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Dear USA - President Bush, the Congress, incoming 44th president, Secretary Paulson, and Mr. Geithner:

We have taken hostages.  We hold the life savings of over 100 million US families, their pension funds, the current cash assets of more than 10 million businesses, and the world's economy, in our hands.  We have guns to their heads.  Unless you do exactly as we say, they will all disappear.  You need only look at our past behavior to understand we have no concern for their well being or the damage we will cause - even to our own corporations and stockholders.  Take us seriously.

You will make two initial payments of 750 billion dollars each, totaling $1.5 trillion - the first in Q4 2008, the second in Q1 2009.  We will decide whether there will be more payments after that.

  • You will ignore most of the constituents who elected you and provided the money - who don't want us to have it.
  • We will have no obligation to loan any of the money, as if we were still banks.  That is obviously no longer how we make our money.
  • When we pay the money directly to ourselves as bonuses and other compensation, you won't prevent it.  Make it look like an accident.


  • You will ignore demands for transparency - no one will know who got how much money or how it will be spent.  Say you're preventing panic.  Say whatever you want.  That's not our problem.

Once these payments to us have been made, no more than $75 billion dollars - 5% of the ransom - may be provided to prevent over 2 million annual home foreclosures that continue to result from the real estate based fraud, usury and extortion scheme we've been caught in.  Yes, of course investing this way to prevent foreclosures can rescue many hostages and help end the crisis.  That is not our goal.

If you exceed this quota, or make any attempt to clawback monies we have already obtained, we guarantee we will demand more ransom payments be made to us.    

We don't recommend you make this ransom note public.  We have no plans to release the hostages.

Kerry K. Killinger, Angelo R. Mozila, John D. Finnegan, E. Stanley O'Neal, John A. Thain, Ken Lewis, et. al.
JPMorgan, BofA/WaMu/Merrill, CitiGroup, Wells Fargo/Wachovia, AIG

It turns out banks in the news have been caught using this ransom/hostage logic more publicly.
Thanks andrewj54, KateCrashes and nailbender for calling it to our attention:
Deutsche Bank Economist on Toxic Assets
TPM on same

Originally posted to Levity on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 07:34 PM PST.

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