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.