regarding how funds have been used. The Federal Reserve and Congress did not require specific reporting, and banks are refusing to make public how they are using funds.
Regulation, transparency, accountability, and oversight must be restored as pre-conditions for the issuance of the second $350 billion of bailout funds.
We need to strengthen financial regulation so that we all play by the same rules. We need full reporting and accountability, transparency, and disclosure on how taxpayer funds are being spent.
We need to monitor compliance with clearly defined goals and obligations.
Firms receiving funds must disclose where all the money is going and not use it for acquisitions or executive bonuses.
3. Help for those that need help the most
We need clearer priorities and TARGETED INVESTMENT so that the people in the most need get help. The Economic Recovery Plan must include TARGETED INVESTMENTS that require institutions to restructure loans and not repossess homes. We need at least a one-year moratorium on all foreclosures, as was done in the 1930’s.
The Economic Recovery Plan must make it easier for distressed families and businesses to get a “second chance” under new bankruptcy protections. It must empower and enable bankruptcy judges to restructure and modify mortgages so families can keep their homes.
4. Lower student loan interest rate to 1%
The Federal Reserve lowered loan rates for banks to1%. Students need even greater relief to continue and complete their college educations and not be saddled for life with student loan payments (some now with interest rates as high as 20%). If banks can get loans at 1%, students should too.
5. Unfreeze the credit markets
The Economic Recovery Plan must require financial institutions to “unfreeze the credit markets” and expand their lending, credit, and financing to small and medium size businesses to enable them to finance their operations or finance deals to expand their businesses through acquisitions.
6. Roll back credit card interest charges and fees
Thirty-six million families are maxed out or about to be maxed out on credit cards which often charge usurious interest rates and fees. The government is putting money into credit card companies to stabilize them. Those companies must be required to roll back outrageous fees and charges, and loosen time periods for payments. (England now has ruled that card customers will have 60 days to pay, not 30.)
7. Strengthen community lending institutions
Strengthen and encourage not for profit credit unions and community banks to engage in targeted lending. Assist cooperatives and encourage barter and exchange programs so that people in need can help each other.
8. Commit to Community Job Programs, infrastructure construction, and a green economy
To stem the escalating loss of jobs–over 1 million in the past two months–an Economic Recovery Plan should include “an immediate extension of unemployment benefits, a greater investment in summer jobs for at-risk youth, job training for disadvantaged workers, and a workforce development initiative to train and employ minority workers in the growing green jobs industry.” (National Urban League)
We need to employ people at the community level and on all levels where cutbacks