| HOUSTON, Sept 23
HOUSTON, Sept 23 Comrades in Washington, take
The Bush administration's $700 billion Wall Street bailout
plan and other government interventions to help the deeply
troubled financial industry have come under plenty of fire.
One angry critic, a venture capitalist, took out a costly
full-page advertisement in The New York Times on Tuesday to
vent -- accusing President George W. Bush, Treasury Secretary
Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke of
being 'new communists.'
The ad -- in the form of a cartoon -- shows the trio
planting a flag in the style of the Iwo Jima Memorial near
Washington, a tribute to U.S. soldiers during World War Two.
But the flag wielded by Bush, Bernanke and Paulson bears
the hammer and sickle communist symbol, emblazoned with the
words "big insurance," "Detroit auto" and "Wall St banks."
Private enterprise and capitalism are marked on tombstones
behind the three men, and a plaque overhead proclaims "The New
"They are raising the new flag," said Bill Perkins, the
Houston-based venture capitalist who paid for the ad. "We've
become a socialist-communist country in the form of
trickle-down communism," he told Reuters by telephone.
Bernanke and Paulson testified in Congress on Tuesday,
arguing the plan for the U.S. Treasury to buy tainted
mortgage-related securities should be urgently approved to
avert what Bernanke called very serious consequences for
financial markets and the economy.
"They've painted very scary scenarios but I'm a trader. I'm
in scary scenarios every day," Perkins said.
"Let me know if I'm going into a business where I'm going
to be competing against the government. I need to get out of
that business," he said.
Perkins, who said he paid $130,000 for the ad, joins vocal
opponents to the bailout plan who include conservative
Republicans such as Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S.
House of Representatives.
Such critics argue the administration is betraying its free
market principles by stepping in to help the financial industry
with such a sweeping measure.
Tuesday's ad used a drawing by Dawolu Jabari Anderson, a
member of the Houston-based art collective Otabenga Jones &
(Reporting by Chris Baltimore; Editing by Frances Kerry)