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domingo, septiembre 28, 2008

A Letter To The Secretary Of The Treasury

Dear Sir:
This evening while I was reading the proposed "bailout bill," I realized that there was a terrible omission in the document. Specifically, you forgot to try to collect any funds for the bail out from the very people responsible for the mess. I'm not talking about the firms they've looted. I'm talking about the people who have taken money from the firms and made those funds their personal property. And, I see, you are going to require me and my family, who didn't participate at all in the financial feeding frenzy that led to the crash depression problem, to pick up the tab. And that the tab is a whopper.

If you look at my 1040's for the past decade, you'll see that I haven't participated at all in "investment banking" or derivatives or bundled mortgages or other shaky but previously, highly profitable, unregulated transactions. Unfortunately for me, it's obvious that the people you are bailing out did very, very well for themselves with their "investments" before the "crash", making huge, personal profits, buying themselves beach houses, and Rolexes, and Escalades, and having champagne and caviar dinners and traveling around the world and staying in 5-star hotels. Not to mention their off shore slush funds. But you don't even try to get these people to chip in and buy these worthless assets with their own money, with their own money from the profits they made selling and manipulating these very assets.

The legislation you've proposed allows these "investors" to keep all their ill gotten assets, the Grand Cayman bank accounts, the jewelry, the private airplanes. All of it. I don't see anything in the legislation that requires those who benefited to disgorge any of their assets or to pay any portion of their income, income it should be pointed out that was generated from manipulation of these worthless investments. I don't see anything in the legislation that requires them in the first instance personally to do anything to set matters right. No. What I see in the legislation is that instead of these rapacious looters, I and my family are supposed to pay for these paper assets while the Wall Street Masters of the Universe keep their houses, their cars, their second homes, and their wine cellars. You've got a lot of nerve to think that's acceptable to me and my family.

That's your plan. Really, I'm honored to be one of the philanthropists suckers you've selected to pick up the tab for such a lavish, such an extravagant party, one to which I was not invited, by the way, really I am. But I have to decline. No thanks. I don't think I or my family should have to contribute a single cent until you've re-couped as much as you can from the personal assets and income of those who are responsible for the current situation. I'm sure with your background, you know exactly who I'm talking about.

In a fair world (there's a laugh) the first thing that should happen is that the assets and income of those who screwed up would be seized so that they could make good on their debts. What was left after that might be a "bad debt" and would have to be carried by whoever was owed the money (which is not me). It's only in crazy world, the one we're in now, where they get to keep the Rolex and the Escalade and the beach house, and I have to pay the tab as if it were mine, as if they bounced a rubber check to me that they don't have to have funds to cover, so I get stuck with the loss.

I really must to decline your request that I pay for this party. I heard it was a lovely party while it lasted. I think those who partied should be first to pay the tab. It would be best if they did it with the funds they looted from the "banks" as their bonuses, pay, commissions, stock options, and salaries, if they had to sell their toys to pay back. After you try to collect that money, you can try me again about taking up the slack. I don't think I'll be any more interested then than I am now, but you never know.

Your most humble servant,

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