Tag Archives: AIG
“Why don’t you guys use your brains like I do.”
— George Bancroft as mob boss Mac Keefer in “Angels with Dirty Faces” (1938).
1. Looks like impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was right. He said as soon as the Powers-That-Be in state capital Springfield got rid of him they’d raise taxes, and now new Gov. Pat Quinn has announced he’s planning to do just that. (Taxes on a carton of cigarettes, for instance, have already gone up ten dollars in IL.) Quinn’s not a bad guy, but he was installed in office by House Speaker Mike Madigan, the same corrupt Machine politician that masterminded Blago’s removal. BTW, when does the other Pat, prosecutor Fitzgerald, indict Blago for his ‘crime spree’? It’s been four months and we’re still waiting, and Fitzy’s 90-day extension is coming to an end. Could it be he doesn’t have a case?
2. Word is, some GOP insiders are privately conceding more seats to the Dems in 2010 and the presidency in 2012. They know that short of a highly unlikely major blunder or meltdown on Obama’s part, the Republicans have no one who can beat him; current frontrunners Romney, Gingrich, Jindal, Huckabee, Sanford and (shudder) Palin just don’t have the heat. But this works to the advantage of the top party heads who would like to purge the Christian crazies, bigoted Dittoheads and nattering neocons from the ranks. (Keep them as voters and ground troops, of course, but well away from the levers of power.) Losing big in four consecutive elections just might accomplish that.
3. Speaking of the GOP, daffy duckster Michael Steele, the RNC Chair who has been hip-hopping all over the place, has turned out to be not so good at organizing much of anything he still hasn’t even fully staffed his office. In fact, it’s been noticed that his only true talent seems to be in babbling baloney in front of cameras and microphones — not that all Republicans don’t, but Mike’s brand of urban twaddle confuses the party’s base of rural white rabble down in Dixie. They want God, guns and gays and Mike’s offering rap, pap and mall rats instead. The money’s drying up over distrust of Steele and he’s on a greased rail, the end of which should be reached before summer begins.
4. So is Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on a greased rail, that is — only he’s on a shorter trajectory to oblivion. He’s managed to inspire confidence in exactly no one (except, supposedly, Obama), and his secretly playing point man for the tainted AIG bonuses and then dissembling about it has left him damaged goods in a government touting virtuous transparency. Watch for ‘Geit’ to regretfully resign for the good of the administration sometime on or about May Day.
5. Watch for the next AIG to be Bank of America, with a twist. BoA has assumed a boatload of debt buying up other failing banks and is now swimming in red ink. The chickens are nearing the roost, and soon the over-extended BoA could very well bankrupt the FDIC (unlike AIG, it’s a real bank), as the feds scramble to cover millions of depositors. The alternative would be to split up BoA into smaller companies and sever the gangrenous investments while retaining the profitable accounts. Obama would have to pull a Jimmy Stewart and encourage depositors not to withdraw their money, just until the crisis passes. Unfortunately, as it stands now with the boneheaded Larry Summers and ineffectual Geithner on the bridge, they’d probably break the treasury trying to save BoA from being split up, which means we’d be a nation of rag pickers by this time next year.
Wall Street Will Soon Become Insignificant to Our Financial Future
“The reality is that the American overclass has just been on the most amazing feeding frenzy for three decades now, to the extent that they’ve simply lost any sense of proportion, whatsoever. The sense of predatory entitlement has become what water is to fish. It is so much a part of their world view that they no longer even have consciousness of it, or any alternative to it, any more than a tuna ever wonders what it might be like to walk on two legs and breathe air.”
— David Michael Green, “Barack Obama and the Altar of Greed,” Common Dreams, March 20, 2009.
With a large majority of the public in the mood to Merrill Lynch the whole obtuse gaggle of scoundrels on Wall Street, current marquee malefactor AIG (American International Group, Inc.) dispatched its ineffectual new Dollar-A-Year CEO Edward Liddy to Washington last week, apparently just to prove he’s vastly overpaid.
While assuring the Congressional committee that he was there solely to serve virtuous honesty and glassine transparency, he found cause to do a Connecticut Yankee’s imitation of a Mafia kingpin by consulting his attorney before responding to certain questions, no doubt to strike just the right tone of forthright candor.
Liddy’s presentation was comically anemic when it wasn’t blandly soporific. He noted he had kindly asked the ruthless dark dead things who inhabit the senior slots at AIG the Servants of Hades that designed the complicated ‘credit swap’ shell game that caused the firm’s collapse to please voluntarily return half of the bonuses they ‘earned’ for turning AIG into a smoking ruin that had to be bailed out by Uncle Sucker. (Yes, that’s right a Million-Dollar Baby would have to pout with a mere $500K to mollify any hurt feelings after burning down the house by playing with matches. In giddy Liddyland, this passes for sanity.)
The new CEO only displayed human emotion when asked to reveal the names of his employees who insouciantly demanded a hefty tip for giving the customer food poisoning that nearly killed him. Breaking a polite patrician sweat, Liddy seemed most concerned that his fellow well-dressed vermin might be hounded by angry rabble with pitchforks, or, worse, subjected to an interview with Jon Stewart, should their identities be known. He even dolefully cited a missive that had come to his attention wherein the author threatened to garrote with piano wire all the top executives at AIG, which undoubtedly struck foreclosed homeowners and those who have real jobs as extreme only in its leniency.