The Ergosphere
Thursday, March 26, 2009
 

Washington bunraku theater

The furor over the AIG executive bonuses is, as others have already noted, largely misplaced.  Why should anyone care about the disposition of less than 1/10 of 1% of the total bailout money?  The whole thing is less than a day's expenditures in Iraq; it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

It does, however, suggest that there are real culprits, and the government and media are carefully directing our attention away from them.  In this bunraku theater, the puppeteers are shrouded in black and both our government and media pretend they aren't there.

If popular outrage allows the revocation of bonuses which were contractually obligated, why aren't other contracts being looked at just as closely?  For example, let's take the contracts which sank AIG in the first place: the credit-default swaps.  The bulk of the AIG bailouts have been paid out to banks.  Rumor in the WSJ is that the banks in turn have paid out most of this money to the billionaire holders of hedge funds.  These are the contracts which should be blocked.  There is evidence that the CDS's were sold on the basis of false claims, aka fraud.  The solution is to void the contracts.  The hedge funds should return their payouts and get their premiums back, un-winding the whole mess.  The banks would be instantly returned to solvency, and AIG with them.  And the financial products unit of AIG would no longer have a reason to exist.

Even as the economy collapses, the profits are privatized by the wealthiest of the wealthy while the losses are being socialized onto the backs of the middle class (the biggest net taxpayers in the USA).  This is what the kerfuffle over a few million in bonuses is about:  giving the public a scapegoat while the real thieves escape with their ill-gotten gains.  Like the "Two-Minute Hate" in Orwell's "1984", this is designed to exhaust our outrage without threatening the people truly responsible.

When will we learn?  More to the point, when will Congress use its subpoena power to follow the funds through the banks and show us the real culprits?

Labels: , , ,

 
Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Talk largely about energy and work, but also politics and other random thoughts


Mail Engineer-Poet

(If you're mailing a question, is it already in the FAQ?)

Important links

The FAQ
Glossary
The Reference Library

Blogchild of

Armed and Dangerous

Blogparent of

R-Squared




The best prospect for our energy future:
Flibe Energy

ARCHIVES
January 1990 / February 2004 / March 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / August 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / April 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / February 2015 / April 2015 / October 2015 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 /


Powered by Blogger

RSS feed

Visits since 2006/05/11: