Independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader has released a 10-point plan of economic reforms he believes will help “cool off the financial markets meltdown.” After providing background on the Nader’s history on the subject (he predicted as far back as 2000 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would fall into financial ruin and seek a bailout), the formal press release outlines the program:
Immediate Changes Required for Any Bailout
– No bailouts without conditions and reciprocity in the form of stock warrants
– No more lobbying for any company that is bailed out
– No golden parachutes and get out of jail free cards for guilty executives
– No bailouts without public hearings
Changes to Housing Market
– Reduce the moral hazard in U.S. mortgage markets by introducing covered bonds for the majority of mortgage products as they do 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.
– 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.
– Avoid future housing bubbles by removing implicit government guarantees for new mortgages that exceed thresholds of greater than 15-20 times the annual fair market rent value of the home.
Structural Changes to Financial Markets
– Make the Federal Reserve a Cabinet Position, so it is accountable to Congress, as well as making sure all Federal Reserve Bank presidents are appointed by the President and answerable to congress.
– 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 assignment.
– Implement a securities speculation tax, starting with derivatives to deter casino-style capitalism.