Perhaps if the outliers practice seven highly effective habits, they could figure out who moved my cheese.
Dear President Obama,
Do not underestimate the outrage toward American International Group and the overall negative effect this is having on the economy, the market and all of your efforts.
Do not tax the bonuses. Delete the amount that is not returned from the next installment. Verbally chastise those who do not return the bonuses and put this to rest.
Finally, there must be mandatory requirements each and every time that federal (or state for that matter) dollars are used to bail out, aka loan, any entity our tax dollars, and this must include no bonuses of any kind or raises for the duration of the loan period.
This is only common sense, and it baffles me that this was not a condition to begin with as I, and millions of others, have asked repeatedly for these types of guidelines.
If our leaders — elected or appointed — do not understand this, then God help us all.
President Obama’s goal of having a more “transparent government” died a quick death. Washington Democrats have given so many conflicting statements lately that they’re either liars or idiots.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Senate banking committee chairman Christopher Dodd have known all along about the AIG bonuses to be paid with our tax dollars. Geithner lied to a Senate committee March 3 when first asked about this but has now admitted otherwise. In my book, that makes Geithner a liar and a cheat. (Remember his failure to pay income taxes?) For years Dodd has been on the very committee that was supposed to be providing oversight of our banking and financial institutions. This mess all came about under his watch.
Stop pointing fingers at the last administration, because it just doesn’t cut it anymore. Everyone in Washington owns blame, and we’re part of the problem. Quit your bellyaching, lying and whining and start earning your big bucks. Or are you representatives in Washington only there to enrich yourselves and feed your own egos?
Buy Geithner a bus ticket home, and kick Dodd off the banking committee now.
After reading the article “Move to cheap condoms threatens American jobs; The U.S. will switch to Chinese products to distribute in poor countries, putting 300 out of work at an Alabama factory” (3/23. A-1), I was left speechless. Just maybe if the government would have cut out the middle man, the domestic price would be competitive. Now we’ve decided it is OK to add 300 jobs to Alabama’s and the nation’s growing unemployment rolls.
Here’s a thought. Shut down the U.S. Agency for International Development and let the feds feel some of our pain. We can use that budget money to support those 300 soon-to-be-unemployed workers in Eufaula, Ala.
So, the House decides to put a 90 percent tax on the bonuses of some American International Group employees, and the people rejoice (3/20, A-1). The Congress acts outraged, although many of them were aware of what was going on.
Before rejoicing, I think you should give some thought to what other group the government may decide to tax and what if you are in that group. It is disheartening that the government can decide to punish people by making new tax laws at the drop of a hat.
If you think the AIG employees didn’t do their job and don’t deserve a bonus, then we’ll have to tax Congress at 99 percent.
Those of you complaining about how an American business spends its profits dug your own hole when you agreed to the initial bailout. You can’t mix socialism and free enterprise.
President Obama was wrong to sign the check over. He should have let AIG fail, and a better product from a smarter American would have taken its place. That’s how free enterprise is supposed to work.
I want AIG to immediately publish all the candidate names and amounts to whom they have given campaign contributions since 2000. I want those contributions back or a 110 percent retroactive tax on them.
The banking industry argues they had to give $18 billion in bonuses to retain top talent. They also bemoan the fact that the industry lost 260,000 jobs in 2008. Exactly which failed bank do they expect their failed “top talent” to defect to?
The rush to infuse banks with taxpayer money has ensured that bankers are allowed to continue making the same disastrous mistakes that got us into this mess in the first place.
Instead of complaining about Wall Street executives using taxpayer money to buy corporate jets, redecorate their offices and pad their pockets with bonuses, Congress should protect taxpayers who are losing their jobs and homes by writing strict laws that prohibit such irresponsible behavior.
David A. Young
As a one- time community banker and CEO, I give kudos to Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Tom Hoenig for his comments concerning a number of major banks in today’s fiscal crisis. He is right on target as to let the banks stand or fall rather than be infused with taxpayer dollars (3/7, Dollars & Sense, “Tougher stance urged”).
