David Schussler
Invoking a “Rip Van Winkle” metaphor, this morning US Treasury Secretary Paulson admitted the failures of our financial systems and its oversight. Haltingly on Fox News Sunday, he could not answer moderator Chris Wallace’s simple questions regarding the safety of the average persons finances today and tomorrow.

The huge trillion dollar bailout proposed by the feds and expected to be voted on this week does not protect us against the CEO’s of large financial institutions manipulating the government bailout funds (our money) to personal advantage.

According to Paulson there are no provisions for preventing excess profit taking, bonuses, etc. for managers with the use of this new money which will contribute to our national debt, which will in turn affect our pockets for some time to come.

The American people are facing a financial panic and Secretary Paulson is expecting them to trust him to make the right decisions
at this time to save the economy. This new trillion dollar debt could easily fall on the backs of the American taxpayer.

Often Secretary Paulson speaks of federal protection of savings and money market funds 100,000 dollars or less which certainly covers most Americans but the (trickle down) fallout of losses above that amount affects all of us.

Most of us are experiencing financial difficulties now as we watch the news media, congress, and government officials all speak on our behalf regarding the current financial crisis. Many of us do not have 401K plans, money market accounts, or even savings because of the current economic situation which has been coming on for some time now. Poor individual judgment with our foray into the “easy credit” markets softened by congress in the 90’s have put our nation into a weak mode with ARMs and other exploding “buy now and pay later” loan situations that have put the nations economy at huge risk.

“Trust” is the key word. We are asked to put our money into the hands of people that we can trust, and we do. The money cache is often even called a trust of some kind. These people that we have been trusting have somehow betrayed us and the main one is Secretary Paulson. It is unreasonable to believe that our Treasury Secretary has not been aware of the problems with our economy and the building explosive nature of todays crisis. It is unreasonable to believe that those who run our banking institutions and oversight have been so unaware as to not forsee the obvious. Greed, profiteering, and political gain have led us in to the problems we are encountering today and the same people who led us there are still there.

Can we “trust” the same folks who led us there to lead us out? Same treasury secretary, same oversight in congress, same CEOs of banking and loan institutions? Think not! We need a financial leader who is not asleep, with new innovative ideas, with a desire to keep our institutions honest, and with the ability to infuse the American people with hope for our future. Definately not one “asleep at the wheel”.

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