The View from Main Street

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A Washington Mutual Inc. bank branch in West Seattle. (AP)
A Washington Mutual Inc. bank branch in West Seattle. (AP)

Main Street kicked over the apple cart this week, with constituents across the country flooding Congressional in-boxes with fury at the thought of bailing out Wall Street fat cats.

But if the rescue plan looked bad, so does the economic outlook right now — and not just for the fat cats. Now the whole U.S. economy needs a rescue.

We’ll hear this hour from money guru Ben Stein, who says the high finance casino has amounted to grand theft, and from conservative economist Charles Calomiris, who says don’t shackle the money men.

This hour, On Point: Open phone lines to Main Street for your questions, your critique, your concerns now. What do you need to know about what just happened and where we’re headed? What’s your take on the meltdown?Guests:

Joining us from Washington is Maura Reynolds, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. She’s been covering the bailout debate on Capitol Hill.

Ben Stein, financial columnist, author, and television commentator. His columns appear in  The New York Times, and he frequently contributes to Fox News. His latest book is "How to Ruin the United States of America."

Charles Calomiris, professor of financial institutions at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he is co-director of the Financial Deregulation Project.

This program aired on September 30, 2008.


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