By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
AIG's financial products unit is getting $450 million in bonuses. AIG's financial products unit is that elite group which crippled AIG and threatened to bring down the entire financial system. Imagine what kind of cash they'd be pulling down if they were competent.
Forget bonuses. Why are these people still collecting regular paychecks?
I read in the New York Times today that the U.S. government owns nearly 80 percent of AIG. That's enough clout to can some people, right? They're under contract? Surely the contracts have a gross incompetence clause that can be exercised as good cause to fire these people?
Yes, we're free marketers and don't want government to start dictating to bailed out companies exactly how they are supposed to run. But the companies we've been aiding continue to operate as if the money they've gotten insulates them from the financial crisis. Maybe if the feds flexed some of their muscle it would snap them out of their complacence.
The gang over at AIG have apparently not clued in to the fact that they are being bailed out not because their company is too wonderful, their financial whiz kids too brilliant to be allowed to fail, but because their incompetence is on so grand a scale that they threaten the rest of us.
From the AIG bosses who dragged their feet for weeks before deigning to say how they were spending the innumerable bucks they'd gotten from the government to the financial products clown brigade who got us into this, the company needs a collective "come to Jesus" moment. Or at least come to Uncle Sam.
FDR saved capitalism from itself. It's now time for Barack Obama to do the same.
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