Your questions on the Wall Street rescue plans

Monday, September 22, 2008 - 12:00 AM

Rep. Barney Frank answered your questions.

UPDATE (9/24): We expect Rep. Barney Frank to join us Wednesday morning at about 7 a.m. Eastern. Listen live at

UPDATE (9/23): Rep. Barney Frank will not be able to join us Tuesday. We hope to have him back soon. We'll do our best to address your questions this week...

Tomorrow morning on our show, we're going to be talking with Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the chair of the House finance committee about the Wall Street rescue plan. What questions do you have for him?

Leave a question in the mix, and tune in Sept. 23 24, 2008, at around 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on your station or online.


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Comments [11]

Sarah S.

How can the Administration demand instant action when they stonewalled House and Senate inquiries on these problems for years?

Is Congress consulting Resolution Trust auditors such as Bill Black from Missouri about lessons learned from the Savings & Loan scandal? (THAT cost taxpayers at least $400 billion.)

Chairman Cox has said he's responsible for protecting investors and maintaining orderly markets. Can he be criminally prosecuted for failure to enforce existing SEC regulations and refusal to consider offers from Congress to give him updated laws and more staff? (by the way, where IS Chairman Cox?)

Sep. 24 2008 03:41 PM
C Y Li

No doubt that the American financial debacle is so tangled up that EVERYONE is too blame: the politicians, the everyday folks who were all too happy to take on debts they can't afford, the banks, the sharks on Wall Streets. One more example is for Barney Frank:

It's all great and wonderful that Barney Frank is now a big champion of the financial rescue plan. But don't forget that, being the leftist of the left, he was also the one who advocated home ownership for the very people who could not afford to pay for it through, what else, the "SUBPRIME LENDING".

Politicians don't work for us - they work for themselves, whether Republicans or Democrats.


Sep. 24 2008 09:23 AM
Paul DuBois

I'd like to know who is going to jail.

How about this: the executive officers and directors of any company that accepts a federal bailout must agree to sign a confession of wrongdoing or incompetence.

Sep. 24 2008 07:58 AM
Brad Briggs

MR FRANK, In recent days Alan Greenspan has said until housing prices are stabilized the economy will have continued problems. Whether from the top down or the bottom up, this bailout is a taxpayer funded giveaway, so why not use the bailout to support the housing market through new loan deals that can rebuild the housing market and actually possibly get a return to the taxpayers even if it's 30 or 60 years away. Thanks.

Sep. 24 2008 07:04 AM

Why not a WPA style agency that takes that 1 trillion and builds something tangible, like bridges and roads and schools, instead of wiping out the irresponsible debt of the banks and handing them more money?? The accepted wisdom of this is that we need to save the banks to keep capital flowing, but why not cut out the middleman and put the money directly into projects that benefit the taxpayers?

Sep. 24 2008 06:54 AM
Edward Hartnett

For Congressman Frank:

1) If the danger is that credit markets will freeze up without government intervention, why shouldn't the intervention target that problem directly by entering the credit market to make prudent loans to consumers and businesses in need of credit?

2) Why not impose a retroactive tax -- say, a 50% tax with a 5 year look-back on anyone who made more than $2 million in a year from subprime loans or their derivatives?

Sep. 24 2008 06:25 AM
john baker

Isn't Brown Harriman, the largest lender of securities in America your largest political donor? Are they not under suspicion for ties to abusive short sellers? Also is there any truth to the rumor that you lobbied Chris Cox whom you worked closely with in during the Clinton administration for a change in the uptick rule? Considering your ties to Brrown Harriman can it not be construed that your efforts can be seen by some as contributing to the current situation? Especially since Rupert Murdoch the media baron accuses you of being the main reason Fannie and Freddie collapsed?

Sep. 23 2008 12:30 AM
Jim Schellentrager

Representative Frank,

1) How,when and from whom will the amount of the bailout not recovered through the sale of distressed assets be paid back?

2) As long as we are bailing out sophisticated Wall Street Investors why can an amount equal to the balance of the Social Security Trust fund as of September 30, 2008 be added to the Social Security Trust fund to bail it out and make it solvent for the balance of this century?

3) Shouldn't any company or person wishing to participate in the bailout be required to pay all past due and current Federal, State and local taxes prior to participation in the bailout?

4) Shouldn't the Treasury Secretary be fully accountable to Congress, the Judiciary and the people for all aspects of the bailout decisions?

Sep. 22 2008 09:57 PM
Todd Sullivan

Democrats have been quick to blame "deregulation" for the current crisis we are in. Yet, being in charge since of Congress since 2006, no significant attempts have been made to regulate the financial industry. In fact, Mr. Frank himself on several occasions objected to Republican efforts to reign in activity at Fannie and Freddie since 2000. The largest amount of bank deregulation legislation was signed by none other than Bill Clinton in 1994 and the repeal of Glass Steagal in 1999. In 2003 when Bush attempted to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Representative Barney Frank(D-MA) claimed of the thrifts (Fannie and Freddie) "These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis, the more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

How does he reconcile historical contradictions? Ought everyone in Congress just accept a share of the blame?

Sep. 22 2008 03:44 PM
David Merkel

1) Why not a reactive Resolution Trust Corporation-style plan, that only targets with the aftermath of insolvencies, and contains contagion, rather than a humongous proactive plan that can do almost anything?

2) With the current plan, the Treasury has little accountability to Congress or the Judiciary. Why would Congress abdicate its constitutional role as guardian of all spending by giving the Treasury "Carte blanche" over an amount that is a sizable fraction of the current budget?

3) We can only run deficits like this because of the kindness of our foreign creditors (China, OPEC) that still deign to lend to us in US dollars, and presently, at low interest rates. Won't huge bailouts like this dent their confidence that they will get paid back with US dollars with as much purchasing power as they lent, leading them to stop lending to us on such advantageous terms?

For more, see my blog piece at:

Sep. 22 2008 02:25 PM
jason billups

I would like to ask Mr. Frank if he understands that banning shorts in the financial sector, instead of just enforcing existing rules, further eliminates liquidity from the markets in a time where liquidity is desperately needed. I'd also wonder if those that instituted the ban understand that they were rooked by those with the most to gain by a ban in order to appear that they are doing something for the public good instead of what they are actually doing, further deteriorating the integrity of our already weakened financial system.

Sep. 22 2008 02:09 PM

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