I just saw a Kohls commercial that used BNL’s “Shopping” as a soundtrack. Wow. Might want to check the lyrics there, guys. Hopefully this will become the way people with no sense of irony announce themselves to the world now that “Born in the USA” has aged.
"Geithner’s indulgence of bankers’ indulgences is fast becoming the Obama administration’s Achilles’ heel. The AIG debacle is the latest in a series of bewildering Geithner decisions that threaten to undermine the administration’s efforts to restart the economy. So long as it’s Be Kind to Bankers Week at Treasury — and we’ve had eight straight such weeks since the president was inaugurated — American banking, and the economy it is supposed to serve, will remain paralyzed. The Geithner plan to restart the banks provides huge taxpayer subsidies to hedge funds, investment banks and private equity companies to buy the banks’ toxic assets without really having to assume the risk. That’s right — the same Wall Street wizards who got us into this mess, using the same securitization techniques that built mountains of debt within a shadow financial system that remains unregulated, are the saviors whom Geithner has anointed to extricate us — with our capital, not theirs — from the mess that they created.
A more plausible solution would be for the government to assume control of those banks that are insolvent, as it routinely does when banks go under. It could then install new management, wipe out the shareholders, take the devalued assets off the banks’ books, restart lending and restore the banks to private control at a modest profit for the taxpayers. There may be reasons that Geithner’s plan makes more sense than this one, but if they exist, Geithner has failed to explain them.
It’s certainly not because Americans are dead set against bank nationalization: A Newsweek poll this month found that 56 percent of respondents supported it. Hell, Alan Greenspan supports it. But Geithner seems unable to imagine a banking system not run by its current leaders or owned by its current shareholders or engaged in the same arcane securitization practices that led to its collapse. An administration that is busily creating alternatives to our health-care system and our energy policies is being dragged down by a Treasury secretary who cannot conceive of an alternative to our catastrophic system of banking.”
Hmmm, I don;t think I’ve seen so mainstream an argument for nationalization.
“The AIG management has said that they needed to do this in order to retain critical employees. This shows a worrisome lack of basic business knowledge. To give an employee an incentive to stay, you would offer money to be paid in the future, after the accomplishment of some goals or at least remaining at his or her desk for another year. One guy received $6.4 million. For most rational people, that would be an incentive to take some time off and enjoy life, not to keep going into work at America’s objectively stupidest company (they ran up losses far larger than traditional candidates for this title, such as G.M. and Chrysler). The manager of your local McDonald’s is savvier about retention strategy than the AIG executives.”—