Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Yesterday on Democracy Now! in its news recap:-- The failed insurance giant AIG is preparing to pay out $450 million in bonuses to top executives and other employees despite receiving a $173 billion government bailout.
On Sunday, Lawrence Summers, the director of the White House National Economic Council, described the bonuses as outrageous, but he said the bonuses are part of a contract
Lawrence Summers: “We are a country of law. There are contracts. The government cannot just abrogate contracts. Every legal step possible to limit those bonuses is being taken by Secretary Geithner and by the Federal Reserve system.”
Eli Stephens writes, Funny how that objection to abrogating contracts and the "very, very destabilizing consequences" doesn't come up when the contracts being abrogated are those with GM and Ford workers, or San Francisco Chronicle workers, or anyplace else where it's the workers who are suffering. Au contraire, it's precisely those cases where members of Congress actively call for the abrogation of contracts.

Just like "freedom of speech" belongs to those who own the presses and the airwaves, the "law" belongs to those who own the country. For the rest of us, it's a thin layer of ice which can be shattered at any moment.

On the car radio, I've listened to some of these call-in programs (c.f. "On Point"), and surely people are outraged, but the discussion doesn't go beyond that.

Richard Estes, telling it like it really is and what we might expect, Allow me to translate this for you: everything is going according to plan, right down to the faux outrage expressed by Geithner and Summers. Summers' reliance upon pre-existing contracts to justify inaction is particularly mendacious.
We are entering the early stages of this process, with capital retaining as many privileges as possible, despite the catastrophic failure of those who managed it, while the workers who have already been victimized, are called upon to sacrifice, even those with the contractual protections commonly utilized by bankers and investors. Will we eventually rebel? There is no sign of it. But if we do, how will Obama respond? Well, the Pentagon is already anticipating the deployment of troops to deal with domestic unrest.

1 comment:

  1. I believe the bonus payout excesses at AIG are just the tip of the iceberg of what is happening with the other Wall Street bailouts including Bank of America. Working productive Americans are bailing out the same crooks that destroyed our economy along with 45% of the wealth in the world. Now the American taxpayers and our posterity will be forced to live a far lower standard of living with reduced prosperity and opportunities due to the accumulated national debt to fund the bailouts and once again we will pay the price.

    Washington has bailed out the banks, Wall Street & their Washington special interests and much of the cost is added to the national debt to by paid by this and future generations while real estate and investments continue to fall. I believe Washington plans to monetize the debt in future years while they tax and destroy our remaining wealth by depreciating the dollar.

    To stop this wealth attack, the Campaign to Cancel the Washington National Debt By 12/21/2012 Constitutional Amendment is beginning now in the U.S. See: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=67594690498&ref=ts


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