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TARP, the NYTimes, and public confidence

October 3, 2008

Today, my father, questioning my opposition to the newly-passed Toxic Asset Recovery Plan (TARP) bill, forwarded me an article from The New York Times which was sent to him by his brother, my Uncle Wally. The article defended TARP by invoking the necessity of maintaining public confidence in the financial system to avoid a run on the banks.

Here is my email answer to my father, which reflects all of my bitterness and angst about the current state of affairs:

"Well, Dad, if you want to read about how the government is the answer, read  The New York Times. When do they ever say anything different?

On the other hand, people who want to use their own brain and actually think might ask a few logical questions.

1) If it's all about confidence in the market, why did Harry Reid announce yesterday that a giant "household name" insurance company was about to go bankrupt, sending all the insurance stocks plummeting?

2) If it's all about confidence in the market, why did Chuck Schumer announce back on June 27th that IndyBank was in danger of going bankrupt, causing an eleven-day run on the bank that actually did make them close their doors?

3) If it's all about confidence in the market, why has President Bush, in an effort to sell the largest single government expansion in our nation's history, been spending so much time on the airwaves telling the world that the financial system is about to crash?

This bill is a scam and Americans bought into like a herd of sheep running into the shearing corral to escape a one-foot-tall border collie. Confidence in the market my ass. When the bill failed the first time, the stock market rallied. Stocks went up again this morning. Stocks went DOWN after the bill passed. So much for restoring confidence.

Meanwhile, the government shotgun marriage of CityBank and Wachovia looks like another Paulson-engineered scam, because somebody else looked at Wachovia's assets and offered them a better deal WITHOUT FEDERAL BACKING.

In other words, the market is trying to correct itself without government interference but the government won't let it happen. Now, it's all over. All I can say is, I hope everybody enjoys life in the corral.

With love, Your son, J.P."
Now that I look back at the email and see its tone, I wish I hadn't vented in an email to my father, who remains the greatest man I have ever known, but I won't apologize for the tone otherwise.

From Reno, Nevada, USA

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