harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,
harsens_rob
harsens_rob

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In the NYT today, via Memeorandum, is this article regarding some banks deciding that there are too many restrictions being added by the White House in exchange for taking more tax payer bailout money.

 

Financial institutions that are getting government bailout funds have been told to put off evictions and modify mortgages for distressed homeowners. They must let shareholders vote on executive pay packages. They must slash dividends, cancel employee training and morale-building exercises, and withdraw job offers to foreign citizens.

 

 

What I find really funny (but not Ha-Ha funny) is how these eff-ers took the money in the first place, if they didn’t need it?! I can tell you… because they were used to the Bush Administration who didn’t mind if they made themselves rich off of the Federal teet, screwing the ‘little people’ in the meantime. What they thought, was that they’d all pat themselves on the back and give themselves huge bonuses using that money, and now they’re pissed that somebody is holding them to account… you know, the way you get held to account… but then you are one of the little people.

 

Well, obviously I say Fuck ‘Em… and hard. Our deposits are insured and if they need the money, but won’t take it, they’ll be out of a job when the bank fails and they’ll be publically humiliated. On the other hand, if they don’t need those funds then they had no fucking business lining up for them in the first place.

 

I’m not the only one who thinks so….

 

 

If these banks didn't need the money, they shouldn't have taken it.

If they can afford to give it back because they don't like the conditions attached, they never needed it.  DailyKos

 

 

Obviously, everyone's first reaction is here is to break out their tiny violins so we can all play sad songs for the nation's bankers.  Songs like this: If you don't want taxpayer oversight, then don't take taxpayer money after you've run your bank into the ground.  Until then, suck it up.motherjones

 

 

But, there as others who are worried that bank executives will cut off their noses to spite the government, to which I say… again, have at it, selfish, self-serving assholes.

 

 

On the other end of the spectrum, though, you get populist grandstanding like the recent fuss over Northern Trust hosting a bunch of client parties at a golf tournament they were sponsoring in Los Angeles.  Aside from the fact that money for the events all came out of the bank's marketing budget — which no one in their right mind thinks should be shut down during a recession — they almost certainly would have wasted more money by calling off their parties than by holding them.  Those kinds of things are scheduled far in advance, and the contracts they signed probably didn't allow them to recover more than a pittance if they cancelled at the last minute. – motherjones, again.

 

I’ll actually sign on to this complaint. It would have been far more wasteful to cancel a pre-planned event at the last minute, than makes sense and the uproar wasn’t well thought out. It was a knee-jerk reaction by the media/public because we’re so sick of rich people thinking the normal rules not only don’t apply to them, but shouldn’t apply to them.

 

It reminds me of a great Buffy-scene (BTVS: Ted from S2):

 

Cordelia:  I don't get it. Buffy's the Slayer. Shouldn't she have...?

 

Xander:  What, a license to kill?

 

Cordelia:  Well, not for fun. But she's like this superman. Shouldn't

there be different rules for her?

 

Willow:  Sure, in a fascist society.

 

Cordelia:  Right! Why can't we have one of those?

 

 

Sure, it’s really funny in a T.V. show, in which the character is being shown as utterly clueless. It’s not so funny in real life when our corporate ‘leaders’ are also utterly clueless.

 

But, the whole point of this post is because this site’s opinions were so stupidly partisan that it pissed me off and I had to respond to the poster.

 

 

Now, I understand canceling employee training. After all, you wouldn’t want to teach the people who got us into this mess to change their behavior. When nationalization is complete, they’ll be government employees, so no accountability is necessary! And morale-building is also out — they should be happy following the dictates of Dear Leader, and no morale building should be necessary for our properly conditioned subjects.  The Liberty Papers 

 

It’s this sort of rhetoric that makes it impossible to actually discuss anything. My response was probably a little too dictated by my anger:

 

 

Brad,

 

Your post is stupid. The whole point of the bailout money was to “bail out the financial sector”… not give bonuses, not work on team-building excerices, not give executives free money to do with as they would. These funds had a very specific purpose… to improve their balance sheets so that there would be confidence in investing in these institutions and to lend credit, especially to small businesses. You apparently believe that the greedy Wall Street sharks who’ve gotten fat on the teet of the economy and then helped sink it through greed and esoteric accounting schemes (for that is exactly what derivitives sound like to me) should never-the-less feel free to take our tax dollars and spend them whereever they feel. Thanks a lot, but no thanks. If the banks can’t handle the regulation and want to return the funds, they never needed them in the first place, so why did they apply for “BAILOUT” money if they weren’t in financial trouble? Kiss corporate butt on your own dime.  (typos included)

 

 

At least he chose to respond to me… and he even managed to not just string a series of insults, which is a minor miracle among the blogosphere’s commenters, let me tell you:

 

 

Rob,

I’ve got no problem with attaching strings to the money. My only request is that the strings make sense. My flippant responses regarding retraining and morale-building exercises were largely in jest.

Where I really become upset is when they use this bailout as an excuse to put in protectionist measures closing our borders to qualified foreign workers. There’s just no good reason for it, and this protectionism is showing up as part of a pattern in Obama’s administration — from the “Buy American” steel provisions in the stimulus bill to the noises about renegotiating our free trade agreements, and now this.

Protectionism is NOT a good idea, and restricting the labor pool for these banks will not help them solve this issue. Brad Warbiany, The Liberty Papers

 

 

The argument actually carries a lot of weight with me. Although, like everyone else, I’m angry by the amount of unemployment and worried that my job will be next, in the whole, protectionism never has the intended affect. Anyone who argues that it will “save jobs” or “make us stronger” doesn’t know what they are talking about and is simply reacting emotionally (which is entirely understandable, under the circumstances) rather than by reason (which is much more important).

 

Since this Brad guy felt that I was worth responding to, I did include this last note back:

 

 

And, I would completely agree with that portion of your post… if only you didn’t have to dip into the Partisan (with a capital ‘P’) pool with:

“Now, I understand canceling employee training. After all, you wouldn’t want to teach the people who got us into this mess to change their behavior. When nationalization is complete, they’ll be government employees, so no accountability is necessary! And morale-building is also out — they should be happy following the dictates of Dear Leader, and no morale building should be necessary for our properly conditioned citizens subjects.”

Which seemed to indicate you weren’t so concerned with discussing the impact of protectionism, so much as repeating the whole “THE ONE”, “Obama is a secret Socialist who can single-handedly destroy America ’cause Libruls are evil and godless and hate our country” B.S.

And, this is spoken from a mostly moderate independent. Sorry, if I sounded a bit miffed, but to be honest I was, because your last point actually has a lot of merit.

 

 

So, protectionism = bad. However, banks taking money they didn’t require in order to sneak themselves another bonus = hubris on a massive scale. Something that should be clear to everyone, if we can stop just repeating liberal and conservatives memes at one another.

 

- - - Rob

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