Time for Media to Turn up Heat on Wall Street

You have to hand it to Wall Street. Already it has gobbled up $350 billion of a proposed $700 billion from Washington—with no nasty hearings, no pressure to fly coach or drive hybrids and no real oversight on how the money is to be spent. Perhaps we can all learn a thing or two from these titans of commerce! Preferably, though, I’d like to see the media—all media—start to exert some pressure on the banking industry and D.C. to, once and for all, do the right thing.

In a climate where Congress is demanding the Big 3 sell more vehicles, no one can borrow the money needed to do so. Talk to any domestic car dealer and you’ll hear the same thing: They’re having to turn away scores of long-time customers with good credit because Wall Street won’t share the wealth. And, if you’re one of the half-million people laid off in recent months and want to start a new business venture—good luck securing any start-up capital to do so.

While the media has come out in recent days to report that former Merril Lynch CEO John Thain spent over $1 million redecorating his Manhattan office last year while firing employees, they need to embark on an all-out blitz designed to exert pressure and force change. Where are the scathing Op Eds by the major opinion leaders? The blogs by the undercurrent? Where is the outrage and analysis?

Congress and their buddies on Madison Avenue should not continue to get a free ride while this country’s commerce remains paralyzed.