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America’s titans of finance have caused the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, and what is their reaction? Party time!
“Break out the champagne/ We’re feeling no pain/ Let the bonuses rain/ It’s all to our gain!”
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Obtuse? Self-indulgent? Narcissistic? What’s with these people? Let’s review just three examples of their insanity:
While Merrill Lynch was collapsing last year, requiring a $25 billion salvage job from us taxpayers, its CEO was merrily redecorating his office, picking out such necessities as $28,000 worth of curtains, a $35,000 antique commode, and a $1,400 waste basket. Then he magnanimously doled out $4 billion in executive bonuses.
Citigroup, which lost $28 billion in the past 15 months, has now been given a $345 billion bailout from Washington and is presently holding a fire sale of its corporate parts in a desperate effort to survive. But this didn’t stop top executives from trying to buy a new, $50-million, Dassault Falcon corporate jet for themselves. Nevermind that the bank already had five executive jets.
Despite losing billions of dollars last year, then going hat in hand to the government for multibillion-dollar bailouts, Wall Street investment bankers paid themselves $18 billion in bonuses at the end of the year. In a poll of these bankers, 46 percent felt they deserved bigger bonuses.
We have to have some new words. “Greed” doesn’t say it. “Outrageous” falls way short. “Shameful” has no effect on bankers. Help me out here: How shall we describe their abominable sense of self-entitlement? Channel your furry into creativity, and send me your ideas for new words that nail these bankers. Top three winners get an autographed copy of my book, Thieves In High Places. Send us your suggestions!.
“Wall Street’s Socialist Jet-Setters,” www.nytimes.com, January 7, 2009.
“Of boundless greed and self-indulgence,” Austin American Statesman, January 29, 2009.
“What Red Ink? Wall St. Paid Hefty Bonuses, January 29, 2009.
“Dodd Orders Treasury to Recover Billions in Wall Street Bonuses,” www.foxnews.com, January 29, 2009.
“Obama, Dodd Slam Wall St. Bonuses,” www.nytimes.com, January 29, 2009.
“Obama calls $18B in Wall St. bonuses ‘shameful’,” www.yahoo.com, January 19, 2009.