Monday, March 16, 2009

Kausfiles Minus Kaus, pt. 3

Wherein I remove whole sentences from context, and blah blah blah ... check out this quote about those AIG bonuses:

“We are a country of law,” Mr. Summers said on ABC-TV’s Sunday show “This Week”. “There are contracts. The government cannot just abrogate contracts. Every legal step possible to limit those bonuses is being taken by Secretary Geithner and by the Federal Reserve system.”

Good lord, that's just ridiculous. Does anyone have a good idea for how to fix this?

How about empowering the ... czar to declare the companies' labor contracts null and void? And to indefinitely delay payment of all executive salaries and bonuses? [minor pruning there with the ellipsis]

That's a good point, Mickey! It makes sense, in the face of a $165 million payout of taxpayer money to incompetent executives, to nullify contracts and ultimately reorient the way Wall Street is paid to bring their incentives in line with investors and the country as a whole, instead of, say, using that power to punish union members who "make $28 an hour as opposed to, say, $26 an hour or even $24 an hour".

[Should we also do away with the utterly ridiculous pretense that unions are a dominant political force capable of bending spineless politicians to their will, when they're the ones making concessions while Mr. One Hundred Seventy Billion Dollars In Debt over there is giving himself a freakin' bonus and the President of the United States of America and both houses of Congress are just walking around like "whatcha gonna do?" with their palms turned upward and their shoulders shrugged? -- ed. Whoa, whoa, whoa ... imagine how much *worse* it would have been if AIG had been unionized! We'd have spent, like, one hundred *eighty* billion!]

So following Mickey's suggestion, we should expand oversight and empower regulators to make broad changes in the structure of executive compensation.