One of the odder things that has come to my attention today is that back in February 2009, Gamal Mubarak (the son of soon to be former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak) met with a US Senator and gave his advice on how to address our financial crisis.
Senator Joe Lieberman was visiting Egypt on February 17, when he met with Mubarak. Their conversation was recorded in a secret memo written by the US embassy in Cairo, which was made public by Wikileaks.
So what did Mubarak—who was an investment banker in Bank of America’s London office and a private equity fund manager before returning to Egypt 10 years ago or so—think the US should do in the face of the financial crisis?
Here’s what the memo says:
Senator Lieberman asked for his advice as an experienced international financier. "Your banking system needs a shock," Gamal offered. "You need a dramatic fix. Unless you get the banking sector revived, nothing else will come around." However, Gamal continued, a piecemeal approach to the problem will not be enough; you need to inject even more money into the system than you have, and you need to get as much of the bad debt as possible out of it; "you must remove the toxic assets from the books" and restore the confidence of investors and consumers. Senator Lieberman agreed on the need for bold measures to restore confidence.
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