The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Enough of this "we inherited" the economy crap; This economy is all on Him now

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)

Oh well, at least we made it to 200 years; 300 (1776-2076) might be a bit more difficult. Who knew that "change you can believe in" meant "you are the property of the state"?

Allah had a particularly excellent retort to Obama's lame "it's not our economy" meme, that is if that graph the other day wasn't convincing enough:
“In addition, the bill gives Geithner the authority to decide what pay is ‘unreasonable’ or ‘excessive.’ And it directs the Treasury Department to come up with a method to evaluate ‘the performance of the individual executive or employee to whom the payment relates.’…

‘This is a growing concern, that the powers of the Treasury in this area, along with what Geithner was looking for last week, are mind boggling,’ Garrett said.”

“‘Is there a heightened risk for the Obama administration’ to remove a banking executive? asked Scott Talbott, chief lobbyist for Financial Services Roundtable. ‘I think you’d have to conclude that the answer is yes.’…

The government is currently stress-testing the nation’s 20 largest banks and ‘maybe three fail the test,’ said an executive at a large bank receiving government funds. Obama ‘could remove the heads of those banks,’ the executive said.”

“He’s realizing, ‘Hey, the economy’s mine now, and I better do it my way…’ So the administration is collaring people and letting them know who’s in charge. The days of saying, ‘It’s not our economy’ have come to an end.”

Not exactly "The Buck Stops Here".

First the Banks, then the insurance companies and now the auto business. Note to Oil company executives: watch your backs.

UPDATE: More from DrewM over at Ace's HQ:

What could go wrong with having Barney Frank decide how much people should be earning?

But now, in a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the "Pay for Performance Act of 2009," would impose government controls on the pay of all employees -- not just top executives -- of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.

The purpose of the legislation is to "prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards," according to the bill's language. That includes regular pay, bonuses -- everything -- paid to employees of companies in whom the government has a capital stake, including those that have received funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The measure is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.

Timmy Geithner can't even figure out how to pay his own taxes and now he's supposed to be in charge of setting the pay scale of the kid working in the mail room of some bank?

I get, and am sympathetic to, the idea that if you take the government's money, you dance to the government's tune but this is ridiculous. The goal should be to disengage the government as quickly as possible from these companies, not to further intertwine them with the only organization more decrepit than they are, the federal government.

This kind of involvement will only make it more difficult for these firms to get back to self-sufficiency. Of course, some may see that as a feature not a bug.


UPDATE: Larry Kudlow comments:
Team Obama fired GM CEO Rick Wagoner Sunday afternoon, just a short time after Treasury man Tim Geithner told the television talk shows that some banks will need large amounts of new TARP-money government assistance -- even though the bankers don’t want it. Does this smack of big-time government planning and industrial policy? Another lurch to the left for economic policy?


Corker calls this “a marked departure from the past,” “truly breathtaking,” and something that “should send a chill through all Americans who believe in free enterprise.”

Mr. Corker has hit the nail on the head. And I think his idea of “a truly breathtaking” government departure from American free enterprise -- whether it’s the banks or the bankrupt Detroit carmakers -- is exactly what caused stocks to plunge 250 points on Monday.

Incidentally, most of the big bankers who met with President Obama in the White House last Friday want to pay back their TARP money, not take more of it. But the Treasury is conducting stress tests that could stop the TARP pay-downs and force the banks to take more taxpayer funds in return for even more federal control.

The big bankers say they are profitable. And with an upward-sloping Treasury yield curve and some market-to-market accounting reform coming from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the outlook for banks should be getting better, not worse. So why is the Treasury jamming more TARP money down bankers’ throats, especially after announcing a new plan to use private capital to clean up bank balance sheets and solve the toxic-asset problem?

It kinda sounds like the Treasury doesn’t want to let go of its new uber-regulator status. ...
Sort of reminds me of a child molester handing out candy.
DiscerningTexan, 3/31/2009 11:37:00 PM |