On air: Are we giving away too much of ourselves?

There are reasons why we’re asking this question.

1. The banking system. At the moment, we give the bank money, it invests it (some would say gambles it) on the stock market and hopefully make us and them money. Though clearly that’s not going to plan at the moment. Do you we handover too much control over what’s done with our money? Or is it just the best way to make the most of it?

2. Personal data that we give to companies. Whether getting a credit card, buying something online, using a search engine or signing up to a website, are we too quick to handover personal information? Do we have a right to be angry about how that information is used? Is it fair that we have to give our personal info to use many services?

The flip-side is companies allowing our online activity to be monitored. This is a story about Skype and China from today.

3. Personal data we give to governments. Famously the UK government lost 2 CDs with half the population’s personal details on them. But should they even have all that information? On WHYS we’ve discussed ID cards, DNA databases and finger-printing at airports for security.

Is there a problem with handing over this information if it serves us all? Or do you object to how much we’re expected to provide?

91 Responses to “On air: Are we giving away too much of ourselves?”

  1. October 3, 2008 at 14:23

    The dividend lovers wage wars in the name of democracy & free speech, yet this New World Order utopian systems is from far democratic where forums to deliberates policies. The Bankers, Portfolio Managers, NGOs , Board of Directors & dividends lovers are the unelected new public officials where utopians ideologies are impose in the name of freedump. Our governments have fail in their duties to represents the majorities of their constituencies but instead put forward small interest group. Dividend lovers are the true tyrants of this New World Order immorality.

    May God bless this New World order & its Financial Systems,

    In only I trust

    Ex-Gatekeeper of the true Lost Free World

  2. 2 Jessica in NYC
    October 3, 2008 at 14:24

    Yes!!! Everything we buy, sell, read, watch, etc is of value to someone. Our personal information is shared with countless companies that we did not intend or give permission to have. It has never been in our history so easy to steal people’s identity with the smallest amount of information.

    As a test, I once opened a bank account and misspelled as JessEKa, of course the bank office did not notice they were busy cashing my check. I used that account for one month 8 years ago. Despite asking NOT to be placed on any mail list and to not have my information shared to this day I still get junk mail offers for a Jesseka.

  3. 3 steve
    October 3, 2008 at 14:26

    It’s going to get worse. There are places in the US, where people who get arrested for crimes (not even convicted) have to give DNA samples. This means a completely innocent person might have to give a DNA sample.

    The banking system has always been as described above. You do that in return for the interest they pay you. Insurance companies work the same. they invest the premiums you pay. An insurance company’s real job is to make money with the premiums, and not actually insure. They dont’ like having to pay out.

  4. 4 steve
    October 3, 2008 at 14:28

    @ Jessica

    How would the bank now know that’s how you spell your name? You made the mistake. some people stell their names in very weird ways. They cannot possibly know.

  5. 5 Kelsie in Houston
    October 3, 2008 at 14:32

    The collection of some personal data is surely necessary in the digitized world we live in, but should be done reasonably and with well-defined limits on not only what can be collected (which should also be minimized as far as possible) but also on where such material can be transmitted and how. Legislation to regulate or rein in the rampant “farming out” of personal data between corporations should be considered if the entities themselves will not cooperate with consumer requests and lobbies for the privacy of their information. The recent rash of data storage device losses in the United Kingdom is also a definite cause for alarm…

  6. 6 Brett
    October 3, 2008 at 14:33

    Don’t forget social networking sites… Many people load up tons of information about themselves without thinking about who may have access to it.

  7. 7 Roy, Washington DC
    October 3, 2008 at 14:36

    It’s not like you absolutely have to give away your personal information most of the time. I have refused on more than one occasion to give a company my SSN. When a retail outlet asks for my phone number, I usually give them a fake one. Companies ask for too much information, sure, but we are all too willing to give it to them.

    (On giving fake phone numbers — I give 555-#### numbers, and more often than not the employee doesn’t seem to notice.)

  8. 8 Luz Ma from Mexico
    October 3, 2008 at 14:48

    Hi everyone!
    I would love to comment in this topic, but I have tons of work to do, so I don´t have much time 😦 Precisely I am doing research for my job in this matter (transparency and access to information vs. right to privacy).

    So, I only want to ask you two simple questions, to know which countries have more regulations about this matter and look in that direction for my legal research…

    How easy is the process to get a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate from the Civil Registry in your country? Do you need to state your interest for such document if your name does not appear in the act?

    Here in Mexico ANY person can go to the Civil Registry and ask for a copy of the birth, marriage or death certificate of ANY person. Even in some states, you can print them in an “ATM style” machine or ask for them via internet. In my opinion this is risky.

    Sorry if I went a little off-topic. Have a nice weekend… see you at the blank!

  9. 9 Robert
    October 3, 2008 at 14:54

    I don’t see there being any difference between item 2 and 3. You should only have to give out the most basic information required to be delivered the service you want, regardless of it being a company or a government.

