Letters to the Editor
Readers write about conflicts in the Congo, the stock market, and a potential Democratic majority.
World must act in defense of Congo's citizens
Regarding the Oct. 29 article, "Congo rebels push toward key city": UN peacekeepers need to be far more active militarily in defending Congolese populations. Local outrage at the UN Mission in Congo (MONUC) for doing nothing to protect the people continues to be intense for good reason. The UN mandate needs to be expanded, and quickly.
The current military action around Goma is a war of attrition on the part of Rwanda. And in the far northeastern Orientale Province, another war of attrition is being conducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Ugandan rebel forces. They have attacked 16 villages, leading to the displacement of thousands of people. The world needs to act, with relief aid and strong military intervention, to stabilize these areas.
What the stock market needs
In regard to the Oct. 28 Opinion piece, "How to make the stock market less of a casino": A couple of years ago, I made a significant investment in the stock market. I have learned that the motives that drive the market are out of sync with my own. The least little CNN tidbit or earnings hiccup, whether true or false, sends the speculators and profit seekers into crazed buying or selling sprees.
That's why I like author Fred Beyer's suggestion that "Public companies should offer special dividends to investors that hold on to their stock without interruption for five years or more." We need good, principled thinking today much more than we need Wall Street trying to devise the next clever "derivative" for making a quick buck.
This commentary shows that Mr. Beyer does not understand what has happened in the market. Because of elimination of regulations in the mortgage industry, the companies holding mortgages have compounded the loss due to foreclosure to an amount that cannot be paid back. Through the device known as a credit default swap (CDS), each mortgage was issued many insurance policies, which means if a mortgage goes into foreclosure, all of those policies have claim to the full value of the loss. There is not enough money in reserve to pay these claims. As a result, the companies issuing the CDSs went bankrupt and the entire top level of the lending industry was out of business.
Now, no money is available for the lending market to work. People stopped spending money, stocks went down due to loss of income, and the price of stocks dropped.
All of this was due to lack of proper regulation. What to do? First, declare all CDSs null and void. Second, the government must buy the foreclosed mortgages to take this strain off the credit market. Third, Congress must make sure all investment of the public's money is covered by responsible regulation.
What's wrong with one-party rule?
Regarding the Oct. 27 article, "GOP warns of one-party power": I was somewhat amused by the GOP's concern about a possible Democratic sweep on Nov. 4 (and I am a former Republican, though the last time I voted GOP was during the Reagan years).
I seem to remember Karl Rove chirping about a "permanent majority" a few years back, where the GOP would effectively stay in power for some undetermined period of time. It's amazing how concerned they are now that the democratic process may actually give the Democrats that "permanent majority."
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