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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2008, 7:58 pm

Nader’s Proposed Reforms

By Jarrett Dapier

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According to Chris Hedges, Ralph Nader foretold the financial collapse we are witnessing way back in 2000. In his most recent piece for Truthdig, Hedges writes, "Nader has come up with 10 market reforms that he says need to be implemented immediately along with any bailout. These reforms are:

1. No bailouts without conditions and reciprocity in the form of stock warrants.
2. No more lobbying for any company that is bailed out.
3. No golden parachutes or get-out-of-jail-free cards for guilty executives.
4. No bailouts without public hearings.
5. Reduce the moral hazard in U.S. mortgage markets by introducing covered bonds for the majority of mortgage products, as is done 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.
6. 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.
7. Avoid future housing bubbles by removing implicit government guarantees for new mortgages that exceed thresholds of greater than 15 to 20 times the annual fair market rent
value of the home.
8. Make the Federal Reserve a Cabinet position, so it is accountable to Congress, as well as make sure all Federal Reserve Bank presidents are appointed by the president and
answerable to Congress.
9. 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
10. Implement a securities speculation tax, starting with derivatives, to deter casino-style capitalism."

I've been reading Sirota's blog closely and he's most fond of the "bail-out package" prescribed by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Jarrett Dapier is a former assistant publisher at In These Times. Previous work for ITT includes interviews with playwright Christopher Shinn and Fugazi guitarist, Ian Mackaye. He currently works with teens at the Evanston Public Library where he runs a recycled drumming program and directs stage adaptations of young adult literature. He lives in Evanston, IL.

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