Paulson Among Buyers of Failed IndyMac Bank

The FDIC issued a news release Friday to let the world know the agency’s board had approved a letter of intent to sell IndyMac Bank to a thrift holding company controlled by IMB Management Holdings LP.  Though one of the men involved in purchasing the bank shares the same last name as Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, members of the mainstream news media have failed to acknowledge that fact.

A Los Angeles Times report Saturday listed John Paulson as one of two hedge-fund operators (the other being billionaire George Soros) among a small group of owner-investors, while an article published Friday in the San Jose Business Journal noted that the limited partnership includes John Alfred Paulson, the same man.  Neither article, however, deemed it worthwhile to report that the man involved in purchasing a large failed bank shared the same last name as the man who oversees the nation’s banking system, Secretary Paulson.

Noticing that, I decided to see if any other news outlets had seen fit to address the nagging question, “Is John Alfred Paulson related to Henry M. Paulson?” After all, even the pseudo-journalists behind the desk at ESPN Sports Center know enough to toss in an occasional “No relation” upon noticing that two unrelated players who share the same last name.

Surprising me again, none of the articles I found — neither the above-mentioned articles nor others published in the Wall Street Journal Jan. 5, at Bloomberg.com Jan. 3 and via Associated Press Jan. 3 — addressed the question.  That’s when I decided to ask people who should know.

I called IMB’s corporate offices early this afternoon and was told to send an e-mail inquiry to Armel Leslie at Walek & Associates, IMB’s Madison Avenue public relations counsel.  Twice given the opportunity to respond to the question, “Is John Alfred Paulson related in any way to Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson?” the PR specialist responded by e-mail as follows:  “No relation” and “Yes, no relation.”

Though I had an answer, I was not yet convinced; therefore, I called the Treasury Department Public Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., and asked them to field a nearly-identical question, “Does Secretary Paulson have any immediate relatives by the name of John Alfred Paulson?”

With true bureaucratic efficiency, the buck was passed at least twice during my phone call before I was dispatched with a promise that someone would call me back with the answer.  Unfortunately, that was almost five hours ago.

Is John Alfred Paulson related to Henry M. Paulson? Perhaps not, but that’s not what motivated me to write this article.  Instead, my chief concern was the news media’s seemingly-collective decision to ignore any possible connection between the men.  That kind of collusion, I fear, might portend a much greater problem for our nation’s future than banking failures.

Suit Filed Over AIG’s Promotion of Shariah Law

One week ago today, officials at the Thomas More Law Center announced they had filed a federal lawsuit (pdf) against Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and the Federal Reserve Board to stop all bailout funds from going to American International Group, Inc., the insurance giant many know better as “AIG.”

According to the lawsuit, the U.S. government, through its ownership of AIG, is not only violating the Constitution, but also promoting and financing the destruction of America using American tax dollars.

The basis of the lawsuit is, according to the TMLC news release, that AIG intentionally promotes Shariah-compliant businesses and insurance products, which by necessity must comply with the 1200 year old body of Islamic canon law based on the Quran, which demands the conversion, subjugation, or destruction of the infidel West, including the United States.  To help achieve these objectives and with the aid of federal tax dollars, AIG employs a three-person Shariah Advisory Board, with members from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Pakistan.  According to AIG, the role of its Shariah authority “is to review operations, supervise its development of Islamic products, and determine Shariah compliance of these products and investments.”

“This lawsuit not only raises significant Constitutional issues, it also shines a light on serious national security issues that our own government has created by direct financial support and ownership of a business that supports anti-American, radical Islamic activities,” said Richard Thompson, TMLC president and chief counsel.  “Make no mistake, there is an internal cultural jihad underway against our great nation, and I fear that many of our political leaders are unwittingly complicit in it.”

[Editor's Note: I strongly encourage you to read the entire text of the Thomas More Law Center news release about this lawsuit, filed in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of Kevin J. Murray, a former Marine infantryman who served two tours of duty in Iraq, as it provides a great deal of information that deserves much more coverage than it is now receiving in the nation's news media -- and, for that matter, in the blogosphere.]

Paulson Bailout Deal Cheating Taxpayers

While many fear Tuesday’s election could launch Barack Obama’s much-talked-about plan to redistribute the wealth, an Oct. 29 report in The Nation suggests that the redistribution has already begun:

The swindle of American taxpayers is proceeding more or less in broad daylight, as the unwitting voters are preoccupied with the national election. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed to invest $125 billion in the nine largest banks, including $10 billion for Goldman Sachs, his old firm. But, if you look more closely at Paulson’s transaction, the taxpayers were taken for a ride–a very expensive ride. They paid $125 billion for bank stock that a private investor could purchase for $62.5 billion. That means half of the public’s money was a straight-out gift to Wall Street, for which taxpayers got nothing in return.

Incredibly, much of the credit for bringing this matter to light goes to United Steelworkers’ Leo W. Gerard, according to a Marketwatch report five days ago.  The USW president sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson earlier that day and also penned an article on his union’s web site.

After reading both the letter and the article, I wish I could say I’m willing to take back everything negative I’ve ever said about labor unions, but I can’t.  The management-is-bad, labor’s-being-cheated rhetoric on the part of the labor union boss hangs too thick in this virtual reading room.  Still, because politics, sometimes creates strange bedfellows, I find myself in agreement with Gerard on three key points:

  • The current bailout plan needs to be reworked;
  • Taxpayers should not be stuck with a deal that pays the nation’s nine largest banks double the going rate; and
  • Secretary Paulson et al responsible for this deal are “scoundrels who have laid waste to the American Dream.”

Hat tip:  Merry Roloff