Tuesday, September 30, 2008

CNBC is trying to sell Wall Street bailout package

CNBC's talking head anchors are desperately trying to sell viewers on the need for Congress to pass a bailout package of Wall Street fatcats.

Don't buy their propaganda and keep calling your representatives and senators to oppose the plan that is being tweaked ever so slightly by negotiators for a Thursday vote.

This afternoon, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo conducted an interview with the biggest auto dealer in America. The poor fella in Fort Lauderdale said he was having 20 percent of his buyers turned down by banks for loans to purchase cars -- supposedly new ones.

The auto dealer -- whose profession ranks right up there in credibility with being a member of Congress or the news media -- said the rejection of 20 percent of his buyers for new car loans was representative of a tightening credit market affecting Wall Street. The guy says he hates to tell people "no". The remedy: pass the bailout.

But his reasoning and the bailout advocacy of Bartiromo fail on several counts.

First, like most Americans, I don't own a brand new car. I don't buy one because it immediately depreciates in value once you drive off the lot. It is not a good investment.

Second, more Americans over the past 25 years should have been told "no" when it came to cars they could not afford or homes that were beyond their income. That's one reason why we're in the current financial mess with $4.4 trillion in personal debt. And you don't correct that kind of conduct by bailing people out.

Third, auto dealers and home builders and financial institutions are going to have to adjust to a new world just like the rest of us. That means saying "no" to things you can't afford or should not do. That's what we do in my household.

Fourth, if the nation's largest auto dealer feels so bad for these potential buyers, why doesn't he loan them the money himself? I'm sure as the largest auto dealer that he has made a ton of money. If these buyers are so credit worthy, then he'll make his money back with interest and more sales. Why introduce taxpayers into the equation?

Finally, Bartiromo dug deep into her scare tactics today by warning that retailers will be laying off floor employees during the Christmas season because of a lack of a bailout. Retailers already were headed in that direction with forecasts projecting the worst holiday buying season in 15 years. Do some research, Maria.

CNBC should label all its anchors on the TV screen with "pro-bailout" under their names. Their advocacy for this unnecessary bailout of Wall Street is shameless. While it may impress their friends on Wall Street who they meet for dinner and martinis, their bias doesn't sell on Main Street.

Here, we know the truth and how to say "no", first in our own households. Wall Street and Congress need to learn the same.

If you'd like to tell Bartiromo and CNBC to just report the news and leave the bailout advoacy to the Bush administration and House Democrats, send a comment at https://register.cnbc.com/email/EmailSupport.jsp

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