“Nader Rips Mae and Mac,” declared the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal on June 16, 2000. “Ralph Nader, warning of a potential taxpayer bailout similar to the savings and loan crisis, urged lawmakers to cut government benefits to mortgage-market giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – which he called ‘poster children for corporate welfare.'”
This year Nader, who is also running for president as an independent, is getting credit for his prescience.
“Give one presidential candidate credit for identifying the problem and getting the policy right – and doing so before the twin government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into the tank in mid-July,” wrote Lou Dubose in The Washington Spectator on Aug. 1. Dubose went on to quote Nader’s June 15, 2000 Congressional testimony about HR 3703, a bill that would have reigned in some of the most dangerous tendencies of GSE’s, had it passed.
Be sure to read Nader’s “10-point plan to cool off the financial markets meltdown”
- No bailouts without conditions and reciprocity in the form of stock warrants.
- No more lobbying for any company that is bailed out.
- No golden parachutes and get out of jail free cards for guilty executives.
- No bailouts without public hearings.
- Reduce the moral hazard in U.S. mortgage markets by introducing covered bonds for the majority of mortgage products as they do in Western Europe. That gives institutions that finance mortgages an incentive to be prudent, because they cannot just unload them and wipe their hands clean of the liability, but are instead on the hook if the homeowner defaults.
- Maintain neighborhood stability and housing security by passing a law with a sunset clause allowing below median-value homeowners facing foreclosure the right to rent-to-own their homes at fair market value rates.
- Avoid future housing bubbles by removing implicit government guarantees for new mortgages that exceed thresholds of greater than 15-20 times the annual fair market rent value of the home.
- Make the Federal Reserve a Cabinet Position, so it is accountable to Congress, as well as making sure all Federal Reserve Bank presidents are appointed by the President and answerable to congress.
- Reduce conflicts of interest by taking away power for auditor and rating agency selection from companies and placing it in the hands of the SEC to be administered on random assignment.
- Implement a securities speculation tax, starting with derivatives to deter casino-style capitalism.
I concur with Richard Curtis and “An Unreasonable Man“: nobody running for US President has the record Nader does benefiting the public and we need to hear from Nader on the mainstream televised debates. I think those debates should include any US presidential candidate that is on enough ballots to theoretically win enough electoral votes to win the presidency.