Category Archives: Economy

People: Ken Lewis, You’re Fuckin’ Fired

This couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

Following the Apr. 29 meeting and an extended vote count, Lewis was out as chairman, though he remained president and chief executive, as shareholders narrowly approved a resolution requiring an independent chairman. Walter E. Massey, a longtime board member and president emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, was elected chairman. All 18 board members, including Lewis, were reelected.

If there’s a poster boy for “too big to fail,” it’s Lewis. Remember that $45 billion in taxpayer money they’ve got on loan the next time you bounce a BofA check and get whacked with a $37 overdraft fee.


Obama to Increase Taxes on Himself

Fair is fair.

He and First Lady Michelle Obama paid $855,323 in federal taxes, while making $172,050 in charitable contributions to 37 different charities. The largest reported gifts were $25,000 to both the United Negro College Fund and the relief organization CARE.

“The president sold a lot of books last year, no doubt, and paid a hefty amount in federal income tax,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. As president, Obama now is paid $400,000 a year.

At least he’s putting his money where his mouth is…or something.

FT Quantitative Easing Explainer

Here’s a very simple look at the Fed’s “quantitative easing” practices. This stuff is way beyond my pay grade. I would like to have serious conversation with J P Fellowes about this.

Jim? If you’re out there…

Hopefully, This Ends All the ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Talk…

But it probably won’t.

Matt Yglesias has a brilliant takedown of Carol Baum’s idiotic example of Vikram Pandit, Edward Liddy and Ken Lewis as paragons of American (or at least Randian) virtues of economic prosperity.


Atlas Shrugged is a stupid book, Ayn Rand is a stupid woman, and John Galt’s ideas are stupid. That said, none of them are nearly this stupid. Rand’s novel isn’t about a world in which executives who build companies based on a lot of incorrect decisions, then pay themselves millions of dollars while bankrupting their firms, then come to the government hat-in-hand asking for bailouts, then find that the bailers-out want to attach some strings to their hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds and then go to hide out in Galt’s Gulch. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

Larry Greene, of Norwich, I hope you’re out there. Reading this.

AIG Execs Scared For Their Lives

Via TPM:


Sen. Chuck Grassley Is A Colorful Fellow

I admit that I know very little about Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, but after he suggested that AIG executives do a little seppuku on themselves rather than accept their $165 million worth of unearned bonuses. Now he’s on about these greedy pigs “sucking the tit” of people like you and me.

“From my standpoint, it’s irresponsible for corporations to give bonuses at this time when they’re sucking the tit of the taxpayer,” Grassley explained.

Grassley continued to express his displeasure with the company that is distributing $165 million in bonuses over lawmakers’ objections. He said executives should not be rewarded for running their corporation into the ground.

I’m not sure this is the most appropriate way for a U.S. Senator to be talking, but I kind of like it.

Obama Pissed About AIG

The president had some strong words for the greedy, greasy executives of insurance-giant/enormous failure, AIG, who said Sunday that there was nothing they could do about the $165 million in bonuses they planned on paying themselves from government money, because, you know, they promised themselves the bonuses.

From The Politico:

“This isn’t just a matter of dollars and cents. It’s about our fundamental values,” Obama said.
“All across the country, there are people who work hard and meet their responsibilities every single day, without the benefit of government bailouts or multi-million dollar bonuses,” Obama said. “And all they ask is that everyone, from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, play by the same rules.”

I’m still boggled by the fact that these executives thought that they were going to get away with this based on “contractual obligations.” These guys ruined the fucking global economy and, still, they feel like they’re owed this money.

Populism like this might be cheap and easy, but for the love of God, something has to get through to these pigs.