EV. This is truly the start of this milleniums revolution. It’s a revolution that has at its core renewable technolgy, energy. Renewable technology, fuel, energy, is the answer to renew our economies. It has to be because the earth isn’t. It is the only way forward, and thank God it is happening. All those who say it’s too expensive, or it can’t be done will be proven wrong. They are just scared because they will have to change. The fact is it will get smaller, cheaper, and easier once we take it and run with it. Look at the first cars, the first space rockets, aeroplanes, phones, computers. The first computer took up an office block, now it fits in the palm of your hand, and continues to astound us every day. The first planes were nothing more than a glider strapped to a man. Now we can break the sound barrier, and send people on holidays to the moon.
A world full of renewables will hapen, it is happening, and not a moment too soon. Get on board before the intergalactic train leaves. Don’t get left behind. Lead the way.
Brad

Posted by Brad | Report as abusive
 

The only justifiable reason for pumping trillions of dollars into these virtually dead banks seem to be Credit Default Swaps. It looks to me that the government is afraid that letting fail one of the big banks would trigger a chain reaction of payments from CDS’s that would cause bankruptcy of all major financial institutions in the world.
My question is why can’t congress legislatively restrict CDS payments only to those who hold underling debt and invalidate (or deffer in time – e.g. 10%/year for 10 years or 5%/year for 20 years) all others that were after all nothing but gambling. It would require establishing of a central clearing house for these instruments as there are many who don’t directly hold the debt instruments but they are liable to those who are holders therefore there would have to be facilitated process of transferring the debt instruments from ones to the others. This should limit the magnitude of any shock caused by the collapse of any major institution. If that is not enough to avoid the systemic risk we should consider spreading CDS payments for those who hold underlying debt overtime as well.
It might be unfair to some of the market participants but it would be more fair than financing this mess by taxpayer.

Posted by PwlM | Report as abusive
 

Here is a simple questions: Would you ask the person who started the problem to try and fix it even if they don’t have the stones to admit they screwed up? Most logical people would say no, but that is exactly the government is trying to do.

They (gov. Frank) created the market for bad debt by forcing bad loans (Banks got greedy and took it) and low and behold people didn’t pay it back, not to mention many companies just move money around, there is no value created.

Now to the banks, the gov. is good at creating problems not solving them, unfortunately these banks need to fail. It sucks that people will be fired, but I would hope the banks would have enough leadership to not run to washington with their tale between their legs to suck on our teets! Cowards!!! Detroit too!!! Life ain’t fare and consequences are real. Nationalization of the banks will destroy any interest potential investors have as gov. entities are poorly run and inefficient at best, why would I want my money there if I have other options? It is ridiculous.

There are a ton of scare tactics going on to distract people from the truth. The gov. started this and needs to get out of the way. And private firm (no matter how big) need to know they can fail and that leadership gets fired if they do, without a parachute.

And to someone who commented on electric cars, rubbish!! I don’t want to drive an RC car, I want a clean diesel. The rest of the world has them with 40 mpg averages, why not us????

Posted by No-Bailout Too Late | Report as abusive
 

The banks are too big (and important to fail). Well, that is according to the bankers. I, on the other hand, am ready to test that statement at this stage.

Let Babylon burn.

Posted by Quintin | Report as abusive
 

Nationalization IS a dirty word and I will tell you why: Naionalization wipes out the shareholders. That means all the pee-ons that worked for these companies all their life lose their entire 401(k). Here’s my story: my husband worked for 25 years for Merrill. They took away the pension and offered us a 401(k) and very generously offered to buy stock for us in the company, in exchange for a pension. If we were given choices, we surely would have kept the pension. But this was not the case. So, my husband worked faithfully and loyally, while the ceo’s were stealing our money like roaches in the dark, making a mockery of our system. My husband and I did nothing wrong, why should we lose our retirement while theses rats get to keep theirs for a lousy job done no less? The only thing that I can see that we did wrong was not consult our crystal ball regarding the future. How can anyone think that we deserve to lose it all since we are shareholders???? My husband earned that money, it is ours and we should be allowed to keep it. This is just one more dirty thing to screw honest people. Granted, the stocks arent worth much now, but we should be allowed to keep those shares in hope of better days. People have to keep in mind that these so-called shareholders are people who worked for that money!!!!! There is a an entire sector of people out there that will be unfairly penalized for the mistakes of others. Also, people should start giving thought as to the next crises that will be caused when we seniors can no longer work and camp out on beaches??? That is my plan B….you need to give some thought to this side of the issue

Posted by Babs | Report as abusive
 

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