Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nobody Could Have Seen This Coming

From the New York Times article on taxing the banks:

The most likely alternatives would be a tax based on the size and riskiness of an institution’s loans and other financial holdings, or a tax on profits.

Lobbyists for bankers, taken by surprise, immediately objected to any new tax.

Suggested follow-up questions:

- Taken by surprise meaning that you've seen it coming for ages and have been desperately spinning to try to forestall the inevitable ("the housing bubble took us by surprise!")?

- Taken by surprise meaning you totally knew it would happen and you're just trying to act as though it's so inconceivably crass that you never saw it coming ("the furor over bonuses took us by surprise!")?

- Or taken by surprise like you're all bunch of know-nothing, backwards idiots getting high on your own supply ("financial deregulation leading to complete collapse took us by surprise!")?

Then again, when a lobbyist for bankers tells you he's shocked -- shocked! -- by something, I'm sure it's totally genuine.