Europe Should Pitch In to Help

How should you respond to the failed US rescue package? Get drunk, take a vacation or string up a few CEO’s.... Just a few of the suggestions from you our viewers this morning.

It's an unscientific survey, but I suspect reflects the predominant will on Main Street that shot down the rescue plan. I would say a good two-thirds of you who took the trouble to write thought the plan was a bad idea.


No use of taxpayers' money to help bankers stay rich! That’s the message at the heart of the rejection of the plan.

Is this a pivotal moment for US politics? Are Americans saying they no longer believe the government when it tries to panic them into a response? I guess we still haven’t found Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction – although as one e-mailer noted – perhaps they were actually in Congress all along. The US citizen appears to be flexing their muscle – and that has to be a good thing.

Bankers see rising mental illness.

David Freud, a former UBS banker now retired author, told us this morning that levels of mental illness are rising among the banking community. They’re starting to come to terms with their greatly reduced status, and some, he said, would never properly recover from the shame associated with losing their jobs and being stigmatized for bringing about the crisis. Perhaps they will have to adopt above recommendations one and two, to break open the whisky and head abroad while the dust settles over the current crisis. Now I don’t suppose there is too much sympathy outside the banking community over this issue - although it might be a good idea to keep some of these people around, just so we can take them back to the scene of the crimes to explain where the bodies are buried.

(Watch David Freud's full interview on CNBC here >>>).

So what comes next?

Thanks for all the suggestions about how policy makers should respond instead of buying the toxic debt off bank balance sheets. Among the best : instant and coordinated cuts in interest rates ; the money is directed instead in buying up real estate or directly given to mortgage holders; or the US pursues the Swedish model where the government effectively becomes the owner of the banks and they are run for the advantage of the taxpayer rather than the bankers.

Among the less serious...I’m printing this in full 'coz it made me laugh. Thanks. (from a reader who did not disclose a name)

It's time for the people of the UK to engineer a contribution to the wall street "buy in" plan as follows:

1) The Queen of England puts her crown or tiara up as collateral, so the people of the UK can borrow 250 billion (pounds) from Saudi Arabia,

2) Saudi Arabia puts their collateral of oil up to the Chinese,

3) The Chinese use as their collateral their manufacturing plants

4) But, the money will come from British pounds, into the international macro market,

5) Because of the culture and agreement between the British people and the British crown, they don't want to lose their Queen's tiara to Chinese manufacturing, because if that is melted down into product it will probably only make a small-sized something or the other, like a Mac ipod

6) The entire world needs to back their investment too, but of course it all is centrally managed on Wall Street … so pony up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which reminds me – I am bemused that the Prime Ministers of the UK and Australia should be bemoaning the fact that the US taxpayer isn’t being forced to buy up toxic bank debt! I think they just overstepped their responsibilities.

Surely they are just compounding the misunderstanding.

The rest of the world has done very well sitting back and enjoying the largesse of the US consumer. Let's face it, our pals across the Atlantic have not only guaranteed Europe’s peace for the last 60 years, their expansive consumption has fuelled the growth in our manufacturing, financial and services markets. God Bless America.

We shouldn’t be sitting on the sidelines urging the Americans to come up with solutions to this problem – we should be laying down our jackets, rolling up our sleeves, spitting on our hands and pitching in to help.

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