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Your Emails on Paulson, Bailouts, and Denial

Rick A. writes of Treasury Secretary Paulson's appearancebefore Congress:
"The last time I saw someone so nervously desperate for a large amount of money, they owed it to Tony Soprano."

Chris H. proposes an interesting solution to the current crisis, calling the $700 billion bailout proposal "beyond absurd":
"I don't know what is more ridiculous: pretending that we are helping homeowners and housing prices by bailing out banks that really ought to fail, or planning to give Hank Paulson - who earned over $700 million as the head of Goldman Sachs - unlimited authority to spend $700 billion in the 45 days that he effectively has left in office. As an officer in a FDIC-insured bank that originated, packaged, and securitized home equity loans, I can tell you that everyone knew what kind of risk we were all collectively taking. And all along the investment banks encouraged lending practices that occurred outside the regulatory system in order to run up volume and ensure their own yearly bonus. A much better plan than bailing out all of the people that got us into the mess? Free up all of the money in 401(k), 403(b), and IRA accounts - tax free - to be used until the end of 2009 to make your mortgage payments and buy houses. The huge plus: rewarding savers. No moral hazard there. Also, even if that helps just 20% of the delinquencies and clears out 20% of the inventory hangover, it would still have a large marginal effect on the housing market. And, it puts the power - and responsibility - back with the people where it belongs."

Yesterday, trader Clint Goodrich said financial markets are now entering a period of denial. Ed L. sent me this graphic showing the stages of booms and busts.

fiancial_stages.jpg

"If we are only at the 'Denial phase', we are in big trouble with lots of pain to go."

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