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Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:58 PM

Another Mad Rush To Judgment

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MarketWatch is reporting "Echoes of Iraq in Bush handling of mortgage crisis"

News analysis: Another 'trust me' remedy is getting rushed before lawmakers.

"You can draw some valid parallels between the prosecution of the war under the Bush regime and the way the financial sector has operated in recent years," said Tom Schlesinger, head of the nonprofit research group Financial Markets Center in Howardsville, Va."It fails the most basic test of democratic accountability," Schlesinger said.

It boils down to "give me the money and trust me," Schlesinger said. James Angel, a professor of finance at Georgetown University, said the White House appears to be "flying by the seat of their pants."
We Are Winning The Battle

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism is reporting Protests Against Bailout Bill Registering With Congress.
We received this e-mail today from one of the Congressional staffers who has taken to corresponding with us.

I know that people are often cynical about contacting their representatives. Frankly, they should be. Most days, the overwhelming volume of constituent contacts is form letter e-mails, pre-printed postcards, blast faxes, and automated phone calls. It's easy for genuine individual requests to get lost in the sea of astroturf (fake grassroots) campaigns.

But, on this issue, the calls and e-mails are making a difference. Members and staffers are talking about it in the halls and in meetings.

The volumes are big (although as big as when the NRA or AARP mobilizes their members) but they're all individual. And they're running 99-to-1 against. If you read the capitol hill press (Roll Call, Politico, The Hill, CQ, National Journal), you can see the developing dissent among the rank-and-file on both sides.

A lot of that is being driven by the calls and e-mails from back home. Keep it up!
What You Can Do To Stop This

Yes, it's another fax. Here goes.

Fax Title: Another Mad Rush To Judgment
Dear Senator

Do you remember the last time there was a mad rush to judgment?
I do.

Congress was told by the administration that it had to act otherwise our very existence was threatened. The administration asked for and received sweeping new powers.

The result was a war in Iraq in which we discovered what many knew in their hearts at the onset. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Mad Rush To Financial Judgment

Today President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson are preaching the same story.

  • There can be no delay.
  • Sweeping new Powers for the Fed are needed.
  • The Treasury needs $700 billion dollars.
  • There is no time to study alternatives.

Senators, in your heart you know all of the above are lies.

Who Benefits?

Today Bank of America's top credit strategy analyst says Paulson Debt Plan May Benefit Mostly Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Here is the exact quote: "Benefits, in its current form, will be largely limited to investment banks and other banks that have aggressively written down the value of their holdings and have already recognized the attendant capital impairment" said Jeffrey Rosenberg, Bank of America's head of credit strategy research.

William Poole Former St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank Weighs In

"The Treasury will be stuck with the least-attractive paper, and that means taxpayer losses will be large."

Senator, in this mad rush to financial judgment the taxpayer is last in line. The taxpayer should be first in line. Banks and brokers should be the last in line.

Many alternatives are surfacing.

Those alternatives need to be considered.

It's time to take a deep breath, step back and admit the United States of America does not need to grant new powers to the Fed and Treasury to survive this fiscal crisis.

Rushing into a solution that puts more pressure on already overburdened taxpayers is exactly the wrong thing to do. The taxpayer knows it and so should Paulson and so should you.

This Paulson proposal is nothing more than a financial version of "Trust me. We know where the weapons are."

What Others Are Saying

Tom Schlesinger, head of the nonprofit research group Financial Markets Center: "It fails the most basic test of democratic accountability." It boils down to "give me the money and trust me," Schlesinger said.

James Angel, a professor of finance at Georgetown University, said the White House appears to be "flying by the seat of their pants."

Alternatives Must Be Considered

That the White House is flying by the seat of its pants is no excuse for Congress to do the same.

The proposal as it stands is totally unworkable. It cannot be modified with simple changes. The proper conclusion is the existing proposal should be scrapped completely and started from scratch with an open mind towards all alternatives.

Warren Buffet Acts

The alternative of doing nothing, is far better than the Paulson proposal.

Berkshire Hathaway agreed late Tuesday to invest at least $5 billion in Goldman Sachs Group. Others will follow Warren Buffet. There is simply no need to rush to judgment.

Read your emails! You know the public is not behind this bill. It is better to delay this bill until the next Congress than to rush something through now.

If you are not flexible enough to seriously consider alternatives, you are not flexible enough to deserve my vote.

I cannot and will not vote for any member of Congress who votes for this bill in its current form or anything remotely close to the current form.

Thank you for listening.
your name
A Concerned Citizen
The above argument may appeal more to Democrats. With that in mind I have a new fax list.

Fax List

Sen. Richard Shelby (R) 202-224-3416 or 202-224-5137 (try both not sure which is correct)
Sen. Harry Reid (D) 202-224-7327
Sen. John Ensign (R) 202-228-2193
Sen. Jim Bunning (R) 202-228-1373
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) 202-224-6020
Sen John McCain (R) 202-228-2862

Sen. Barack Obama 202-228-4260
Sen. John D. Rockefeller 202-224-7665
Sen. Dianne Feinstein 202-228-3954
Sen. Ron Wyden 202-228-2717
Sen. Evan Bayh 202-228-1377
Sen. Barbara Mikulski 202-224-8858
Sen. Bill Nelson 202-228-2183
Sen. John Kerry 202-224-8525
Sen. Daniel Inouye 202-224-6747
Sen. Hillary Clinton 202-228-0282

Those inclined should also fax their own senators as well.

Please see Phone And Fax Numbers For All US Senators; More On What To Do for more numbers.

Please send this email to 10 others and have them do the same.
We CAN make a difference

If you have not yet acted on U.S. Government: The World's Largest Homeowner and Fate May Rest With Shelby please do so.


Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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