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Trying to Find the Invisible Hand

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The only difference between intervention and manipulation is communication.

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Hey, you on the grassy knoll---yeah, you, over there with the tin foil hat... I've got something I wanna show you.

For years, we've whispered about the invisible hand, plunge protection team, unnatural bids...you know, the whole notion that "the only difference between intervention and manipulation is communication."

And for years, we got cross looks and fielded grumbles that we were conspiracy theorists.

A few months ago, I wrote Unusual Suspects, which talked about this concept. Surprisingly, it was very well received.

As a follow-up, I thought you might enjoy the following column, featured in this month's Bloomberg Magazine.

And I quote: "Paulson started preparing for market gyrations on the day he moved to Washington from Wall Street, colleagues say. ``He began working on financial preparedness from the start,'' says Robert Steel, the Treasury's undersecretary for domestic finance. ``And he decided early on that a key mechanism for doing that was the President's Working Group.''

If there was any question who was the buyer into yesterday's close, I think we can now agree that there are mechanisms in motion and agendas in play. Not saying it was Hank, mind you, just saying... well, it very well might have been.

R.P.

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