It's Getting Really Bad: Bush Now Part of the Plunge Protection Team

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The president's Working Group on Financial Markets has for the first time in history met with George W. Bush himself. White House spokesman Tony Fratto said at Friday's press briefing that is is the first time that Bush met with the members of the group as a unit. The group is nicknamed "The Plunge Protection Team" (PPT) and held most of its meetings out of the media limelight.
Read the most important part here or go here for the complete transcript.

Q And his meeting with the financial working group is as a unit?
MR. FRATTO: Yes.
Q Even though this is the first time in this presidency that he's met with them as a group, we shouldn't draw any significance or inference on --
MR. FRATTO: No, I wouldn't. Obviously, there are important market-related issues out there that he would like to have a discussion about, and received a lot of news coverage lately. You've seen some of these stories move from the front page of the business section to the front page of the A section in newspapers, and people are paying more attention to it. But these issues have been out there for a long time, and he's been briefed and received lots of information on these issues. But there was no one sort of triggering event that led to this meeting. He just wanted to have a chance to have a conversation with all of them together.

And here is an earlier part of the Q&A:
Q Tony, off camera you talked about the economy. I'm wondering, on camera, if you can talk a little bit about where things stand from the White House perspective on the economy based on the latest data, and if today's meeting is a sign of perhaps more concern from the President, that he's never met with this group before?
MR. FRATTO: Well, he's met with -- you're referring to the President's Working Group on Financial Markets that the President will be meeting with in about 25 minutes. Of course he's met with all of these members somewhat regularly. Hank Paulson he meets on a very regular basis with and speaks to Hank directly on broad economic issues and also on -- Hank reporting on the work of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, the work they're doing and on the condition of our financial markets.

Although this may sound as Bush is just having a cup of tea with his fellas from the Fed, the Treasury, the SEC and the CFTC I highly doubt that any of the five has time for courtesy calls these days. Nasdaq is currently falling apart, down 3.7% and the Euro jumped one cent to 1.48 in a matter of minutes earlier this day. Gold softened a fiver to $860 after yesterdays all time high.
For an extensive background on the secretive PPT click here.

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