  10. October 3, 2008 at 14:56

    Didn’t it ever occure to you that we, ourselfs, are to blame. Its societies way, we obey and take everything for granted. It is still your own choice to give your personal information away, for example on websites, marketing companies etc.

    And for banks goes that it always has been this way, as described in the above posts. But we never thought about it, till something goes wrong.

    The times we seem to really worry about “personal” information is if its being used incorrect (incorrect by your own personal point of view) or if someone has a check up by our authorities and have to give DNA. Or when there is threat.

    If you have noting to hide, you have nothing too worry about.

    And I think its too late already to turn back time. Its only getting worse ( if worse is the word you want to use, could be “good” as well in relation to safety)

    The choice is yours to give away yourselfs, the choice is yours to make explicit agreements with companies to only use your personal information for themselfs and if a company can’t hold to that, well choose not to get involved.

  11. October 3, 2008 at 15:01

    Blogpost: LuzMa
    “How easy is the process to get a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate from the Civil Registry in your country? Do you need to state your interest for such document if your name does not appear in the act?”

    In the Netherlands only the person himself can get a copy of birth and marriage. We have to identify ourselfs before we can request anything. These certificates won’t be sent to you by post either, you only can collect them personally. Only in special cases, while living abroad for example something will be sent but just after a very strickt procedure to identify the person of request.

  12. 12 Roy, Washington DC
    October 3, 2008 at 15:11

    @ Luz Ma

    I had to get a copy of my birth certificate a few years ago when I applied for my passport. I remember having to fax a copy of my ID to the company that handled this, so no, you can’t just get anyone’s records here.

  13. 13 1430a
    October 3, 2008 at 15:22

    hello everyone,

    Well I think that in this fast flowing world we tend to give so much away without ever realizing that we have done it.If you see : We give all our personal informations to join a social networking website,to be a member of a blogging website etc.So of course we are giving away too much not just to the government and companies but to many other organizations.
    But i don’t understand the danger in giving away(until the website is fake),because usually our privacy is protected and thats why we trust them.
    But i don’t disagree to the point that we give away too much:From mobile number to criminal records,everything is usually given away and there might be a slight chance of a fraud but if we can move on with care and precaution these problems will not bug us.

    Thank you

  14. 14 Pangolin-California
    October 3, 2008 at 15:24

    Privacy is a myth in industrialized countries anymore. The reason I post as Pangolin is because I once typed my name and town into Google and was able to get a satellite picture of my truck. Somebody who is willing to spend the money can find out any information about you that ever existed on an electronic database.

    The only reason you have privacy is that your tiny sins and pleasures are too mundane to notice.

  15. 15 Atsu
    October 3, 2008 at 15:41

    Hi Ros,
    Long time. Hope u are ok together with everyone.
    Even though we all like to “keep ourselves”, we have no choice but to give away ourselves in this day and age. Globalisation, Population increase, Crime, technological advancement and convinience considerations leave us with very little options.
    Consequently, we must ensure that we are vigilant and careful enough on those who we “give oursleves to’. Governemnts and ther institutions must be in the hands of competent, serious and clean people- this is our only hope.

    Accra, Ghana.

  16. 16 Frank
    October 3, 2008 at 15:48

    Hell yes, we tell too much about ourselves. Being forced to give finger/thumb print for a California drivers license, or having to give a finger print to a bank to be able to cash a check at a bank we don’t have an account in because we want the cash rather than run it through our own bank. It is clearly an invasion of our privacy. Why people don’t recognize that my finger print is my personal property and requiring it is an invasion of my right to privacy, the same goes for my social security number, or my date of birth, or my mother’s maiden name. The social security act was alleged to state that the social security number was never to be used as an identification system for general use. This was because many of the Christians at that time felt it was the infamous (666) mark of the beast that the Bible spoke of. Only it is not a world wide system of identification (yet?) as far as I know.

    Frank Drago
    Huntsville, Al

  17. 17 John in Salem
    October 3, 2008 at 15:55

    There are people out there who live outside the system and never give true personal information on themselves to anyone. They’re called “the homeless”.
    The rest of us have to deal with it because that’s the way it is.

  18. October 3, 2008 at 16:08

    Yes, we are giving away too much of ourselves. Really, virtual world make more vulnerable and sensitize in one hand and in other hand no doubt it is the greatest achievement for us. But it all depends upon uses of it.

    We are living in the open society world and ICT make our life more closer day after day. That’s without our desire we have to ready to face any challenges comes because of this. Or we just sit isolated life from all this things. These are the only two options we have.

  19. 19 Jessica in NYC
    October 3, 2008 at 16:09

    @ Roy
    I definitely do that.

    @ Steve,
    “How would the bank now know that’s how you spell your name? You made the mistake. some people stell their names in very weird ways. They cannot possibly know.”

    I misspelled my name on purpose it was a school project. They bank should have noticed, because I had to show ID and a credit card to open the account. Plus the check they were cashing was from another bank with my correct spelling. Make sense?

