Make us your home page

Hey, Paulson and Bernanke, where's my bailout?


To: Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

From: R. Trigaux, key cog in the U.S. economy

Re: My federal bailout

Dear Hank & Ben:

I want my own piece of the $700-billion bailout pie. Like everyone else, I want the Hank & Ben "stamp of approval" of federal aid.

Please. It's only fair.

Some nice round number will do. Maybe $1-billion? I'd settle for $100-million if I must. At the least, how about $1-million? You probably lose that much every week in loose change in the Treasury's couch.

It's like getting picked by a playground team stacked with the winners. I want to be part of Hank & Ben's crew.

Many of the same investment firms on Wall Street that mucked up the mortgage market are getting plenty of aid.

Hey, I don't have a subprime loan.

Great big banks are getting $125-billion spread among them. Aren't these the same guys who made so many bad loans and extended second mortgages while housing prices fell?

I don't even have a home-equity loan.

Mid-sized banks from SunTrust, Regions and BB&T to Northern Trust, Capital One and PNC are getting their doses of federal capital.

If they deserve it, so do I.

Now insurance companies say they should get bailout money if banks do. I agree, so how about me? AIG alone is loaned $85-billion (now it's up to $130-billion and counting) while company execs entertain at fancy California resorts and hunting lodges in England.

Surely I'm worth a few million if I stay at a Holiday Inn Express and hunt for matching socks every morning.

Hedge fund managers — some of whom were paid more than $1-billion apiece last year — are now lobbying for federal aid. They have lifestyles to maintain, summer mansions in the Hamptons to keep up, swank parties to throw.

Hank, my 1991 van needs washing. Lend me some, too.

Here come U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations and banks wanting the bailout extended to them. We're all one global family — right? Count me in for some.

Detroit's Big Three automakers insist they ought to be in on the federal handout. Who really needs it more than those dinosaurs? Hey, I once owned a Ford Fairlane and a Pontiac Grand Am. And I'm less likely to become extinct soon. Pass some money my way.

Still not worthy, Hank & Ben? Consider this. The nation's time-share industry — now we're talking critical infrastructure here, folks — is asking you guys to guarantee time-share mortgages to help unfreeze the credit market.

If you guarantee my mortgage, I solemnly promise to unfreeze my credit cards.

Word is that banks receiving significant Treasury capital will probably be considered "too big to fail." I mean, why would you give them taxpayer money and then shut them down?

That's what I want. Make me risk-free, too. Make me too big to fail.

Come to think of it, spreading $700-billion around to so many begging hands won't be nearly enough.

Better order up some more taxpayer dough quick.

Hey, Paulson and Bernanke, where's my bailout? 10/29/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 31, 2008 10:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida: White man who killed black person to be executed

    State Roundup

    GAINESVILLE — For the first time in state history, Florida is expecting to execute a white man for killing a black person — and it plans to do so with help of a drug that has never been used previously in any U.S. execution.

    This undated photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Mark Asay. If his final appeals are denied, Asay is to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. Thursday. Asay was convicted by a jury of two racially motivated, premeditated murders in Jacksonville in 1987.  [Florida Department of Corrections via AP]
  2. Can the Bad Boys Mowers Gasparilla Bowl thrive in competitive sports market?


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's a funky name: the Bad Boys Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. But the new sponsors for the former St. Petersburg Bowl might need more than an eye-catching name to create a thriving, profitable contest.

    NC State head coach Dave Doeren clutches the championship trophy after winning the Bitcoin Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg in 2014. Bowl organizers are changing the name of the game to the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.

  3. Apple Scales Back Its Ambitions for a Self-Driving Car


    SAN FRANCISCO — As new employees were brought into Apple's secret effort to create a self-driving car a few years ago, managers told them that they were working on the company's next big thing: A product that would take on Detroit and disrupt the automobile industry.

     In this Monday, April 10, 2017 file photo, Luminar CEO Austin Russell monitors a 3D lidar map on a demonstration drive in San Francisco. Russell, now 22, was barely old enough to drive when he set out to create a safer navigation system for robot-controlled cars. His ambitions are about to be tested five years after he co-founded Luminar Technologies, a Silicon Valley startup trying to steer the rapidly expanding self-driving car industry in a new direction. Apple says it will scale back its amitions to build a self-driving car.  [AP Photo/Ben Margot]
  4. Groundbreaking today for complex on old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — A groundbreaking is slated for 10 a.m. today for a 400-unit apartment complex planned on the site of the former Tampa Tribune building in downtown Tampa.

    Renderings for a high-end apartment complex that will be built on the Tampa Tribune site in downtown Tampa. 
[Courtesy of Related Group]
  5. Walmart announces delivery partnership with Google


    Walmart announced a new delivery partnership with Google to make online shopping easier for customers.

    People walk in and out of a Walmart store in Dallas. Walmart announced a new delivery partnership with Google.  [Associated Press]