"Section 5 3 of the Securities Purchase Agreement - Standard Terms (the "Agreement") posted on Treasury's website on Friday, October 31, 2008 will permit Congress to make any changes it desires in the Agreement, without limitation, now or in the future. All participating institutions will be taking their chances that this Congress or future Congresses will not place onerous restrictions or obligations on them for having participated in the program. Section 5 3, headed "Amendments", states in part that "the Investor [meaning Treasury] may unilaterally amend any provision of this Agreement to the extent required to comply with any changes after the Signing Date in applicable federal statutes. "This provision grants carte blanche for this or any other Congress to change any of the terms of the Agreement, which, we understand, must be executed by all publicly traded institutions that participate in the program (agreements for non publicly traded or reporting companies have not yet been posted). So for example, if Sen. Bernie Sanders' idea to put caps on executive compensation at firms that accept Treasury investment in the firm's senior preferred stock becomes law in this Congress or future sessions of Congress, it can apply unilaterally and retroactively to all of the participants in the program. Congress could do just about anything it wanted. ...
We strongly urge Treasury to delete this provision and reassure prospective participants that they will not be subject to changes to the Agreement subsequent to the parties executing the Agreement."
"The "porkulus" bill has an executive compensation pay limit, as you know. We're limiting executive pay. Chris Dodd put in his own bill -- his own amendment -- that exempts bonuses from this limitation."
[Sen. Mel Martinez]: "What executives have done is troubling, but it's equally troubling to have government telling shareholders how much they can pay the executives."
"Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said that he is "one of the chief defenders of Obama on the Republican side" for the president's efforts to reach across the aisle. But, said Inhofe, "as I was listening to him make those statements I thought, is this still America? Do we really tell people how to run [a business], and who to pay and how much to pay?" ...
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) agreed: "If we do such a good job of running the federal government, what business do we have telling them how to run the banks?""
"I think the best thing that could probably happen to General Motors, in my view, is they go into Chapter 11, they reorganize, they renegotiate their -- the union management contracts and come out of it a stronger, better, leaner and more competitive automotive industry."
"The giant stimulus package that cleared Congress Friday includes a last-minute addition that restricts bonuses for top earners at firms receiving federal cash -- including those that already received it -- more severely than the Obama administration's previous pay limits.
The most stringent pay restriction bars any company receiving funds from paying top earners bonuses equal to more than one-third of their total annual compensation. That could severely crimp pay packages at big banks, where top officials commonly get relatively modest salaries but often huge bonuses."
"Some of the anger is now targeting Capitol Hill, and here's why: Apparently, when senators debated the stimulus package, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd -- he created a loophole that allowed AIG to give out these bonuses. "
Section 5 3 of the TARP bill. Chris Dodd's amendment. The free market. Am AIG purchase would be communism. Are the police department communist? Football without rules analogy. Anarchy in the marketplace. Adam Smith defended the law that cotton could not be turned into cloth in America. Barter market. Employee Free Choice Act.
"Men are more sociable than women when it comes to tolerating members of their own sex, according to a study published this month in Psychological Science. ... Psychologist Joyce Benenson of Emmanuel College in Boston and colleagues at Harvard University and the University of Quebec tested the common notion that women are the more "sociable" sex. In a survey of 60 college students with same-sex roommates, they found that twice as many men as women were "satisfied" with their roommates."
"The book is centered on the life of Joseph Priestley, the 18th-century British polymath who most people know as the discoverer of oxygen, though the story of that "discovery" is a very complicated one. What drew me to Priestley originally is another, less contested (and much less recognized) discovery: he was the first person to realize that plants were creating oxygen, in 1771. So in a way Priestley lies at the very beginning of the ecosystems view of the world: the air we breathe is not some inevitable fact of life on earth, but something manufactured as part of a wider system by other organisms on the planet. But Priestley turns out to be bound up with the American Founding Fathers in all sorts of fascinating ways: he was best friends with Franklin for the last ten years or so that Franklin lived in London, and his writings on religion -- Priestley also helped establish the first Unitarian Church in England -- had the single most dramatic impact on Thomas Jefferson's eclectic Christianity. Priestley's radicalism ends up provoking the Birmingham Riots of 1791, which ultimately drive him to emigrate to America, where he becomes a central figure in the Alien and Sedition Acts, and the falling out -- and ultimate reconciliation -- between John Adams and Jefferson.
In a real sense, Priestley was a kind of lost Founding Father: a hugely important figure to Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson who is barely mentioned today in most accounts of the revolutionary generation. To give you some sense of his role: in the final correspondence between Adams and Jefferson, starting in 1812, Priestley is mentioned 52 times, while Franklin is mentioned five times, and Washington only three. And when you see the Founders through the lens of Priestley's life, it changes the way we think about the values of the revolutionary generation. (For one, it makes it clear how thoroughly integrated science was with their political worldviews.) So this is, in a sense, my version of the Founding Fathers genre: a Long Zoom history of that period, with chemistry, thermodynamics, information theory, neuroscience, and cultural history onstage along with the usual Great Men."