  20. 20 steve
    October 3, 2008 at 16:13

    @ Jessica

    You still opened the account spelling your name incorrectly.

  21. 21 Roy, Washington DC
    October 3, 2008 at 16:30

    @ steve

    The point isn’t whether or not she spelled her name correctly. The point is that she can prove she’s getting junk mail because of that account.

  22. October 3, 2008 at 16:32

    The dream of every security department in the world is to have minute details about everyone so that they can be easily tracked. Maybe one day there will be a law obliging people to carry transmitting chips in their bodies so that they can be monitored wherever they go.

    There is nothing wrong with each state having basic information about its citizens. But this shouldn’t go as far as having every details about them, especially those concerning their private lives. Being monitored and documented continuously isn’t a funny business. This gives one the feeling of being like a prisoner granted to be outside but tagged with a transmitting bracelet.

  23. 23 Jessica in NYC
    October 3, 2008 at 16:33

    @ Steve

    Yes, but the misspelling of my name is not the point. It was done deliberately to see if privacy regulations where broken. I would need to have a way to trace the “line”.

  24. 24 steve
    October 3, 2008 at 16:33

    @ Roy

    That’s amazing someone staying at the same address for 8 years these days.. I knew that was her point, but I’ve never experienced anything like that from starting up an account. Which bank was that? My bank doesn’t even like to do mailings, it costs them money, so they want to do everything in a paperless manner.

  25. 25 Jessica in NYC
    October 3, 2008 at 16:41

    @ Roy

    Thanks, just saw your post after I refreshed.

    At the time, I also worked at a bank, so I knew the [lines] we gave to people about who the bank values and protects customer’s privacy. The bank deliberately broke privacy laws by selling my information. Furthermore, I made one purchase with that account for an Asthma inhaler, which I don’t have. Guess how much medical [stuff] I get?

  26. October 3, 2008 at 16:55

    @ All.
    Countries need to regulate stringent laws obligating companies to protect the privacy rights of their costumers. Too many personal details of clients are left vulnerable for hackers and miscreants to fish on.

  27. October 3, 2008 at 17:00

    The internet is one big network where we exchanged our personal details quite often. For example, all bloggers have access to my email address. If this address gets in the wrong hands and the person manages to hack in my inbox, several personal details could be exposed and use for dubious reasons.

  28. October 3, 2008 at 17:03

    The problem is not that information is flowing. The problem is people need to be aware of what information is out there about them and what they are sharing. Unconscious sharing of information is bad, aware and conscious actions are not.

  29. 29 archibald in oregon
    October 3, 2008 at 17:03

    Yes, we give it all away, mostly willingly, (ie. facebook and myspace to name two), certainly a valuable networking tool, but at what cost to your privacy. Data mining at its finest, developed by former gov’t employees or “consultants” as they like to say. Who ,where, what ,why, when and how, plus all your friends and the ones you have in common and etc………. check out “the truth about facebook” on youtube, then apply that model to other computer systems designed to manage people and their money.
    The fact that you have to give a thumb print to cash a check at most banks and if it is not your bank, but the check is drawn there you still have to pay a fee is extortion on both a financial and personal front……
    The irony is that if you do not surrender your privacy you are mostly unable to function in the mainstream, even though gov’t officials always rail against the unjust infringements upon the rights of “private” citizens.
    Orwells book 1984 was originally titled 1948, but the publishers balked, citing it was too near in the future and would potentially scare. Half a century later we are not too far away from that bleak vision……..

  30. 30 Lauren
    October 3, 2008 at 17:22

    At this point, it’s sort of a never-ending cycle. Because of identity theft (which started as a result of people providing info without verifying who they were giving it to), legit companies are required to verify a persons identity. While the actual law states that they need to have enough info to make a reasonable assumption that the person applying for the service is who they say they are, different companies have risk management/security departments that determine their definition of “reasonable”.

    While I understand people getting upset at having to provide finger prints for ID’s, SSN’s for accounts, having worked in the banking industry, I had to deal with victims of ID theft on a daily basis. While the victims always thanked me for calling to insure they applied for the account and requesting verification, the others would get really upset when I asked for verification. I have to wonder how many of you would change your tune if someone where using your info and getting away with it on account of companies not asking for addition information.

  31. 31 Bob in Queensland
    October 3, 2008 at 17:26

    Yes. Far too much information is being stored about us. But we’re not giving it away…it’s being taken.

  32. 32 Jessica in NYC
    October 3, 2008 at 17:34

    @ Bob

    Exactly. Look at the recent court decision Viacom vs Youtube. The court ruled viacom had a “right” to not just the people who viewed their copy righted material on youtube, but ALL the records of the material we watched not CP by viacom, demographic information, and contact info. What an invasion of privacy! So now any video I forward to others is a matter of viacom marketing data.

