Bailout money should not come cheap…

Dear Congressperson or Senator,

In the matter of the bank bailouts, please do not hand over power to the Executive branch; this is an opportunity for the Legislative branch to gain ground in its losing struggle with the imperial Executive.  To increase its own power, Congress must at the very least adopt a strict schedule on which monies will be released and create a powerful, transparent Congressional oversight mechanism to control spending.  We the taxpayers MUST be given a FULL accounting of who gets our money and how they use it (at the very least, all government filings from banks and their officers, including IRS forms, must be made public in the Federal Register).

If the Executive branch wants to let banks feed at the taxpayer trough, they need to pay dearly, in lost power, for that privilege! Banks that made the incredibly stupid decision to purchase CDOs and credit default swaps should pay more dearly than the taxpayers bailing them out.  ANY bank that wants to qualify for government handouts MUST immediately place ALL bank employees on the Federal government’s pay scale (with pay grades based on the skills required for a position); those pay scales should quite nicely handle capping bank executives pay.

High level bank officers (board members,  C-level executives, etc…) need to pay personally for their wanton disregard for good risk assessment. Ideally, officers of the banks that need bailout money should be driven out of the banking industry and into personal bankruptcy and/or jail.  The Federal government should seize the officers’ accounts and use that money to keep the banks afloat.

Finally, the bailout should not restore health to unwise banks; the bailout must only insure that the banks remain solvent through their orderly closure.   Bankruptcy, in a predictable, controlled manner, should be the end result for the majority of banks receiving bailout money; they should not survive in the long term.

Thank you, and again, please do not hand out money to the Executive branch without proper oversight.