Nation of Suckers Sucklers
0 comment Thursday, June 19, 2014 |
Okay. Help me out here. Am I wrong to think that before the U.S. government, and I'm talking the Obama government, agreed to MORE bailouts, it would conduct due diligence of the entities seeking funds?
Or am I being too hopeful, too optimistic? Or too logical, perhaps.
The Obama administration is only now finding out about these AIG bonus contracts that were signed, per Obama's press secretary, in April of 2008? Even though Christopher Dodd inserted an amendment into bailout legislation last month which specifically protects bonuses contracted for prior to February 11, 2009?
Umm, I don't get it. Either the government failed to conduct due diligence before pouring more money into AIG's coffers or it knew all along the company had contractual bonuses owing to these employees. Did no one look at AIG's accounts payable? I mean, I'm no accountant but 165 million seems a little hard to miss.
If Obama's team didn't know about them, that's bad. But this "Holy shit! These bonuses are outrageous. Put a team of lawyers on this, ASAP" crap? Feigning shock and righteous indignation when they knew about the bonuses all along? That's worse.
Robert Gibbs, Obama's press secretary, got hit with these questions today, albeit they were more politely framed. And poor Mr. Gibbs had a bad day today. A very bad day indeed.
He tried to wing it on the AIG bonuses and it was an abject failure. Watching it was painful.
He rambled and rambled. I'm not sure how many times he said, "and again, I'm not a contract lawyer . . ." but it was a lot.
And pay special attention right around 6:37 on the video. Gibbs patiently explained that unlike a business, which can be unwound through bankruptcy, or a bank, which can be taken over by the FDIC, AIG is some kind of sui generis alien juggernaut that can't be taken down. To wit:
"But for an entity the size and the structure of AIG, there's not a legal mechanism with which to resolve those issues in a way that protects the taxpayer."We're living in a Japanese horror film. The monster is sucking up our money and we can't kill it. It can't fail. Help.
We're pouring billions of dollars into an entity over which we have no meaningful oversight.

Not only do we have no meaningful oversight, we don't even know which agency is unmeaningfully overseeing this thirsty King Kong. When a reporter asked Gibbs point blank which government entity is in charge of AIG oversight (we do, after all, own 80% of the company), Gibbs had NO CLUE.
Gibbs was also asked the straight-forward question: "when did Obama know of these AIG bonuses?" He simply would not answer the question.
Which is not to say the Republicans are faring much better. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is making gaffe after gaffe. What should the AIG bonus holders do? "Resign or commit suicide," Japanese style, said Grassley.
And what about us, Senator Grassley? We, the people, of the United States? Umm, Grassley says someone is sucking our tit.
Now if that doesn't stimulate us, nothing will.