Praise for Muolo′s Chain of Blame:
"There′s no time like the present to read this one. Talk about a whopping tale—and it happens to be true."
"Chain of Blame offer[s] instant history on what may turn out to be the worst economic disaster of our time."
—Wall Street Journal
"For the federal investigators now piecing together the history of who knew what when, Chain of Blame′s storehouse of stories provides a good place to start."
Is America a sinking ship? With the economy in the midst of crisis, the United States government has approved an unprecedented $700 billion bailout of the battered financial industry.
$700 Billion Bailout is an analysis of the controversial Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and explains in easy to understand language what the bailout bill means for individuals. The bill, described as the $700 billion bailout . . . and $110 billion in tax breaks, will include tax breaks shielding millions of taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax this year, increase FDIC insurance for bank deposits from $100,000 to $250,000, and provide support for Wall Street′s floundering financial institutions. But what does this truly mean for people on Main Street?
The book provides understandable analysis of the bill′s provisions and offers "to do" and "not to do" steps on how the bailout bill impacts individuals. Whether the plan will work, and how we can prevent this from happening again remains to be seen, but with $700 Billion Bailout Paul Muolo gives us a critical tool for deciphering perhaps the most sweeping piece of legislation since the Patriot Act.
Author’s Note The $700 Billion Bailout Bill: What Is This Monster? ix
Introduction Original Sin: The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008: The Patriot Act Meets the World of Finance 1
Chapter 1 The Big Hoist: Will the $700 Billion Bailout of the Mortgage and Credit Markets Work? (It Had Better) 11
How the $700 Billion Bailout Machine Will Work and Who Will Enforce It 14
How TARP Will Work 16
Will the Taxpayers Ever Get Their $700 Billion Back? 24
Should Fannie and Freddie Be Eliminated? 28
Chapter 2 The Three Most Important Things You Need to Know Now—Mortgages, Rates, and Housing 31
The Bailout Bill: First, the Good News 36
Call Up Your Lender and Shout, “I Want to Restructure My Mortgage!” 41
The Bad News: Getting a Mortgage Is Going to Be Much Tougher 46
A Word about Interest Rates 48
Falling Home Values 50
The Wealthy Will Not Escape Unscathed 51
The Silver Lining: Falling Home Prices Mean Bargains for Some 52
How Will We Know When Home Prices Have Stopped Falling? 53
Chapter 3 Where to Put Your Money Now (Hint: Not in a Vacation Home) 55
The Day the Flipping Stopped 58
The Contrarian Play in Vacation Homes 61
Investing in Foreclosures 62
Stocks: Is Now the Time to Get In? 63
Once You Decide to Jump In . . . 67
Safe Havens: Ginnie Mae and Treasury Bond Mutual Funds 68
A Word about Gold 70
The Safest Haven of All: CDs and Savings Accounts in Federally Insured Banks, S&Ls, and Credit Unions 70
Chapter 4 Taxes and Politics: EESA Digs a Deeper Money Hole for All of Us 73
What Tax “Bennies” Were Actually Given Away? 76
What Do All These Tax Breaks Mean for the Consumer? 81
The Last Word: Politics 83
Epilogue The Last Word: If I Ran the Regulatory Zoo 87
Excerpts from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 91
Glossary of Terms and Agencies 177
About the Author 187