Lack of transparency got us in to this mess, lets not let lack of transparency keep it messy. The government needs to immediately setup an exchange, it could be ebay.gov with more in depth description fields, for all I care. However they do it, EVERY asset the government will buy or sell as part of this buyout needs to be shown and described with the price the government is willing to pay or sell the asset for.
To keep government honest.
Not that anyone in our government would ever put their own personal self interest first and over or under pay for an asset. Nor would they ever take those assets and then sell it for less than market value in exchange for “personal considerations”.
I know it could never happen, but just to make sure it doesnt, we need to post the assets involved in the bailout and the prices paid. When the assets are sold, they need to post those prices as well
In addition, by posting the assets in an ebay like auction/sales environment, it would enable independent buyers to come in and buy the assets using private money rather than government money. The benefit of course is obvious. By adding liquidity to the process, the government could be responsible for less and sellers could get more.
This is the only way I can think of to get true transparency. Without it, i promise you that it will be IMPOSSIBLE to account for how much money was spent on the assets and how much cash was generated from the sales process and what the net cost or benefit to taxpayers is.
Without transparency, we wont have any idea how this all played out. None. Which creates the real problem of allowing it to happen again, but with the government needing the bailout.
One last note on Senator Dodd’s proposal to extract shares from companies that the government buys assets from as part of the bailout, all i can say is HELL YES. As a shareholder in the USA Treasury and USA Inc, if you want to borrow money from me or sell assets to me that you cant sell anywhere else, then I want stock/warrants or options as my vig. You got to pay to play. In the real world, if you want mezzanine financing, you pay in kind, and provide warrants. This should be no different.
if you dont like the deal, find someone else to buy the assets.
On the subject of executive compensation, if they need government bailout money, take away 100pct of exit pay and any bonuses. Let them quit if need be.
If you think you cant find someone else to take the current CEOs place,think again. No matter what number they pick for the CEOs compensation, its more than a lot of very smart people are getting paid elsewhere and those people would be more than happy to take a raise and replace the CEO who just took about his/her company
Let me put this a different way. The most powerful person in the world today is Sec Treasury Paulson. There is the very real possibility he will be replaced in January. The person replacing him will be paid a government salary of I think, no more than 400k. if they can find a replacement for him, they can find a replacement for any CEO running any company for a reasonable amount
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