I love faux outrage, and the brou ha ha over the AIG bonuses was chock full of it today. It’s one of those things where I don’t even know where to start (Chris Dodd is an option), so let’s just look at what I feel is misdirected anger. People are upset aboot AIG for giving mad bonuses after being bailed out by the government. Me? I’m upset at cats like Barack Obama and John McCain who DIDN’T THINK OF THIS WHEN THEY BAILED THEM OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE!
It wasn’t just the two of them, but since they were the ones who had the biggest stage at the time (you know, what with that whole election thing), I hold them mainly responsible for standing there while we rushed a or the bailout (honestly, I forget which one bailed out what) and handed AIG a check without conditions. We gave what many perceived to be an irresponsible financial institution and blank check, and are now outraged that they acted like an irresponsible financial institution we gave a blank check to.
And since Obama is the guy who won, I give you Politico.com…
Watching the coverage the past 24 hours, it would seem AIG just made public its plans to give top employees big bonuses. Wrong.
AIG disclosed its retention-bonus program more than a year ago, including bonuses directed to those handling the exotic derivatives that got the company and the country into this mess.
The bonuses were essentially a nonissue when AIG got its initial bailout money, almost $150 billion under President Bush in the two months surrounding the presidential election. Joe Biden, then the vice presidential nominee, came out strongly against the bailout. Obama did not.
Timothy Geithner, then at the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, was a huge proponent and architect of the AIG bailout. So if Obama had strong private opposition to the idea it did not affect his pick for the person who would oversee all bailouts.
The bonuses were again a nonissue when Obama himself increased the bailout to $173 billion last month.
Read the whole article for the Republican half of the faux outrage.
In closing, I just love me some Rick Santelli…
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