I know that I have not blogged lately and that this is way off topic. But it is just irresistible.
I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion USD. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. Phil Gramm, lobbyist for UBS, who (God willing) will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a former U.S. congressional leader and the architect of the PALIN / McCain Financial Doctrine, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. As such, you can be assured that this transaction is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.
Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.
Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson
Oh, wait, you want to know my thoughts on this bailout?
It’s disgusting. It’s short sighted. It’s idiotic. It’s socializing losses after privatizing profits. There may be merit to the taxpayers bailing out a private institutions but the way that this is being conducted acts as if no-one had a clue that these companies were in trouble until a few days before a bailout. Such a bailout using such huge amounts of public money (IIRC, this costs more than the Iraq war) is deserving of thoughtful debate, a non rushed time-frame, and almost certainly the imposition of regulatory framework on the failed institutions.