1. Archive


Banks, insurers, automakers - they're in trouble and getting billions. Hey, give me some, too.


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.