Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We found out Monday morning that government owned former insurance giant AIG distributed $165 million in bonuses to its financial-products division. After this was released the populist anger, particularly from the Democrats, flowed like raging water through a busted dam.
How could you give bonuses to people in a division that was primarily responsible for the collapse of the company? Really, how stupid can you get?
Apparently, the bonuses were contract obligations. But they're still dumb. AIG management should have sat down with their employees in this division, explained the potential PR situation, then forcefully asked them to waive the bonuses. If they didn't, then fire them, ask the government to pay the legal fees which they'll have to do thanks to populist support, and suddenly AIG goes from Wall Street greedhouse to the Robin Hood of lower Manhattan.
So I'm mad too. This bonus BS is an indicator that the people running AIG are STILL flat out stupid.
But the fucking outrage over $165 million is even dumber. Yeah, that's a lot of money to you and me. But it's less than 1/1,000th of the total AIG received from the government ($170B). And it's 0.0047% of Barack's proposed 2010 budget ($3.5 T-bones).
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had these eloquent words of wisdom:
"From my standpoint, it’s irresponsible for corporations to give bonuses, at this time, when they are so sucking the tit of the taxpayer."
He then called on AIG executives to "resign or commit suicide."
Two Representatives from New York suggested 100% taxes on the bonuses. But hey, why stop there? Why not 120% taxes? Why not 200% taxes and cease their apartments and cars?
Barack and the government have issued trillions (remember, that's a million millions) in money to these banks. People don't like it. So when the banks give $165 million to employees, the politicians come in with the people, who are already so angry at Wall Street. The politicians spout slogans like 'We were on your side all along!' 'We hate these Wall Street assholes as much as you do!' 'Let's tax them until they die!'
A Representative from New York, and one from Ohio suggested 100% taxes on any $100,000+ bonus issued by a company that's received bailout money. To me, that's ridiculously anti-capitalist, anti-American, and fucking stupid. You don't retain intelligent financial minds by legislating a limit on their compensation. The smart money, so to speak, will leave those banks that need them most. If some exec at a bank is doing a fantastic job, helping his/her bank return to profitability, then they deserve compensation. That's justice.
Barack is mixed in all this too. He wants his people to find ways to retract the bonuses. Wait a minute, Mister President. If you didn't want bonuses like this to be issued, why didn't you stipulate that as a restriction when you kept sending AIG billions of dollars?
AIG is dumb. The politicians are dumber. The people about to start a class-war over $165 million when the government has spent TRILLIONS, are dumbest.
With all these stupid people lying about their income on mortgage applications, constructing deceptive CDOs, and concocting gargantuan budgets; it's a wonder we have an economy at all.
Posted by rob at 11:12 AM