  33. October 3, 2008 at 17:59

    Have to agree with Bob – they take rather than we give.

    That is where government should protect the individual rather than anything else.

    Another reason not to agree with the UK – or anyone else’s, ID cards etc. That information is way too open for exploitation – and not only be monopolies, by the government themselves.

  34. 34 Yogesh, Ayelsbury, UK
    October 3, 2008 at 18:15

    Banks and governments do have the option to stop criminals from misusing our stolen personal and card details simply by making signature and PIN systems reliable.

  35. 35 Robert
    October 3, 2008 at 18:15

    We have failed to see that in the last 15 years the economy has changed from being driven by materials and resources, to one driven by information. The more information a body has the more power and wealth it can yield. Instead of cash, websites and services want information on you. Then they trade you for others for the income of the company.

  36. 36 Yogesh
    October 3, 2008 at 18:17

    Banks and government do have option to stop criminals from misusing our stolen personal and card details simply by making signature and PIN systems reliable as proposed.

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Unless banks make signature and PIN systems reliable as shown on website http://www.xwave.co.uk they will not deter true fraudsters and those who fake fraud crimes deliberately to make easy money.

    Report on following site shows that banks do not seem to realise that faking fraud crimes to make easy money is a big business and hence fraud crimes are growing and are getting more complex to solve http://www.precisionmarketing.co.uk/Articles/257803/Barclays+hit+by+phishing+scam+.html

    Please do not hesitae to contact us if you need further information on proposed honesty restoring system which will deter virtually all fraud crimes with minimal effort, cost and delay.

    Thank you.


  37. 37 Denise
    October 3, 2008 at 18:18


    We are willingly creating a fascist state by allowing all of our personal information to be shared for so-called “convenience” sake. Convenience is the by-word for things such as using cars, bottle water, plastic bags, etc. All of which are setting our environment and us on a downward spiral.

    San Francisco

  38. 38 Denise, San Francisco
    October 3, 2008 at 18:20

    We are willingly creating a fascist state by allowing all of our personal information to be shared for so-called “convenience” sake. Convenience is the by-word for things such as using cars, bottle water, plastic bags, etc. All of which are setting our environment and us on a downward spiral.

  39. 39 kpellyhezekiah
    October 3, 2008 at 18:27

    If one doesn’t have anything to hide or fear I don’t see how basic information about oneself will tend to become a threat to your security and/or safety.

  40. 40 David
    October 3, 2008 at 18:30

    Good on you Bob “Yes. Far too much information is being stored about us. But we’re not giving it away…it’s being taken”

    Do not worry about your identity because it is already out there. The monsters have it without your permission, and you can do nothing about it.

  41. 41 Denise
    October 3, 2008 at 18:31

    Again Socialism for the rich and nothing for the rest of we taxpayers.

    San Francisco

  42. 42 Kay
    October 3, 2008 at 18:32

    I’m quite disappointed that the House just passed the “Bailout”. I feel this bill is unnecessary; is badly written; will not be effective in returning the economy to health; and is antithetical to free market principles.

    Los Angeles, CA

  43. 43 CarrieAnne
    October 3, 2008 at 18:33

    I am not happy about this bailout at all. I live in Ohio, a state that has been decimated by our failing economy. The foreclosure crisis has affected so many people in this area. I do not understand why we the people of this country have to foot the bill for the criminals in the banking and investment industries, with no real plan for criminal investigation taking place.
    City of Oberlin

  44. 44 kpellyhezekiah
    October 3, 2008 at 18:34

    talking about security and the banks/stock exchange and all the global upheavals we are going through now please let nobody think that if the names and backgrounds of the personalities at the forefront of this problem were known it would have helped in preventing it. It takes only a second for a good man to become corrupt, greedy and wicked.

  45. 45 Erik
    October 3, 2008 at 18:34

    Where were all the people that are so worried about spending this amount of money when the highly inflated $650 billion US defense budget was passed with hardly any mention in the press or in washington?

    San Francisco, USA

  46. 46 Edward Craig
    October 3, 2008 at 18:35

    We should not have deregulated banks. Having done so, those banks who invested unwisely ought to be allowed to fail. We needs some of the deadwood clearcut.

  47. 47 Scott
    October 3, 2008 at 18:35

    This BAILOUT is simply outrageous.

    There’s always piles of money to make War or benefit the very-very Rich, while a large portion of our people have no healthcare and our public schools are in shambles.

    Alameda, California

  48. 48 Tom D Ford
    October 3, 2008 at 18:36

    “WHYS: Are we giving away too much of ourselves?”

    The most important information in the world today that has to be kept out of the hands of right-wing religious fundamentalists is the US Nuclear Launch codes AKA “the Football” and I am referring to keeping those out of the hands of the religious wacko Sarah Palin.

