OBAMA’S FAUX OUTRAGE AT AIG’S BONUS SPENDING…

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: News And Politics... |

 

Those were my exact words about Obama in previous posts:  "All talk and no action"…

I can’t believe Obama had the nerve to crack a joke when referring to the despicable actions of AIG (or as I call them, PIG).  I don’t know about you, but I’m not laughing.  This is proof positive that Obama and his administration are not taken seriously.  The faux outrage that Obama, Frank and Pelosi are demonstrating is not convincing me.  What I fear is that the terrorists out there are thinking the same thing…that Obama is too soft and inexperienced to run this country responsibly.  When Biden said that Obama will be tested, you’d better believe it.  Speaking of Biden, where has he been during all this freefall spending by the corrupt recipients of stimulus money?  Didn’t Obama put “Watch Dog” Biden in charge of making sure the stimulus money is spent appropriately because “nothing gets by Joe”.  Gee, how’s that working out, Obama?  Just about every person he appointed has been a poor choice.  As a matter of fact, even he was a poor choice!  Most of the politicians on Capital Hill are corrupt, yet they’re getting paid to do nothing.  As I’ve always said, an honest man can never be bought.  That’s why there are so few in politics.

This economy is steadily declining because most of America put a guy in the White House who is too inexperienced.  Apparently, he’s just learning as he goes along which any idiot could do.  If you remember during campaigning, John McCain addressed Obama’s inexperience saying that the presidency is not a learn as you go position.  Back then, Obama and his followers used the race card and scare tactics to win the presidency—fast forward to today and now Obama is saying that our economy is fundamentally sound despite the temporary "mess" it’s in.  Remember when Obama and the Democrats chastised McCain for saying the same thing?  What Obama mocked as a presidential candidate, he is now flip-flopping on his words saying "things are not as bad as we thought".  Actually, Obama, things are even worse than anyone could imagine because you’re in charge…   

QueenBee

 
Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2009

Obama’s AIG Outrage: All Talk, No Action

By Michael Scherer / Washington

In the middle of decrying the misdeeds of the financial firm AIG, President Obama cracked a joke. "Excuse me," he said Monday, after coughing into the microphone. "I am choked up with anger here." There were laughs all around the gilded East Room of the White House, because he didn’t sound angry at all.

The laughter, of course, did not fit the occasion, the latest in a seemingly endless stream of public events at which Washington’s political leaders work themselves into high dudgeon over the sins of financial wizards who, we are told over and over again, have messed up the world for everyone else. But then, you can only act outraged about the same thing so many times before it all starts to sound stale. These spectacles, the public rhetorical floggings, have become teleplays, as predictable as a daytime soap opera, as comforting as a wet rock. (See pictures of the Top 10 scared traders.)

As the event wore on, even Obama did not seem that into it, a surprising misfire for a politician who has long excelled at always striking the right tone at public appearances. He was almost grinning as he described the "recklessness and greed" of the traders in AIG’s financial products division, a reckless band of wealthy incompetents who made bets they could not pay for, leaving the American taxpayer on the hook for as much as $173 billion in emergency funds — an enormous sum that works out to about $600 for every man, woman and child in America. "How do they justify this outrage?" Obama asked rhetorically, with only the slightest tinge of outrage in his own voice. (Read "Obama’s challenge: containing the AIG bonus outrage.")

Then he announced that he had instructed his Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, to seek "every single legal avenue available to block" $165 million in bonuses that were awarded last week to the very same traders at AIG’s Financial Products division who made the bad bets in the first place. This was a politically necessary thing for Obama to say, even if it lacked a punch.

Obama had promised weeks ago to stop the excessive bonuses on Wall Street, at a time when the existence of the coming AIG bonuses had already been disclosed by the excellent reporting of Bloomberg News. Obama’s staff had vowed more recently that the further infusion of taxpayer money into AIG, which the federal government now controls 80% of, was appropriate and necessary. And now he was faced with the fact that his new executive compensation policy, which only applied to a narrow subset of executives at a few institutions, had been powerless to stop the worst violators at AIG from getting their undeserved payday.

On ABC’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg spoke for the rest of the nation when she looked into the camera and said, as if to AIG executives, "You can’t bend us over!"

But the sad truth is they can. And they probably will. And President Obama, despite his popularity and moral indignation, has few tools to stop them. The Treasury Department has already concluded that the bonuses in question, which were first made public in late January, cannot be rescinded because they resulted from airtight contracts that had been signed in April of 2008.

Furthermore, AIG’s newly installed CEO, Edward M. Liddy, told Treasury last week that the AIG traders in question were still needed, because only they could minimize the damage they had done. "AIGFP’s books also contain a significant number of complex–so-called bespoke–transactions that are difficult to understand and manage," the company announced in a document sent to the Treasury by Liddy. "This is one reason replacing key traders and risk managers would not be practical on a large scale. Personal knowledge of the trades and the unique systems at AIGFP will be critical to an effective unwind of AIGFP’s businesses and portfolios." In other words, the guy who just stabbed the nation in the gut is the only surgeon who can stop the bleeding.

And these people will now walk away with a significant payday: $165 million to about 400 employees, on top of $55 million the same people earned last year, a year that ended with AIG posting a $61.7 billion fourth quarter loss, the largest quarterly loss in corporate history. (If it is any consolation, senior managers in the Financial Products division will make about 43% less in 2008 than they did a year earlier, according to the company.) As Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke put it, "It makes me angry. I slammed the phone down more than a few times discussing AIG. I understand why the American people are so angry. It’s absolutely unfair."

But like Obama, Bernanke and the rest of the political elite, who lined up Monday to share their outrage, are rather powerless to act. If AIG fails, almost all experts agree, the damage to the entire financial system would be horrific. So the leadership has little to do but posture. "Unconscionable," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Outrageous," said her Republican counterpart, John Boehner. Sen. Chris Dodd, the chair of the banking committee that failed to regulate AIG, called on the executives to "voluntarily" forgo their bonuses. The best the government looks able to do is insist on some tough new pay restrictions going forward before giving AIG its next installment of $30 billion.

Though Obama’s tone fell somewhat short, he has proven that he understands the level of the humiliation now being foisted on American taxpayers. He described the stakes of the current situation perfectly. "This is not just a matter of dollars and cents," the President said in the East Room. "It’s about our fundamental values. All across the country, there are people who are working hard and meeting their responsibilities every single day without the benefit of government bailouts or multimillion dollar bonuses."

But even as he described the problem, Obama offered little hope of exacting justice for past violations of the social compact. Instead, he asked the country to look forward, to an era of new regulations that will prevent a repeat of these failures. And he repeated again the outrage that most Americans now feel, with a little levity to lighten the mood. "I’m choked up with anger," he said, to cover for his coughs. It was a fleeting laugh for a nation steaming with fury.

 

 

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

2 Responses to “OBAMA’S FAUX OUTRAGE AT AIG’S BONUS SPENDING…”

RSS Feed for QueenBeeWorld… Comments RSS Feed

That\’s a good way of putting it, Khrys. LOL

Like

You know the saying "if its broke don\’t try to fix it"? Computing & investors have created their own \’twist\’ on it over last decade or more. It goes a little something like this : "If we break it make sure no-one else can fix it!".. Cue countless mini recessions leading up to the biggest \’cover our own ass\’ in history!

Like


Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: