Bring It On!

I Will NOT Pay Your Piper, Willumstad

September 22nd, 2008 | by Jet Netwal |

I’m too irate at the moment to give you my normal Econ 101 take on the world, but I am going to paste two quotes from a Reuters article so we can be incensed together. First, this gem.

A $700 billion fund would come on top of other steps already taken by the U.S. authorities and would push the total pledged to combat the crisis to $1.8 trillion, or $15,000 per U.S. household. - Reuters

Now this one:

AIG’S former chief executive Robert Willumstad has rejected a $22 million severance payment, the Wall Street Journal reported, adding that major shareholders concerned about the government takeover were planning to meet on Monday to discuss alternatives. - Reuters

I’ll share a personal tidbit about me. I have three children. In 5 years, my first one will begin college. In 8 years, the twins will start. I will have three kids in college at the same time for at least one year, more if the oldest pursues advanced study, which is likely given his drive, intelligence and field of interest. I’m not sharing this because I expect pity, we are saving, they will have to work and borrow, but it will happen if they want it bad enough. By the time they finish 4 year degrees, I will be 58 years old. That gives me a finite amount of time to complete my retirement funding. I’m working on this as well, but I, and the rest of the country, took a hit last week as stocks took a crap and a half.

The reason I share this is that Americans across this country dance this exact same dance to get their kids on their feet and reach a point where they can stop working and do something else with their gifts. I think they probably all think that $15,000 would come in pretty handy in achieving these goals they fashioned their lives around. That’s one 12th of my kid’s undergraduate obligation; it’s one year of my life after working. It’s not just money, it’s what the money represents that is the real sacrifice.

If you can find 1,467 taxpayers willing to hand Robert Willumstad $15,000 each, so that he can amass 22 MILION FUCKING DOLLARS for WILLFULLY MISMANGING HIS COMPANY, I’ll shut up. If that’s their priorities, fine. In my house, fealty is dead. In the real world, screw-ups get fired. In the post bailout American economy, there had better be some damn heads rolling coupled with debilitating monetary punishment. The era of happy corporate sparkle ponies is dead — self slain by their own greed, misguided sense of omnipotence and short term thinking.

I’ve spent 4 years watching, publishing, criticizing and amplifying, and 13 months on the ground trying to overturn a bad congressman. The past 12 years I’ve made long term plans to finance my goals and advance my children. If you think I’m in the mood to underwrite fuck-ups at the expense of the next generation or my own, you are sorely mistaken.

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  1. 5 Responses to “I Will NOT Pay Your Piper, Willumstad”

  2. By admin on Sep 22, 2008 | Reply

    You know, Im not even sure AIG mismanaged as much as they were screwed by the whole climate (their insurance line is profitable), but I could care less. Good management or poor he doesn’t deserve 22 million any more than I deserve a night with Angelina Jolie. When you come begging for money you shut the fuck up and take what you get. Like i said in my post, these are the same fuckers who for years tried to lower taxes to the point where we can’t pay for essential services and now they want to borrow from that reduced pot? Are you fucking kidding me?? To me its like preforming a lung transplant for a smoker who won’t quit. It may be unethical not to it, but damn if I want to.

  3. By Jet Netwal on Sep 22, 2008 | Reply

    Meh. I think these players knew exactly what they had with their derivitives hot potato game. They just got screwed on it since it was so unregulated none of them knew exactly who had what when. I fail to see why I should be on the hook to bonus such flagrant irresponsibility.

  4. By admin on Sep 22, 2008 | Reply

    I agree about the bonus. I think you overestimate their intelligence when you say they knew exactly what they had. I think they had NO IDEA which is even worse.

  5. By Jet Netwal on Sep 22, 2008 | Reply

    I think they knew how to play the game. With no regulation, none of them could discern exactly who had what. The amount of money, the sheer stupidity of passing these derivitives around, being counterparties to each other’s incurrable bad paper is lunacy. Yeah, they knew, they just shared an astonishing arrogance, sense of invincibility and complete lack of interest in the consequences other than those directly affecting themselves.

    By not regulating, we put the wealth of the world into the hands of the financial equivelant of teenagers.

  6. By Liberal Jarhead on Sep 22, 2008 | Reply

    From where I sit, motives are secondary - it’s the outcome that matters most, and the outcome has been ruinous. These folks have done more damage to America than any foreign enemy we’ve ever had, and the last thing we should be having to consider is how big a bonus they get for it.

    If I went out and run over some kids in a school zone, I would rightly and justly be punished whether it was intentional or because I wasn’t paying attention. It wouldn’t undo the tragedy, but it would serve to hold me accountable and to warn others not to do the same. These folks should be getting sued into personal bankruptcy by the people they’ve screwed and investigated for malfeasance.

    I’ve had jobs, in the military and with the state for some years as a program manager in the health department, where I managed contracts and budgets. If I’d done my job the way these people have done theirs, I’d have been court-martialed in the military or fired and possibly prosecuted as a state employee.

    The population of the US is just over 305 million. If we divvy up this $700 billion bailout evenly, that means it will be just under $2,300 for each man, woman, and child. But it won’t be divided evenly - the middle class and working class will bear more than our share and the wealthiest 2% and the corporations will carry less than their share of the load, as always.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but there are a lot of other things I could do with $2,300 that would do more for my security and quality of life than it will to have the government decide for me to use it to pull these jackasses’ chestnuts out of a fire they lit themselves.

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