Weekend Watchdog

Terrance Heath

After an exhausting week of gasps and gaffes, mostly related to the economy, it’s time for another weekend watchdog.

All week long, the headlines have been blaring news of bankruptcy, bailouts, and buyouts up and down Wall Street. Most of us probably have more questions about what’s happened, why, and what it means for our famlies, our communities, and our country. Fortunately, this Sunday’s line-up includes people who may have answers to those questions.

For House Financial Services Chair Barney Frank (CBS. Face the Nation):

After declaring the economy "sound" on Monday and a "total crisis" on Tuesday, Sen. McCain ended the week ready to pin most of the blame on SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. You said Sen. McCain was attempting to make a "scapegoat" of Cox when the "philosophy" of deregulation is really to blame.

How has deregulation in the financial sector brought us to this point, and what do you see as the best way to begin moving out of this crisis and fixing the problems that caused it?

For New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (NBC, Meet the Press):

Your city is at the epicenter of this week’s financial meltdown. New York City’s jobless rate shot up in August, and the state stands to lose 40,000 jobs and $3 billion in tax revenues, with the bottom nowhere in sight.

You’ve said the stimulus is not working, and proposed infrastructure projects to boost the economy. What else do you think it will take to lead your city, and the country, out of this crisis.

For Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (Fox, Fox News Sunday):

You’re currently working with elected leaders and other government officials on what could end up being the biggest bailout in U.S. history. Meanwhile, taxpayers are already footing the bill for more than $600 billion in loans and bailouts to the firms whose names have been all over the news this year, but a second stimulus — to extend jobless benefits and increase heating subsidies for the poor — goes nowhere. And the auto industry is seeking $25 billion to get out of trouble.

With so much of this being absorbed by taxpayer dollars, what will change and what will the government demand on behalf of taxpayers, in the way of accountability and oversight for companies receiving bailouts?

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