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Author: TMFTomG Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1568  
Subject: The Plan. Date: 9/25/2008 7:15 PM
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There is very little chance that this plan is not going to pass. I believe it will pass with the support of Senators Obama and McCain. It will pass with broad support across our elected officials. It will pass because this is fundamentally not about bailing out banks and their executives. It is about ensuring that our economy can function.

I think it is too easy to say that Fed Chief Ben Bernanke is either incompetent or corrupt. That is the assumption of some of the notes being posted here. I think it's the underlying point that Ron Paul makes. I have a lot of respect for Ron Paul. I am fundamentally a libertarian. But I think if you get caught up in the complaint about how this happened, you might very well miss what steps need to be taken to fix it.

Here I'm thinking of Dirty Harry -- "Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya?"

One approach here is to hear that Ben Bernanke believes the arteries of our economy are clogged, and we're risking a heart attack. Maybe next week. Maybe in six months. But we will have a heart attack. And that attack could cripple our economy to a degree that only those over 85 years of age can truly remember. We are in a credit crisis. I would encourage anyone and everyone to read about these scenarios.

To repeat from an earlier post, taken to its more painful extremes, credit crises result in an end to lending; they lead to an inability by banks to meet withdrawal requests by their customers; they lead to a rapid decline in consumer spending; and consumer spending accounts for 70% of the US economy. When that happens, you are heading into a consumer depression. From there, I would encourage us to all read about the Great Depression and to read about Japan.

I, myself, given the factors I see, do not feel like. Do I? No, I don't. I believe Bernanke is right. I believe Buffett is right. I believe Paulson is right. I could extend the list of admirable people (who are in no way implicated in this calamity) who support the fundamental elements of the bailout.

What I and we have written in the note you received is that I simply do not believe that the taxpayer is getting enough of a reward for helping to fix the financial system. While I would like to know exactly how the proceeds will be spent someday, I'm schooled enough to know how money can be moved around, assigned here or there, credited to that or this. That is a much larger issue to tackle on the other side of this problem.

What needs to be done now is for a plan to be put in place that works toward healing the system WHILE also leading to a return of most/all of the capital. The Foolish demand for warrants will, I would bet, virtually guarantee that the "taxpayer" will make money. In other words, the $700 billion will be an investment. . not a loan. . not a bailout. The inclusion of warrants will reward the taxpayer.

Tom Gardner
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