Ben Stein, economist, author, former presidential speechwriter, and occasional actor is angry about the current economic earthquake that has rattled U.S. and global markets and he wants everyone to know.
He's particularly peeved with the $700 billion proposed Wall Street bailout and its architect, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
In a CNN interview, Stein said Paulson should be "fired yesterday."
Paulson is a disgrace to the Republican Party and to his country, said Stein. Another target of Stein's ire is Wall Street itself.
Stein says he'd like to see President Bush on national TV "with Mr. Obama to his left and Mr. McCain to his right and say we are going to make sure that you Americans are going to stop being looted by Wall Street."
"It's a first-class disaster. The worst Treasury regulation of the economy in my lifetime. ... The effect of this on the ordinary investor and pre-retiree ... is just catastrophic for the free enterprise system."
John Gapper, the Financial Times columnist, has a simpler solution: Get Henry Paulson to give some money back.
"Mr. Paulson now declares himself shocked, shocked that structured finance was going on Wall Street but he was there at the time, and the $18.7 million bonus he received for the first half of 2006 presumably reflected it," he wrote on his FT blog.
"I wonder if, as a public gesture, Mr. Paulson might consider handing that bonus over to the Treasury’s fund and lowering the U.S. taxpayer’s bill by $18.7 million?"
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