Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Bonus Situation, Revisited. So Tim Geithner Not Just a Wall Street Crony?

<I>Trinity Church stares down Wall Street with blame in its eyes.</I>

Trinity Church stares down Wall Street with blame in its eyes.

Bonuses on Wall Street are projected to be bigger than last year, again!

Why, that must mean the recession is over! We’re on our way to national prosperity again!

Yeah, yeah. And why don’t you look up EDARS, and think about those. We’re actually creating “commonsense solutions for the homeless, portable shelters which are private and sturdy.”

Larry Summers, you p.o.s., declaring that the recession was over, last year.

Warren Buffett, you p.o.s., declaring we “will not have any double-dip recession at all.” We’re in one now.

An opinion piece in The Nation is now calling for power to be given back to people and taken away from the big corporations. The editorial strongly suggests that not only shareholders but every single employee of a corporation be given the right to sue the corporate officers for looting the corporation — and he gives a couple of nice examples of what could rightfully be considered looting:
— Granting big bonuses, or
— Giving big donations to political candidates.

While those are nice thoughts, why would anyone see the court system as a solution to the economic troubles of the country? It was the Supreme Court who decided corporations are people and should be allowed to give any amount of cash to political candidates; and just how long does he think anyone would remain an employee once he sued an officer of the corporation he works for?

Instead, can there be found ways of eliminating the bonus system entirely? Is there a way to change the present system, in which top executives work for short-term ultra-high gain of the corporation, in ways that endanger the company’s very existence, then they leave with their simply enormous golden parachutes?

Hey, we now know what the executives of corporations are capable of, remember? The last few years were a ripping off of the wool over our collective eyes. Because, when you shear sheep you naturally remove the wool from over their eyes.

So what can be done?

Ted Rall’s new book, The Anti-American Manifesto, is a desperate scream at us, the worried-but-inactive of this country. Just began reading this. The book is kind of a shocker, but perfectly normal for Rall. (A series of shocks is clearly necessary to galvanize any of us into action.) It deals with the entire loss of power by the populace in this nation, a national tragedy which encompasses war, profiteering, torture, theft by Bailout, the looting of the economy, the changes in the power structure in Washington, and the duping of the American people, who sit around in a medicated-like stupor at all of it.

One needs to read it.


About a week ago, Ben Bernanke told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that federal regulators should be ready to close down banks that, if beginning to fail, threaten the rest of the financial system.

Amazing. Bernanke finally taking a stand on Too-Big-to-Fail Banks, a stand that is apparently in OUR corner. It’s so weird to have him here! I picture him standing among us awkwardly in his nice suit, shuffling his feet, wondering when he can leave.

But I wonder:
Which TBTF Banks would — or could — be defined as failing, and which would be defined as a threat to the rest of the system? There’s the rub. The government, in its grand beautiful slowness, would take years deciding that a Bank should be closed. By then its damage will have been done.

Still, Bernanke’s saying this aloud “sends a message” (now there’s an abused, tortured phrase) to (our enemies) the Great Big Banks that maybe it’s time, finally, to start flying right and enact policies which don’t assume a Bailout is eternally there as a safety net. They will have to Stand Up so the federal government can Stand Down.

ISN’T it funny how our war verbiage is just like our financial verbiage?

Must be because of the class war we’re being forced to fight.

Strange also that Tim Geithner is lately making noises that sound like he wants to strengthen the economy, even at the expense of the Great Big Banks. And Nouriel Roubini uttered some praise of him. Odd, very odd. So odd that some (Ilargi, of, for example) think Roubini has gone sort of Hollywood and is no longer to be trusted.

The Great Big Banks’ behavior, over the last 2 years, resembles the behavior of a friend of mine, who will not take any action to solve her financial problems — why? Because she subscribes to Publisher’s Clearinghouse religiously, answering every mailing with a new subscription to something and of course a contest entry — therefore, she sort of assumes she’ll be winning someday. I mean, after all! She’s been with them for so long! It is impossible for her to imagine anything else. She never thinks the unthinkable will occur.

The unthinkable? Hah. It happens every day, there are books written about it. blackswan2