Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Go Green! Bankruptcies > Bailouts

Standard class warfare from the university list serve:

Since the world's economic foundation began to crumble last fall, I've heard conservatives lay the blame on liberals like Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd who, along with the Clinton administration, supposedly "forced" mortgage brokers to make loans to people who had no business buying houses. And I've heard them blame "greedy" auto workers who resisted pay cuts when US auto companies were on the ropes for the demise of that industry. I'm glad to see that finally populist anger is turning against those who really do bear responsibility for much of what has happened, the "Masters of the Universe" in financial firms on Wall Street and around the world as well as those who fought for more deregulation of the banking industry.

The federal government has "loaned" more than $170 billion in taxpayer money to AIG (American International Group) in an effort to cover the insurance it issued on credit default swaps held by firms like Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers as well as banks all over the world.

On Friday, it was revealed that AIG paid out more than $165 million in bonuses -- described as retention payments to keep top employees with the firm -- mostly to the very people in the financial products unit who caused the most damage to AIG and the world economy. According to a letter from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to Barney Frank, here are some facts about the people who received the AIG bonuses:

* The top recipient received more than $6.4 million;
* The top seven bonus recipients received more than $4 million each;
* The top ten bonus recipients received a combined $42 million;
* 22 individuals received bonuses of $2 million or more, and combined they received more than $72 million;
* 73 individuals received bonuses of $1 million or more; and
* Eleven of the individuals who received "retention" bonuses of $1 million or more are no longer working at AIG, including one who received $4.6 million.

Cuomo went on to say, "These payments were all made to individuals in the subsidiary whose performance led to crushing losses and the near failure of AIG. Thus, last week, AIG made more than 73 millionaires in the unit which lost so much money that it brought the firm to its knees, forcing a taxpayer bailout."

I can't believe the mess we're in, and I don't know how we'll get out of it. But one thing I do know is that it wasn't caused by a bunch of liberals who wanted to make it possible for poor people to own their own homes.

Well, you better believe it, because "Yes, the Community Reinvestment Act Really Did Help Cause the Housing Crisis"

However, I agree with the poster on the above thread:

The CRA encouraged loaning in less affluent areas to QUALIFIED individuals, it did not say throw all standards out the window for the quick buck. That was done by greedy bankers and mortgage brokers all on their own initiative.

Individual and corporate responsibility should be enforced versus fobbing off the bill from the profligate to the prudent loaners & loanees. Rather than kill more trees and increase our collective carbon footprint by wasting time, money & energy reinventing the wheel, bankruptcy laws, that are already on the books, should be followed. Think green, people!

In an edifying note, some banks are returning their TARP money.


More on hope & change ; rainbows & unicorns .


The New York Times, of all places, has a good, level-headed analysis of the AIG bailout/bonuses controversy in its editorial today. Again, there wouldn't be a bonus controversy if there hadn't been a bailout in the first place.


A list of politicians who received campaign contributions from AIG & thus have a huge conflict of interest . The politicians rewarded a poorly managed company with tax payer dollars because said company gave said politicians legal vote buying bribes.


  1. Promote corporate responsibility by letting corporations go bankrupt...promote individual responsibility by defeating Obama, ACORN and the Dems.