  49. 49 Will
    October 3, 2008 at 18:36

    I am against this bail out of the greed and avarice of Wall Street.
    There is now $700 billion given to bureaucrats and banks without almost any oversight, or oversight by those that actually caused this train wreck. Congress won’t come bail me out if I get stupid with my credit cards, why should those with these multimillion dollar ‘golden parachutes’ get this treatment?


  50. 50 Scott (M)
    October 3, 2008 at 18:36

    What is amazing—with all the information that we have access too, it seems as though the collective intelligence has not been changed (much). Things are just different. The Internet at the fingertips of many and many are still uninformed. Marketers with more access to the whims and desires of the world and they still have a shot in the dark at success. The exceptional creative talent of the individual is hard to replace with simple access to more information.

    Even with global fashion—everyone is now fashionable. Every home is made over. Every kitchen is gourmet. Every antique has been valued. Everyone has been made, somewhat more fashionably, the same.

  51. 51 Shane
    October 3, 2008 at 18:37

    Our local congressman, Peter DeFazio voted against this bill to bail out Wall Street and I agree.
    We need to create a new market power that is based on the people of America, sustainable development, education, and healthy growth rather than the mass unregulated capitalism of our current past. This bail-out is just a confirmation of the power of Wall Street and not the power of the people of the United States.

    Eugene, Oregon

  52. 52 Alex
    October 3, 2008 at 18:38

    Re: Bailout vote — Today marks the date of death for America’s Sense of Outrage. It had been long suffering, and on a painful, 8-year-long deathbed, coinciding with the Bush administration. “Outrage” leaves behind 300 million sons and daughters, and billions of cousins. Privately-held wakes are encouraged.

  53. 53 Bob
    October 3, 2008 at 18:38

    I am not crazy about the bill but we don’t really have much choice. There are two things effecting g the Seattle area, the Boeing Machinists strike going into its four week tomorrow and credit tightening up.
    Lynnwood WA USA

  54. 54 ken
    October 3, 2008 at 18:39

    A law should be enacted requiring all institutions to reveal to those who they have information on, to reveal annualy the type and uses of the information on these individuals. Exemptions would be medical and police records.

  55. 55 Cavan
    October 3, 2008 at 18:40

    So where will the hammer and sickle be placed? Above or below the US presidential Seal?

    Cavan from tobago

  56. 56 Kim
    October 3, 2008 at 18:42

    I hate this bailout. Just a parting gift from GBush. Palin insults the everday working class with her touts to JoeSix Pack, MCCain insults us with his political pick he cares not for america but his obsession to be king for a day. What about the pork in the bill no one details that. Kim of ohio

  57. 57 Jay
    October 3, 2008 at 18:43

    We have just bought a $700B pig in a poke. Now that the bailout has been passed, we still don’t know what securities will be purchased, how it will be done, or even if the banks will sell them. An unconscionable fraud has been perpetrated on the American public. Now our government will push forward in setting the stage for the next (and worse) crisis.

  58. 58 Dan
    October 3, 2008 at 18:43

    This is Dan in Oregon. Welcome to the United caSinos of America. This bailout rewards the very people and institutions that just ripped off main street America, and guarantees that there will be more ripoffs in the future. Prudent people are the real losers: the lesson is “Be a Gambler”, because the odds for hard working, saving people just got worse.

    thank you for listening

  59. 59 Greg
    October 3, 2008 at 18:44

    What happens if we wake up on Monday morning and Wall Street gets a bug up their xxx and decides to sell off? Don’t discount this.

  60. 60 Tom D Ford
    October 3, 2008 at 18:45

    Ros, one of your guests talked about information being gathered to prevent crime and catch criminals but in reality the greatest crimes are committed legislatively, and this “bailout” is due to the US Conservative Republicans De-Regulating and their subsequent theft from taxpayers.

    Conservative Republicans just got away with one of the biggest financial crimes in history!

    We in the USA should punish Conservative Republicans at the polls, throw the bums out and drive a wooden stake in the heart of the monster “Conservatism” so that it can never rise again to hurt mankind.

  61. 61 William
    October 3, 2008 at 18:46

    Another example of we average Americans paying out of pocket for mismanagement… both governmental and corporate. And we bail out those who don’t seem to be hurting for money.

  62. 62 Martin
    October 3, 2008 at 18:47

    WHY does the American public think that this $700bn is all about funding more champagne and fast cars for corrupt bankers, rather than emergency heart surgery for the real economy?

    Martin, Amsterdam

  63. October 3, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Bailout,

    I don’t see how a country who suffers from a negative saving rate is going to help itself by bailing out the credit compnaies that allow this enviornment to exist.

  64. 64 DO
    October 3, 2008 at 18:48

    Why not secure 700 billion dollars for wall street? We will never be able to pay back the debt we have in the U.S. anyway. Let’s make it 2 trillion dollars.
    Why not? In a few decades from now, our national budget go for nothing except paying back the interest anyhow.

