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January 26, 2009


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Here's more:
1. No bonus money for any executuves in any institution that is asking for bailout money. If bonuses have been awarded but not yet paid, they should be frozen. No one gets a bonus for anything leading up to this mess, no exceptions. The executives either caused it directly or were not smart enough to see it coming or powerful enough to stop it. No one gets any credit for anything because it was not effective.

2. Future bonuses (if any) should be tied to recovering assets, containing the costs of this mess or making substantive changes that measurable improve the taxpayers position - not the stockholders.

3. Stockholders knowingly took risks and must learn that they can lose. No bailout for investors.

4. Real people were convinced to invest in homes they could not afford by so-called professional advisors in banking and real estate. We should consider bailing out the homeowners but certainly should punish the professional advisors. It is probable that they are guilty of class-action sized industry-wide malfeasance.

I have no real idea what's going on, only that something is happening and it's bad. One thought I keep having, however, is that the problem is not really ours to solve. That is, it's global and while the primary pathologies are American, the virus has infected everything.

The bears who predicted this mess are not really anywhere near the levers of power. Rather, there's an appearance that the serious people who told us everything was "sound" just a short time ago are now struggling to right this Titanic.

Another metaphor: we're marooned in a fog bank and we can't find our way clear. One possibility is weighted against another but we only know what we don't know. We'll do something but we can't be sure it will work. When the fear increases, so will our pretense of knowing. At that point, the dogs of hell are unleashed.

The White House and Congress continue with misguided policies, and incompetent distribution of taxpayer money.

Mr. Talton, this is excellent. Easily the best analysis of bailout shortcomings I have read anywhere. Superb.

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