Profit and Loss

Regarding "A New Direction on Wall Street" [September 29-October 6]: The most important and revealing words used are "a now collapsed foundation of greed and overly optimistic economic assumptions."

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Regarding "A New Direction on Wall Street" [September 29-October 6]: The most important and revealing words used are "a now collapsed foundation of greed and overly optimistic economic assumptions." The government has approved billions in loans for AIG and a "$200 billion commitment" to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. And now $700 billion more to bail out the institutions and investors who greedily and overly optimistically gave funds that weren't even theirs for loans "they didn't have to hold...themselves." It was all high-risk and fraudulent speculation for profit, the negative results of which virtually none of them would suffer. So who suffers? The homeowners who counted on loans to buy homes from investor/builders who have no further stake in them, and those who now have to give their hard-earned money to bail out the same institutions and investors that caused the problems in the first place. When did the United States turn from rewarding the earning of money to rewarding the loss of the same by bailing out the irresponsible losers?

Jim Magwood Twin Oaks, Calif.

It seems the same Bush administration that, through panic, incompetence, or greed, squandered more than $450 billion we didn't have and thousands of lives that should not have been lost in a useless invasion of Iraq now is spending $700 billion more to bail out the panicky, greedy, and incompetent folks who voted him into office. Amazingly, there does not appear to be any penalty on either the executives or companies that profited from either debacle. Did I miss something?

Anthony Fedanzo Corte Madera, Calif.