Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dear Mr. Paulson

The Honorable Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Secretary of the Treasury
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Paulson:

I apologize for writing to you directly but I have been unable to obtain any measure of satisfaction from your subordinates.

As you may or may not be aware, I have fallen on financial hard times. I just lost my job and the bank is about to foreclose on our mortgage. Neither of these events is my fault. It appears to be just one of those things.

When I spoke to those in your employ, they provided little in the way of assistance or sympathy. In fact, some of them have gone so far as to suggest that my financial predicament is entirely of my own making.

I tried to remind these people that your department has been generous in providing assistance to others. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, subsidies have been given to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and someone with the initials A.I.G.

When I look at my own balance sheets, I submit that they compare favorably with anyone who has received a bailout. For example, although I put no money down on our house purchase and was well aware that there was an escalator clause governing the interest rate, I had no way of knowing that the real estate market would go down. As my realtor often said: "Real estate is a great investment."

As for our financial position, again, I feel that we were as diligent as Freddie and Fannie if not more so. In fact, when I crunch the numbers, we were only leveraged at a ratio of 30:1 which compares favorably to their 60:1 ratio. Thus, it makes sense that if you’re going to rescue Freddie and Fannie that you’d want to rescue us, too.

My employment status is now obviously uncertain. I’m not complaining, mind you. I had a good run for seven years although not quite the run that those employed at various financial institutions had.

If I had been receiving annual bonuses of five to ten times my salary over that period, I doubt that I would even be writing to you. But, sadly, my employer was either unaware of such bonus mechanisms or, if so, was apparently unwilling to implement them.

Please consider this a request for financial assistance not to exceed two million dollars. Given the generous sums provided to others, I consider our request to be modest. In the event that you cannot approve this figure, we could likely manage with half that amount, at least for the short term. All we would ask is that you not use our income taxes to pay for the other bailouts. Somehow that just doesn’t seem fair.

Thanks for considering my letter and I look forward to receiving my share of the public largesse.

Equitably yours,

John Q. Public

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