Today, if you’ll indulge my getting off the grammar topic just a bit longer, here’s a sample of the starkly higher quality of information presented to a subset of news consumers – those who read the Wall Street Journal.
The whole story is here. The nuggets I found most notable are excerpted below.
In short, banking-industry lobbyists are all over the government’s proposed $700 billion financial system bailout to assure the most favorable distribution of the dough. At the same time, they are openly lobbying to assure that defaulting homeowners in bankruptcy don’t receive any breaks. (Oh, and they want to make sure that foreign banks with exposure to the bad mortgages get some of the U.S. taxpayer money, too.)
Yup. While NBC News serves stories like the one I wrote about yesterday, this is the kind of news being served to Wall Street Journal readers.
Here are the excerpts:
* Lobbyists and financial-services executives are working deep connections within the administration to ensure as many institutions as possible benefit from a $700 billion federal mechanism to buy distressed assets, then sell them off in better times.
* They also oppose proposals by Democrats in Congress to provide mortgage reductions for homeowners facing bankruptcy. Bankers say such a move would raise rates for mortgage seekers, as banks factor in the possibility that a loan would be restructured in court.
* "How you publicly oppose loan modifications and bankruptcy law while at the same time advocating a huge taxpayer bailout is beyond me," said a lobbyist for a major bank holding company. "Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered."
* Foreign-owned institutions with U.S. mortgage-market exposure are fighting to benefit from the federal rescue.
* By Sunday, the group (the Financial Services Roundtable, a group of chief executives of the nation's most powerful banks, brokerages and insurers and a leader in the lobbying) had gained the support of Mr. Paulson for its stance that foreign-owned banks must be included in the rescue.
* The industry has gone directly to the SEC demanding a letter changing U.S. accounting rules that require banks to state the value of their assets at the market price. Banks say that without such a change, the government would pay an artificially low price for distressed assets.
* Banks and brokerages have banded together to push back against any effort by Congress to include a provision in the bill allowing judges to decrease the amount homeowners must pay on mortgages that are part of a bankruptcy proceeding.