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John Crudele: Market intervention is top financial story of our generation

Section: Daily Dispatches

By John Crudele
New York Post
Thursday, December 4, 2008

A few weeks ago CNBC's morning show went after one of its own guests who said the federal government had intervened in the stock market during two dire days in October.

No way, the hosts chimed in, despite the fact that the guest, Scott Nations, gave them chapter and verse about the incidents.

I've been telling you for a long time in this column that this sort of stuff has been going on through the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, which is also affectionately known as the Plunge Protection Team.

The blueprint is for the government to change the negative tone of the market by purchasing stock index futures contracts when nobody else is willing to step in as the market's savior.

I reported the CNBC incident with Scott Nations, whom I don't know, in a recent column. And that's when I came under attack.

Now it's my turn again.

If you do a little research -- which I did -- you'll see that on Oct. 9 CNBC's host Dylan Ratigan discussed government intervention in the stock market with several guests on a different show.

Ratigan is one of the people at CNBC who doesn't always buy Wall Street's party line.

CNBC's official recap of that day's "Fast Money" show, which Ratigan hosts, reads that guest "Joe Terranova says the U.S. government needs to step in and be a buyer of (stock) futures."

Guest Jon Najarian then says he'd love to trade against the government and he hopes that they do enter the market.

OK, so Ratigan knows enough to let his guests discuss this very real possibility.

So maybe someone should require the rest of the folks at CNBC to watch Ratigan's show.

Need more proof that Washington has been dabbling in stocks?

The Financial Times reported that regulators in the recent Citigroup bailout "considered more aggressive action, even discussing plans to buy common stock of Citi in the open market to 'squeeze' short sellers. ... The proposal -- which recalls strategies employed by central bankers in the past -- was rejected," the FT reported.

So the Financial Times confirmed that the government has intervened in the stock market before.

By the way, Washington intervening in the stock market is the biggest financial story of our generation. That's why I'm so passionate about the truth coming out.


John Crudele is business columnist for the New York Post.

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