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Re: This is getting out of hand (was: Congress' reaction to AIG bonuses ...)
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2009 14:25:21 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: "lynn" <lynn () ecgincc com>
Date: March 22, 2009 1:02:28 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] This is getting out of hand (was: Congress' reaction to AIG bonuses ...)

Lauren may think (others too) this is getting out of hand. I think it's a reaction to We the People finding out just what has been going on in Wall
Street.

While it's true there are a lot of people, instututions and factors that
contributed to this mess, and apparently no clear answers to fixing it,
most of we the people are very angry.

While financial institutions still pay senior execs excessive
compensation, most of America don't get paid these amounts - ever.
Corporate jets for personal use, vacations, bonuses, $14k garbage cans,
etc. This shows no signs of stopping except for items made public where we
the people strongly and loudly object.

Too many in this country no longer have jobs Others are taking pay cuts to
just work. Many are losing their homes. More and more you find the now
obsolete middle class receiving welfare and food stamps.

Look at the stark contrast. And you think we the people should not show
our anger? Often in our history showing our anger and other feelings
change the course of this country. Th last election is an example. Chicago
1968 is another along with the entire movement.

IMO Congress is simply reacting to the voices of their constitutiants.
Whether they acted correctly is anyone's guess. Everyone will have an
opinion. Congress does as they please until there are so many voices those
voices cannot be ignored.

The AIG bonuses were just the straw that broke the camel's back.

All contracts can be broken. There is always a way to do this. IANAL and I
know this.

Since when do we reward people for disaster? I thought people were
rewarded for success.

If the entire company is not doing well, bonuses are eliminated or cut down.

If AIG had the money to pay bonuses, why are we bailing them out?

If we are truly giving them loans, this money should have either begun to
pay back the loans, or reduced further assistance.

It is only the taxpayers that keep AIG in business. Other companies would
have been in bankruptcy.

We the People own 80% of AIG. We the People therefore should have an 80%
voice in what is done at AIG. Just like any stockholder for any other
company.

In any case, paying $165b in bonuses was not the politically correct thing
to do.

Death threats is not an answer I know. But perhaps it takes this extreme
to cut thru the sense of total entitlement of these execs to understand
the situation they caused globally.

You try not to be emotional when you are trying to put a roof over your
family and food on the table with pennies in your pocket. While these
people are not effected financially at all. Or not much. So they buy 3
dozen pairs of shoes instead of 3 dozen and one. We all should have that
problem.


Unfortunately the only way to force the Hill to re-think the mess is
to drum up the mob. Rational thinking runs into powerful lobbyists
with lots of cash. How do you suggest we get even treatment.

Dave

ps BTW AGAIN the Unions at GM are pressured to accept wage and/or
benefit cuts. Why should not Wall St?

Dave


Begin forwarded message:

From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren () vortex com>
Date: March 22, 2009 12:13:20 PM EDT
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: This is getting out of hand (was: Congress' reaction to AIG
bonuses ...)


On 03/22 09:23, David Farber wrote:
From: Rich Kulawiec <rsk () gsp org>
Date: March 22, 2009 9:21:18 AM EDT
Their "bonus" is that we've very generously -- so far -- allowed
them to
keep breathing.  They should pray to their gods that we don't
reconsider.

Dave, this is getting out of hand.  Rich's comment above turns my
stomach.  That kind of emotionalism at this stage is more toxic
and dangerous than any toxic assets could ever be.

In "Pitchforks or Pointed Ears -- vs. AIG" yesterday
( http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000524.html ), I suggested
that mob-based emotional reactions were now taking us down exactly
the wrong path.

But two days earlier, in an update to:
"Chilling Chaos in Congress Over AIG Bonuses"
( http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000523.html ), I added an
audio clip of that famous economist, Darth Vader, that seemed
relevant to the situation at hand.

I would urge the IP audience to compare Rich's comment above with
Darth's comment from the "Empire Strikes Back."  Just a fantasy movie
to be sure, but I'd rather channel Spock than Darth any day.

--Lauren--
Lauren Weinstein
lauren () vortex com
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
http://www.pfir.org/lauren
Co-Founder, PFIR
  - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, NNSquad
  - Network Neutrality Squad - http://www.nnsquad.org
Founder, GCTIP - Global Coalition
  for Transparent Internet Performance - http://www.gctip.org
Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com




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