In beseeching a skeptical Congress to write a $700 billion check to buy troubled illiquid assets, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke appear to have ignored Occam's razor, which holds that the simplest solution is often the best. That is certainly true in this case.

Members of Congress and regulators are operating under the premise that there are only five seconds left on the play clock before our financial system implodes. They either believe or are being told that the only hope to avoid financial Armageddon is to run a complicated new play that was just concocted on the sidelines.

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