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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Half a loaf

Here's a simple counter offer to AIG chief executive Edward Liddy's generous offer to return half the $165 million in bonuses paid to retain the charlatans who helped plunge the world into economic turmoil.

Return half your $170 billion bailout.

What's that you say -- you can't? You have obligations to the financial institutions who bought the fraudulent financial markers you dreamed up? Should have thought about that before your started the scam.

The appalling "gesture" has also unearthed yet another example of the lack of leadership of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. It seems the Fed failed to tell the Obama administration of the looming bonus deadline three months ago.

Much of the heat being dumped on Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner then should rest with the Fed chief it seems.

Bernanke, Geithner and Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson were the authors of the AIG bailout and the Obama treasury boss therefore has some culpability in this fiasco. But Geithner was clearly the junior partner as the New York Fed chairman as the Bush team flailed from a page and a half bill giving Paulson all power to something resembling a plan.

And Bernanke's own leadership skills seem to be in question if the Fed chair failed to personally inform Geithner of the looming deadline.

There are no heroes here, including the politically wounded Geithner. But as those fingers keep getting wagged its clear much of the blame should land of the AIG (and other financial) "wizards" who engineer this scam under the noses of Paulson and Bernanke, their bosses who tolerated in the name of bonuses and fabulous wealth.

These guys deserve indictments, not cash. A basic American principle -- you get paid for that you make -- applies here. They made riches out of chaos. The should be joining Bernie Madoff in jail.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

this hole deal was a scam and congress knew all about this.. or did they not bother to read the documents before treasury bought 80% of this beast.. of course they did not read it.. just like they had no idea what was in the porkulus package.. a bunch of hacks.. Dodd and obama need to give back their 100k campaign gifts from AIG.. we have a conflict of interest and fraud foisted upon the American taxpayers (only 50% of us pay taxes)

March 19, 2009 7:58 AM  

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