  65. 65 Syed Hasan Turab
    October 3, 2008 at 18:51

    Govt belongs to Citizen;s & Democracy allow majority to rule why not US Govt conduct a refrendam on bailout issue. This bailout bill is denying the Democracy by way of supporting the minority intrest,
    As far as Banking business is concerned it depend on public trust, in any business only two results are possible, profit or loss. Gambling is a bad habit & not allowed in any religious & social society, we trust on banks & bank lost our deposit’s in gambling, this is a damage to trust may be considered crime.
    During this fast communication time personal data need protection & public trust on public & private sector or atleast on Govt.
    Why not we redfine TRUST ACT in accordance to society requirement’s.

  66. 66 Jeff
    October 3, 2008 at 18:52


    I can easily understand why the approval ratings for the Congress are as low as they are. I can’t believe that they couldn’t work on resolving a financial crisis, that’s been compared in scope to the Great Depression, without taking the opportunity to add partisan pork spending on top of an already astronomic sum of money. This is definitely not their shining hour even if this does help to resolve the situation.



    Cleveland Heights, Ohio

  67. 67 Solomon
    October 3, 2008 at 18:53

    There is a corrupted Congress that passed a very dirty remedy for very sick and corrupted cancerous mafia like organization.
    It is the liberal democratic Congress that had block every intent to put an end to the corruption of the biggest financial housing institutions, F. Mae and F. Mac. It is congressman Barney Frank the king snake of the corruption in Washington that together with Nancy Pelosi hade destroyed the dream of the American people. It is the policies of Harry Reid and Christopher Dodd, Chuck Schumer that have put the the USA in a very economic danger.

    Here is a nation that is turning into socialism thanks to the corrupted policies of a leftist US Congress,. Here are the dirty politicians preparing the way for the so called hero and savior Obama. Here is a corrupted Congress preparing the way for the worst liberal politician in history. The nation will go into obscurity if Obama and the liberals from hell will take full control of this county.

    May God help us all.

    Salt Lake City, Utah

  68. 68 Jesse
    October 3, 2008 at 18:54

    It is good to know that the CEOs of the companies that caused our economic downturn will not be losing anything, while the victims of their greedy predator style business have not only lost their homes and jobs, but are now giving the rest of their money to keep these companies in business.
    If our government really felt that the working class is the backbone of America, they would be coming to the aid of “joe sixpack,” not multimillionaire CEOs. It really shows how out of touch politicians are with main street, and that their true loyalty is to Wall street.

    Haven, Kansas

  69. 69 Tom D Ford
    October 3, 2008 at 18:54

    Any time someone tells you its “complex” she is lying to you.

    This is not at all complex, it was De-Regulating that caused this.

  70. 70 Matt
    October 3, 2008 at 18:54

    I am very dissapointed that this bill passed. It leads me to believe that Wallstreet has way too much influence in our government. For now it will keep big business afloat and in the long run it will bankrupt our government.

    Powhatan, VA USA

  71. 71 Jeri
    October 3, 2008 at 18:55

    According to SFGate article http://www.sfgate.com
    by Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau
    billions of dollars in earmarks were quietly inserted in the bailout bill.

    As a American taxpayer this is just one more reason that I’m so

    …Senators quietly tucked a number of earmarks into the tax package of the 451-page bill that was passed Wednesday night and is expected to be put to a vote in the House today: a $2 million tax benefit for makers of wooden arrows for children; a $100 million tax break to benefit auto racetrack owners; $192 million in rebates on excise taxes for the Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum industry; $148 million in tax relief for U.S. wool fabric producers; and a $49 million tax benefit for fishermen and other plaintiffs who sued over the 1989 tanker Exxon Valdez spill.


  72. 72 Patricia
    October 3, 2008 at 18:56

    Palin didn’t answer many ?s she was asked, but instead steared the ?s to her own agenda of extoling her/McCain’s virtues & criticizing Obama. McCain/Palin ticket can’t come up with their own specific plans, so all they have to offer is criticism & blatant lies to try to take the lead. Sounds like more Bush to me. They only copy O’s campaign, stealing the main theme of Change, trying rapidly to get in touch with most Americans by now addressing the real problems…always FOLLOWING, NOT LEADING!

  73. 73 Linda
    October 3, 2008 at 18:57

    Dear Roz,

    The real reason for this corrupt bailout legislation is to keep the two parties in power, and to make sure that a massive economic failure won’t result in joblessness and homelessness, leading people to take to the streets in sustained civil disobedience and possibly riots, demanding true change. Policymakers are protecting their position. They don’t care about the citizenry.

    The rest of the world can see that the US version of hyper capitalism is a complete failure. It’s embarrassing.

    Portland, OR

  74. 74 Alan
    October 3, 2008 at 18:57

    If it was just a basic bill dealing with one problem I could live with it. But extra items like giving tax breaks to 5 Companies that make wooden arrows for children’s archery sets is totally idiotic! But obviously they are politicians!
    Alan in Arizona!

