This January, coming to a theater near you...
"Fort Knox? Compared to this, Fort Knox is a piggy bank."
Jean Claude Van Damme...
"We need to stoup dem, beefer its too laight!"
Based on the true story of the greatest robbery ever pulled...
They told Congress they would save the country. But in the end, they only saved themselves.
"700 billion, ours for the taking."
"Surely they'll catch us."
"Catch us? Ha. They'll help us!"
Directed by Tony Scott.
Congress gave 700 billion to financial firms without much debate. Yet 14 billion for the auto industry, is being scrutinized endlessly. Hmm... when Republicans in suits have finincial difficulties, there's no debate. But when Democrats wearing hardhats are in trouble... there's got to be some "serious changes."
"But wait, Adam," you say. "That 700 billion came with restrictions too." Really? You mean that limit on executive pay?
"Yes," you say.
WASHINGTON POST- Congress wanted to guarantee that the $700 billion financial bailout would limit the eye-popping pay of Wall Street executives, so lawmakers included a mechanism for reviewing executive compensation and penalizing firms that break the rules.The truth is, Congress is hemmoraging money left and right, and all this talk about restrictions and oversight is grandstanding and outright lies. The Dems may have a slim majority in congress, but they're as gutless as ever, and as long as Bush is still in the White House, he will continue to undermine any attempts to put regulations on his big business cronies.
But at the last minute, the Bush administration insisted on a one-sentence change to the provision, congressional aides said. The change stipulated that the penalty would apply only to firms that received bailout funds by selling troubled assets to the government in an auction, which was the way the Treasury Department had said it planned to use the money.
Now, however, the small change looks more like a giant loophole, according to lawmakers and legal experts. In a reversal, the Bush administration has not used auctions for any of the $335 billion committed so far from the rescue package, nor does it plan to use them in the future. Lawmakers and legal experts say the change has effectively repealed the only enforcement mechanism in the law dealing with lavish pay for top executives.
"The flimsy executive-compensation restrictions in the original bill are now all but gone," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), ranking Republican on of the Senate Finance Committee.
Executives at companies like AIG are laughing all the way to the bank.
American International Group Inc., the insurer whose bonuses and perks are under fire from U.S. lawmakers, offered cash awards to another 38 executives in a retention program with payments of as much as $4 million.They claim the bonuses... er... "cash awards" are necessary to retain top excutives-- to prevent them from joining other companies.
The incentives range from $92,500 to $4 million for employees earning salaries between $160,000 and $1 million, Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy said in a letter dated Dec. 5 to Representative Elijah Cummings. The New York-based insurer had previously disclosed that 130 managers would get the awards and that one executive would get $3 million.
“I remain concerned, as do many American taxpayers, that these retention payments are simply bonuses by another name,” Cummings said in letter responding to Liddy.
AIG, which received a U.S. rescue package of more than $152 billion, has been criticized for saying it will eliminate bonuses for senior executives while still planning to hand out “cash awards” that double or triple the salaries of some managers.
Um... why would anyone hire a failed executive? In this crappy economy? There's no demand for them!!!
Basically, it looks like much of the 700 billion will go towards making sure the financial futures of wealthy individuals are secure. The rest will probably be donated to various senators' re-election campaigns.
I wouldn't be surprised if Congress doesn't approve 14 billion for the auto industry. The mass unemployment and general destruction of the American economy will make sure that the public is too distracted to notice AIG executives cruising by on their brand-new yachts.
Obama can't come soon enough. But even he may be powerless to stop the greatest robbery ever committed in the United States.