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I tend to agree with Tom's call to action in the form of asking legislators to condition any bailout to DEMAND EQUITY. But I do hope our goverment leaders stop fighting and get to work soon. Our status as a financial superpower likely depends on it. By the way, I hear from a legislative aide that quite a few calls simply say "no bailout."

Here is a sample letter - while I understand not everyone will agree with my bullet points, it may stir your thinking. Sent under the title "BAILOUT CONDITIONS":

Dear Senator,

We may be facing a "perfect storm." That means that we cannot stand idly by while our financial markets unravel. You would not want to be the Senator who did nothing at such a time.

But since we, the taxpayers, are being asked to cut a check, we want 1) an equity position in those assets or firms we assist, 2) improved auditing/oversight of Bank/S&L asset underwriting, and 3) performance based caps on executive compensation.

DEMAND EQUITY! Warren Buffett would.


Bill McKinley
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