  75. 75 Greg
    October 3, 2008 at 18:58

    I’ll be clearing brush and making improvements on the ranch. Plus I gotta get some guys to pull out the millions of dollars of government equipment they set up in there out. I used to spend a lot of my time, say 30% on vacation so I needed it. Unless it’s cheaper to leave it there. Whatever works out best for the American people. I’m all about America GB

  76. 76 Kenny In Florida
    October 3, 2008 at 18:59

    Quick, everybody move to the states, start a big banking business, borrow billions from the people and the markets and grotesquely mismanage your money. Spend it on big cars, houses, caviar and the such and go broke. It’s all good though, because our government will give you all your money back. Heck, do it all over again.
    America is now the place to do business because in the end, no one will have to be held accountable for anything. Your company will always have the ability to reach into the pockets of the people thanks to the falling of separation between capitalism and socialism in America.

    I was raised to be held accountable for my actions, what a pity my government doesn’t feel the same.

  77. 77 kpellyhezekiah
    October 3, 2008 at 19:03

    I am one person who have been trying to alert the whole world on this site about the ‘wolf’ but to no avail. For the past two weeks I’ve been listening to the news with great amusement especially when the so-called financial empires started crumbling. I’ve decided to get involved again because I see that the ‘wolf’ has almost succeeded in diverting attention of the world from identifying and capturing it. First and foremost I’m pleading with big international news houses like the bbc to stay in focus and continue to debate the problems. Secondly, I’m pleading with the US congress NOT to pass the so-called amended bail-out bill of $700 billion. It is a sham and THIS IS ACTUALLY THE FINAL BLOW THAT WOULD ACHIEVE WHAT AQAEEDA COULD NOT DO ON SEPT.11 Please, I’m pleading with all who care and have the power to do so to reject this whole bill. Once again, as I’ve been saying for almost one year now, these crooks have the politicians in their pockets. I urge the US to give their FBI all the powers they need to go into these facade of so-called ‘multi-lateral investment firms’, bring them to book and make the whole world safe from these crooks who have been living off the wealth of inocent hard working people all over the world. Let me give an opening advice to the US senate and congress at this stage. The most important thing to do now is to give a very big tax break to all homeowners who have defaulted on the repayment of their mortgages and let them channel it to resume repaying their loans which must be renegotiated with the traditional banks and the homeowners. Please, US government, don’t interfere in this issue. The market is capable of handling this problem. Yours is to protect the innocent investors against crimminal and crooks. Thanks

  78. 78 Kenny In Florida
    October 3, 2008 at 19:07

    @ Linda
    Interesting point of view and in many ways I feel you are spot on. However, I find most Americans to be muppets and incapable of forming any real grass-roots revolution. We are just to apathetic as a whole because of what our political system has done to us.

  79. 79 Rob
    October 3, 2008 at 19:11

    It’s hard to believe people still hold any faith in the idea that the “market” is infallible and the ultimate arbiter of our national well being. If this fiasco doesn’t disprove that old saw, I don’t know what will.

  80. 80 Philip
    October 3, 2008 at 19:11

    The $800 billion bail-out plan is the best recovery strategy–I guess–but Henry Paulson should not be entrusted with it. The warning signs were apparent to many for a long time. He either failed to see them, or chose to ignore them. Having failed in this duty, he should be sacked.

  81. 81 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    October 3, 2008 at 19:11

    What we have just observed ‘LIVE’ is the greatest heist in American history!

    Tax breaks for ‘wooden arrows’?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Pork barrel politics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ‘The Great Train Robbery’ should be put in the ‘overwritten’ folder of history!

    The ADMIRABLE ploy here was the fact that the Republicans ended up ACTING as though they were against the proposal in terms of their relative vote bank in Congress and the votes cast!

    Hooray! Bring on McCain and Palin!

    I am a glutton for punishment.

  82. 82 Nilash
    October 3, 2008 at 19:11

    It was mentioned on your programme that the US goverment will lend Wall street 700 billion that they will raise through borrowing.

    Who is going to lend the US government money to pass onto a dodgy investment. Isn’t that what got us into this mess in the first place?

    Dundee Scotland

  83. 83 Don
    October 3, 2008 at 19:22

    The bailout is not about the economy as much as it’s about Wall Street. These moneys will revitalize those who make their living on the street and in the world of finance. It will not have a direct effect on the real economy, this feeds the credit industry which creates nothing, provides no services, but makes its living on the consumers’ use of credit. There is no guarantee that this will benefit Main Street, all it does is bolster the financial markets, and keeps the traders in the stock markets from continued fearful reactions and withdrawal of funds from the market at large.

    In my opinion, the bailout is upside down. The money should have gone to the consumers (individual as well as business) such that it would prevent their failures, enable them to make their payments and as a result bolster the banks and the financial markets.

    The Pork (or sweeteners) added to the bill to aid it’s passage just illustrates how easily people are distracted from the real problem. It is time for the small – mid sized business owners and the individuals in the US to press their representatives to increase the oversight on these finance and stock markets, and if they don’t then those representatives need to be replaced with new ones.

