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Friday, May 29, 2009

Republican Call for an Inquiry On Pelosi Claim is Rejected

As a left-wing Democrat, I am sorry that the House defeated the Republican call for an inquiry into what Congresswoman Pelosi knew and when she knew it (Republican Call for Inquiry On Pelosi Claim Is Rejected. New York Times, May 22, 2009: A15).

The more we know about who was responsible for approving, signing off on, and protesting the torture memoranda the better.

This has been a horrible period in America's life. We cannot just move forward without looking back; unless we do, we will be complicit in the torture done in our names.

Only by rejecting the actions of everyone involved and by holding them to account can we put this behind us.

We need a full investigation now of the White House leaders and the Congressional leaders who were enablers of the actions undertaken in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo.

Sent to New York Times

Sunday, May 24, 2009

U.S.Tells Banks They Need $75 billion More in Capital

Your discussion of the Bank's capital requirements suggest that they will be allowed to improve their debt equity ratios by converting government owned preferred stock into common stock. (U.S.Tells Banks They Need $75 billion More in Capital, Friday, May 8: A1, A3).

This is absurd. As Mr. Ely, quoted in your article, states: Such conversion will not add one penny to the banks' ability to pay lenders if there is a run on the bank. The accounting ratios may be improved through a stroke of the pen, but they are a fiction. In the real world, government owned preferred stock, though perhaps not privately owned preferred stock, is as good as an equity position because it is inconceivable that the government would call in that debt if the bank got into difficulty.

Let's be real: force the banks to raise the needed capital in the private markets, or with an additional infusion of government money. Only new money will really strengthen the banks' position.

Corporations taking advantage of the taxman, watchdog reports

I am not sure what outrages me more about the latest revelation by the Auditor General (Corporations taking advantage of the taxman, watchdog reports, Globe and Mail, May 13, 2009).

I am surprised that the hapless tax department felt unable to adjust its interest rate to reflect falling market rates.

But I am appalled at the failure in Corporate Citizenship exhibited by the 50 unnamed companies who took arbitrage advantage of the government. They should be named.

Sen t to Toronto Globe and Mail