How should Barack Obama handle the economy?
1. There should be an automatic suspension of any pending foreclosure actions.
2. An incentive program needs to be devised to encourage mortgage-holders to work out existing mortgage contracts. Businesses will best respond to [tax or other] incentives, instead of a lump-sum bailout.
3. A similar incentives package should be offered to banks to [encourage] loaning money into the credit system, but only for credit-worthy borrowers.
4.The mark-to-market rules which force asset-holders to value paper assets and contracts based on highly illiquid markets needs to be carefully re-evaluated. This was, I believe, the biggest cause of the rapid devaluations we saw on Wall Street in recent months.
5. Americans everywhere should be required to participate in a nationwide program created and marketed in a partnership between government and the private sector which provides adequate financial education to all. This is needed as we move away from traditional retirement plans, which were fixed-benefit plans, to fixed-contribution plans which give no guarantee of future values.
Everyone needs to have a good grounding in financial-planning fundamentals, insurance, borrowing, personal credit/debt management, and some knowledge of investing, to take care of themselves and properly plan for retirement. Educated people are less likely to be ripped off by stock-market hucksters and get-rich-quick con artists.They will also have a better understanding of what they can and cannot afford, thereby preventing major systemic bailouts in the short- to intermediate-term - and if they teach their children, the long term as well!
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