This would be tough on investors, but investing always has an element of risk. As for depositors, that is what the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is all about.
Mr. Hoenig should be our secretary of Treasury.
Phillip J. Zeller, Jr.
Junction City, Kan.
If anyone can get our president’s ear, let him know this. Some weeks ago there was an answer in the New York Times puzzle: “Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin.” The quote was from a noted economist named Allan Meltzer.
Our political leaders, both former and present, have allowed their decision making to be influenced by a possible fear of failure, a fear of the unknown. The government’s additional $30 billion investment in American International Group now has taxpayers on the hook for more than $163 billion in a single company (3/2, A-1, “More bailout funds to AIG”). Projections of additional needs suggest the possibility of additional infusions of up to $250 billion.
There have been four separate interventions with AIG, each based solely on Washington politicians’ fear of what could happen if they allow AIG to fail on their watch. This is enough for a new television series.
Whatever happened to “Once burned, twice shy” or “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?” How about “Fool me four, or even 163 billion times?”
Nobody knows with absolute certainty the consequences of an AIG failure. Historically, capital markets have used business failures as cleansing or purging tools. Washington politicians should not continue to allow themselves to be deluded into acting solely out of their fear of failure. We’re long past the time of cutting bait on AIG!
We continue to hear the problems with the banking industry, and I am somewhat perplexed by what I see in my own backyard.
Count the number of banks from State Line to I-35 along 135th Street. If the banks are hurting as much as indicated, why are they not closing facilities like other businesses do in trying times? Within two miles of my home are three Bank of America locations. Along that same road, one will see several new strip malls that have been sitting idle for long periods of time, and yet we see new construction of similar facilities.
Who is carrying the paper on all of this? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Chris Lester’s column (2/24, Business, “Fight the bailout burnout”) suggests the fears experienced by Americans are caused by President Obama not being cheerful enough when discussing the economy. People are fearful because their home values have plummeted, their 401(k)s are depleted, they have friends or family who’ve lost their jobs, and they worry they can’t afford college for their kids. I appreciate the president’s honest assessment and efforts to deal with the crisis.
As for the suggestion that a scarlet “B” be worn by “anyone receiving bailout assistance,” let’s be honest. It’s not just unemployed auto or construction workers or homeowners facing foreclosure who benefit. Everyone who uses public schools, drives across bridges and highways, needs a loan or even works for a company whose customers will have more money to spend stands to gain.
Like it or not, we’re all in this together. Berating the president or the most obvious recipients of the stimulus will not move us forward.
I really enjoy reading the flood of boastful letters to The Star describing how sensible and perceptive some people are to have purchased only the size of home they could afford, paid all their bills on time and never defaulted on a loan. They also help old ladies across the street and always pet puppies and on and on.
They decry the government “handout” of helping people keep their mortgage payments current to avoid default, and they cynically demand that government also pay their mortgage payment. “It’s socialism!” they scream.
Yet these are the same people who will rant and rave and kick and scream and whine if half of the houses on their block go into foreclosure and become a blight on the neighborhood. If you think your home value is down now, guess what? You haven’t seen anything yet.
Get a grip, folks. Which option do you prefer?
The front page of The Star (2/5, A-1) pictured five CEOs and listed their total earnings for the year 2007. The smallest amount received was $1.6 million by John Mack of Morgan Stanley. Vikram Pandit of Citigroup was given $216 million.
What in the world could this Vikram Pandit (whose name should be Bandit) have possibly done to earn such a vulgar amount of compensation?
The big rub is just a few months later in early fall of 2008 they were begging and received billions of our money in the bailout. All of these “grants” came from the simple-minded idiots in the White House and on Capitol Hill, who were so anxious to give our money away they didn’t even bother to set forth any rules or contracts as to how this money was to be used, nor did they agree to any form of auditing.
What a disgusting situation. I blame our government for permitting it to happen.
Borrowing a line from “Seinfeld,” I would tell the bankers who are apologizing so insincerely now that the heat is on, “Stuff your sorries in a sack, mister.”