Saturday, November 1, 2008

How to get rich by destroying your company

Goldman Sachs to pay out billions in bonuses, using taxpayer cash.

Quoted from the Daily Mail article:

Goldman Sachs is on course to pay its top City bankers multimillion-pound bonuses - despite asking the U.S. government for an emergency bail-out.

The struggling Wall Street bank has set aside £7billion for salaries and 2008 year-end bonuses, it emerged yesterday.

Each of the firm's 443 partners is on course to pocket an average Christmas bonus of more than £3million.

The size of the pay pool comfortably dwarfs the £6.1billion lifeline which the U.S. government is throwing to Goldman as part of its £430billion bail-out.

As Washington pours money into the bank, the cash will immediately be channelled to Goldman's already well-heeled employees.
(end quote)

What a way to ruin the world-- wreck your bank, short-circuit the global economy by ruining the financial system, leave hundreds of thousands of people broke and out of work, send the stock market into a downward spiral, and spare those responsible for it all ANY of the consequences of their failures, crimes, and other sins. This is nothing less than reinforcing failure.

Isn't the basic premise of capitalism that hard work and innovation are rewarded, and bad systems wind up in the trash because they can't compete? This crisis won't be resolved until there's some serious accountability over finance matters like this, which means undoing the last ten years of right-wing ramrodded deregulation, pork and cronyism.

Even the most ardent capitalists should be nervous here, because things like this will destroy the appeal of capitalism as a socioeconomic system. Think about it-- if people look at the current situation and start realizing that the American dream is dead, because they'll never really get ahead no matter how hard they work, and might lose everything they've worked for (house, retirement account, college fund) because of what some millionaire trader on Wall Street does, they'll trade capitalism in for an idea that guarantees them some security. It happened after the excesses of capitalism in the Gilded Age and again after the First World War, when most of Europe basically gave up on liberal capitalism as a bad idea and turned to socialism, communism, or fascism.

More to the point, it's ironic that the McPain campaign is howling about Obama being a socialist, given that the Bush administration's bailout package basically nationalized any number of investment banks by buying their stock at arbitrarily high prices to keep them from going under.

At least Stalin shot (not fired, shot) the heads of GOSPLAN when they f*cked up.

For no apparent reason, the US press hasn't covered this. Then again, the the big media has also pretty much forgotten about Iraq, where 25 US servicemen were killed in the month of September.

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