    For too long we have been artificially growing the markets (not the economy) based on no real merit. Everything was over leveraged in order to create the false sense of growth. The real economy has not grown so much as the credit economy. Once the support for the credit economy was eliminated, reality caught up and the greater market came falling down.

    Listen people, don’t let this die, get angry, stay angry and don’t stop pressing your government representatives to take control of the markets from those that benefit most from them and have shown themselves to be untrustworthy of their governance. Gordon Gekko said “greed is good”. Everyone that plays in these markets wants to make money, and some aren’t too scrupulous about how they do it. Do you trust your three year old with unfettered access to the cookie jar. Certainly not if he’s tried to get into it without permission. So why would you trust the people who created this mess to get us out of it. Treasury Secretary Paulson is a product of these markets, he and others who are the architects of the bailout would have business as usual. Don’t let them. It is time for us to keep our eyes on these people and change how they are allowed to do business.

    Portland, OR

  84. 84 Just A Commentator
    October 3, 2008 at 19:44

    Re:kpellyhezekiah, October 3, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    What you are talking about is what I read in a book!

    It is titled ‘Behold a Pale …..’ by C…..

    I can’t say more than that as the author is dead! Or he was killed!

    Count the dots!


  85. 85 Just A Commentator
    October 3, 2008 at 19:46

    Hi kpellyhezekiah,

    What you are talking about is what I read in a book!

    It is titled ‘Behold a Pale …..’ by C…..

    I can’t say more than that as the author is dead! Or he was killed!

    Count the dots!


  86. 86 Rich in Portland, Oregon
    October 3, 2008 at 19:55

    We are told that what has happened exclusively on Wall Street has a huge impact on what happens on Main Street. If that is true then Main Street has a substantial interest in what Wall Street does, especially if Main Street is footing the bill for the screw ups.

    If this is so it brings into question the validity of a long standing philosophy of the Republican Party. How many times have you heard the notion that government should get out of the way and let the free market function?

    The reason this Wall Street was able to create this problem was because the Bush administration decided to make the regulations which might have prevented this melt down to be observed “voluntarily” by the investment bankers. Once free of government scrutiny Wall Street proceeded to deliberately defraud the purchasers of these bogus securities by actively promoting the creation of thousands of mortgages that could never had been made if regulators had been watching.

    If the private sector wants to be free of interference they need a slush fund to pay the price of the consequences of their errors. Maybe a two dollar assesment on every stockmarket trade. Otherwise, voters and taxpayers should no longer be fooled by this fake philosophy that government is somehow an interference in the proper conduct of our society. You must mind the tiller or meet the rock.

  87. 87 Nic
    October 3, 2008 at 19:58

    Why is it that an equivalent amount to the “lost” funds in banking collapses in usa, suddenly resurfaces thru world bank for investment into mineral rich concessions in africa on the pretext mentioned on b.b.c. to “save millions frm malaria” ?

    Are these the oligarchs liquidating there banks in usa for this purpose using world bank as a money laundering body for their own greedy ends or was it a “coincedence” ?

  88. 88 Gavin
    October 3, 2008 at 19:59


  89. 89 Olaf Broers
    October 3, 2008 at 20:06

    Why is everybody talking about the economy in a blog about giving away too much of yourself? And another question, nobody read the book 1984 by George Orwell?
    Yet everybody knows about Big Brother, but then precisely in the way Orwell predicted, words change content. Big Brother is not seen anymore as the all watching, encompassing, loving leader of us all. He sees all (through television) he knows everything about everybody (Secret Service, KGB, Boss, Mossad, the list goes on). Of course he uses it for your good.

    Our real problem today is not so much that we have to give away all this information ‘voluntarily’, but that one day it is going to constitute a critical mass in the hands of an elite that lost its democratic soul. One day it will be used against you that you read a communist of fascist book, or one on how to produce bombs. Slowly you will loose your freedom

  90. 90 John in Scotland
    October 4, 2008 at 00:35

    Okay pdxmike I’ll give it ago ..just for you .

    I think we ,re giving our brains away for sure . We have a witch Hunt that is putting the blame for this collapse on a certain set of practices and individuals ,and this is intellectually freudulant .
    This sort of” bust” is organic to capitalism and totally predictable and lies within the very principle of it , and not its rogues . .Consequently there can be no return to the same mechanism of production if we seek stability and sustainability in the future .
    The bail out will not renew the life blood of credit which the system is dependant on , so the earthquake will continue and the Tsunami will follow .
    Nature may yet find a way of reorganising its” little criitters (us) as paradoxically faced by both global warming or nuclear oblitereation ( war being our usual way out of this ) we are forced to change the way we do things ….nothing like neccesity as the mother of invention.

  91. 91 Shakhoor Rehman
    October 4, 2008 at 10:43

    Data like the Truth is out there. It was inevitable. Damage limitation is in order.

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