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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 27, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Wall Street financial crisis

WaMu failure

Stockholders are doomed

So Seattle-staple Washington Mutual is gone and the stockholders will get nothing [“End of WaMu,” Times, page one, Sept. 27]. I can only hope that every penny of former CEO Kerry Killinger’s entire $23,000,000 severance package was paid in WaMu stock so that he’ll be feeling the pinch, just like the rest of us.

— Carol Lake, Kirkland

Here’s a solution

I would like to recommend a solution to the current financial crisis:

The government should not give the banks money. Banks should support the homeowner instead.

The government should provide an option to homeowners to sell their houses to the government. This will be available to buyers who have purchased their home within the last five years. The government would take over ownership by paying off the loan at “current loan value” — not “market value.”

The owner would lose all equity while the government would rent the house to the current resident under an interest-only payment on the loan value refinanced to about 30 years plus escrow.

Let’s say the interest on this loan is 2 percent. The bank, in turn, would oversee the receipt of rent pro bono. The government would clear bad loans from the books of the participating banks while receiving interest as owner of the loan.

The renter would then have the first chance to buy the loan from the government by seeking financing of a loan to purchase the property at “market value” or “current loan value” (whichever is greater) at a future date when they are again on solid financial footing.

— Lynn Arnold, Seattle

It’s all about the mortgages

The big panic on Wall Street has been caused primarily by the failures in the mortgage market. There are currently 1.2 million homes in foreclosure in the U.S. If we gave every homeowner facing foreclosure $100,000 to help make payments, it would cost $120 billion — much less than the $700 billion bailout proposal.

It would be cheaper to provide assistance to the people at the bottom end of the problem, wouldn’t it? Maybe it would be better to assist homeowners with mortgage payments until they can refinance or sell.

Wouldn’t that help turn all of this “bad paper” into “good paper”?

— Jim Peterson, Granite Falls

The economy is more important

Our taxpayer dollars are paying the salary of each and every member of Congress. Their job is to be in Washington, D.C., doing what they are paid to do, especially during a time of crisis [“Candidates locked in debate over debate,” page one, Sept. 25]. As senators, both McCain and Obama have that responsibility to return to Congress and work the problem.

This is not a question of handling more than one situation at a time; it is the necessity to have the intelligence to prioritize situations and act for the good of this country.

A debate is self-serving and can be rescheduled. The fact that the Debate Commission won’t reschedule makes a statement about their inflexibility.

We are not talking about rescheduling so candidates can take a vacation, we are talking about the economy of the United States!

Get to work Congress and spend my money responsibly.

— Roberta Tarr, Clinton

Comments | More in Economy

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