Paulson’s purse and Steve Bartlett’s plan

The Beatles had the song.

Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key…

Yahoo News had the story – Companies start competing for bailout money.

The bailout is now the hottest lobbying game in town.

Insurers, automakers and American subsidiaries of foreign banks all want the Treasury Department to cut them a piece of the largest government rescue in U.S. history.

The betting is that many with their hands out will be successful, especially with financial markets in a stomach-churning dive and predictions the economy is about to tumble into a deep recession.

These groups argue that the credit squeeze is so severe and the risks to the economy so dire that their industries need financial support as well.

The Treasury is considering requests from a variety of industries, but has not decided whether to expand the program, officials said Saturday.

Lobbying efforts are intensifying…

What else would you expect when Paulson has more money than God but no plan for our salvation?

Does it worry you to be alone
Are you sad at the end of the day

He forced billions on the big banks –  So when will banks give loans and boost the economy and not spend taxpayer dollars to boost their profits?

“Chase recently received $25 billion in federal funding. What effect will that have on the business side and will it change our strategic lending policy?”

It was Oct. 17, just four days after JP Morgan Chase’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, agreed to take a $25 billion capital injection courtesy of the United States government, when a JP Morgan employee asked that question. It came toward the end of an employee-only conference call that had been largely devoted to meshing certain divisions of JP Morgan with its new acquisition, Washington Mutual.

Which, of course, it also got thanks to the federal government. Christmas came early at JP Morgan Chase…

In point of fact, the dirty little secret of the banking industry is that it has no intention of using the money to make new loans. But this executive was the first insider who’s been indiscreet enough to say it within earshot of a journalist…

“Twenty-five billion dollars is obviously going to help the folks who are struggling more than Chase,” he began. “What we do think it will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling.

And I would not assume that we are done on the acquisition side just because of the Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns mergers. I think there are going to be some great opportunities for us to grow in this environment, and I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way and obviously depending on whether recession turns into depression or what happens in the future, you know, we have that as a backstop.”

Read that answer as many times as you want — you are not going to find a single word in there about making loans to help the American economy. (emphasis added)

Paulson mislead Congress and the American people and every week it seems like there’s a different plan – none appear particularly well thought out but with the biggest purse in history and the habit of spending other people’s money on his problem-causing friends, he seems to be keeping busy with meetings.

Yes, I’m certain that it happens all the time…
Going to try with a little help from my friends

One of those friends must be Steve Bartlett, the president of the Roundtable – and Bartlett’s a man with a plan.  It appears he has plenty of friends he wants to have money from Paulson’s purse, including foreign banks, as we learn from the rest of the first story.

Steve Bartlett, the president of the Roundtable, urged the Treasury to broaden the definition of those eligible for the stock purchase program.

“The institutions that are excluded play a vital role in the U.S. economy by providing liquidity to the market,” Bartlett wrote Neel Kashkari, the Treasury Department officialrunning the bailout program.

Referring to U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies, Bartlett said, “This is a global crisis and to not recognize the U.S. firms controlled by foreign banks or companies would create further impediment to the market’s recovery.”

A financial industry official said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson met over the past week with various groups, including hedge fund managers, that were petitioning for assistance. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Treasury has not made a decision.

This official said the discussions with insurance industry executives were being held in advance of what are expected to be disappointing earnings reports by some insurance companies in the coming week.

The official said the insurance industry would like to get government purchases of their stock on a mandatory basis, duplicating the agreement Paulson struck two weeks ago with nine major banks.

Paulson needs to snap his purse and pinch Steve Bartlett’s hand instead of continuing to sing off-key to Congress and the American people while throwing public money at Bartlett’s plan.

What do you see when you turn out the light.

I see Steve Bartlett and his plan to get by with a little help from [his] friends.

I get by with a little help from my friends.
Yes, I get by with a little help from my friends.
A little help from my friends.

Well, Elvis wouldn’t have been one of them.

When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie…
You ain’t never caught a rabbit
and you ain’t no friend of mine

Steve Bartlett, you ain’t nothing but a hound dog and Paulson’s no better.

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