Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Fed failed to tell Obama about AIG bonuses!

"This is like the captain and the crew of the ship reserving the lifeboats, saying to hell with the passengers, we're going to take the lifeboats for ourselves, for the crew and the captain. That's what happened here." Massachusetts Democrat Stephen Lynch

This is heartbreaking: yesterday I was listening to the Ron Reagan show on Air America, and a woman called in named "Nadia" who lost her 19-year-old son in an industrial accident. Even though he was covered by AIG in an insurance policy with his company, AIG would not pay out. The grieving family was given the run-around and forced to go to court to sue AIG. The insurance giant still has not paid anything on the claim. They "claim" they have no money, or some such nonsense. I am not exactly sure of all the details, but you could hear the heartache in her voice. To have lost a son, and then to hear that AIG is paying out bonuses to buddies, swindlers and fellow partners in crime, is simply criminal.


The Real AIG Scandal: It's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full. By Eliot Spitzer

Everybody is rushing to condemn AIG's bonuses, but this simple scandal is obscuring the real disgrace at the insurance giant: Why are AIG's counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?

...The appearance that this was all an inside job is overwhelming. AIG was nothing more than a conduit for huge capital flows to the same old suspects, with no reason or explanation.

It all appears, once again, to be the same insiders protecting themselves against sharing the pain and risk of their own bad adventure.

The payments to AIG's counterparties are justified with an appeal to the sanctity of contract. If AIG's contracts turned out to be shaky, the theory goes, then the whole edifice of the financial system would collapse.

What is the deeper relationship between Goldman and AIG? Didn't they almost merge a few years ago but did not because Goldman couldn't get its arms around the black box that is AIG? If that is true, why should Goldman get bailed out? After all, they should have known as well as anybody that a big part of AIG's business model was not to pay on insurance it had issued.
Arianna Huffington: A Disturbing D.C. Whodunit [Updated]

The mystery over who killed a provision in the stimulus package that would have curtailed bonuses at bailed out companies is a disturbing D.C. whodunit. But even more disturbing is what it reveals about how our government is run. "It is the ultimate indictment of what Washington has become," Sen. Ron Wyden, co-sponsor of the eliminated provision told me. "It's a place where, again and again, the public interest is deep-sixed without any fingerprints." Wyden has no idea who killed the provision. And, so far, no one in the administration of a president who promised that transparency would be a "touchstone" of his presidency has demanded that whoever is responsible own up to it. We deserve better.

Michael Hudson of Counterpunch says: Let’s go after the REAL money given to AIG – the $183 billion! I realize that this has already been paid out, and we can’t get it back from the counterparties who knew that Alan Greenspan and George Bush and Hank Paulson were steering the U.S. economy off a real estate cliff, a derivatives cliff and a balance-of-payments cliff all wrapped up into one by betting against collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and insuring these casino bets with AIG. That money has been siphoned off from the Treasury fair and square, by putting their own proxies in the key government slots, the better to serve them.

So let’s go after them altogether. Sen. Schumer said to the AIG bonus recipients that the I.R.S. can go after them and get the money back one way or another. And it can indeed go after the $183-billion bailout recipients. All it has to do is re-instate the estate tax and raise the marginal income and wealth-tax rates to the (already reduced) Clinton-era levels.


You are SO lucky!


NY Attorney General Cuomo Reveals 73 Individuals Got Multi-Million-Dollar Bonuses... Top Recipient Got $6.4 Million....

Undercuts AIG Claim On Retention Payments: Numerous Bonus Recipients No Longer Work At The Firm ...

MORE AIG FALLOUT: CNBC's Santelli Downplays AIG Outrage, Asks Public To Show Some Perspective: "$165 Million Is Like Worrying About 16.5 Cents While $165 Maybe Necessitates A Little More Outrage"... Sen. Reid: Congress Intends To Retrieve Stimulus Money From AIG... Geithner Under Fire Over AIG Scandal: Sen. Shelby Charges Treasury Secretary Is "Out Of The Loop"... Security Ramped Up After Death Threats: Armed Guards Posted Outside AIG Offices... Some Senior Managers Submit Resignations... AIG BIG NEWS PAGE at Huffington Post

Who is Saint Patrick?
Saint Patrick was a missionary who lived in Ireland. He died around March 17, 493.
When he was 16 years old, Saint Patrick was captured and made a slave.
He was a slave for six years.


Arianna Huffington: What If Jon Stewart, Instead of John King, Interviewed Dick Cheney
As I watched John King interview Dick Cheney on Sunday, Jon Stewart kept popping into my head. Each time King let Cheney get away with revisionist history, I kept thinking how different things would have been had Stewart been asking the questions. A low point came when King brought out some data to refute Cheney's spin, then undercut the impact of the hard, cold facts that he was quoting by using mealy-mouthed qualifiers like "There are people who would say..." and "and they have some numbers to back up their case." Facts are not some numbers that belong to some people being trotted to make their case. They are empirical evidence. I can imagine King asking a flat-earther: "Some people say the earth is round. And they have some pictures taken from outer space to back up their case. What would you say to them?" More at Huffington Post