Mike the Mad Biologist

One Way to Deal with AIG

I’ve argued before that nationalizing financial institutions the way the Obama Administration has done is incredibly stupid. If you’re going to nationalize chunks of the economy, get some people who are partial to doing so. Which brings me to this little story from the New Deal era:

…a special bonus New Deal version of how to deal with rude letters from corporate types–in this case, the chiefs of the New York Stock Exchange, asked by the SEC to reorganize in light of recent events.

… the matter of reorganization was referred to the Exchange’s Law Committeee–in other words, to Richard Whitney…. After due deliberation, the Law Committee concluded that reorganization … was impracticable, and that negotiations with the SEC should therefore be broken off. It drafted a harsh letter to [William O.] Douglas saying so…. [W]hen an Exchange lawyer delivered it to Douglas in Washington a few hours later, the SEC chairman merely nodded and said grimly, “All right, then, we’ll take the Exchange over.”

That’s how you reassert control over an out-of-control financial system. The reason the AIG bonuses are problematic isn’t the money (it is a pittance compared to the coming boondoggle that is the Geithner/Obama plan), it is that our political system has become subservient to a very limited subset of economic interests.

Comments

  1. #1 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 28, 2009

    I’m sure you’ve all read that “heartfelt” letter from the AIG fuckup who is “going Galt” because his cock is not being sufficiently stroked by the US government as they save his sorry-ass employer and his own sorry fucking ass from bankruptcy.

    These people were maximal fuckups. Drunk assholes who spent all day addled in their offices surfing porn and doing nothing would have been a net economic positive compared to these narcissistic fucknozzles.

    Fuck ‘em. Let ‘em quit. Like we should give a flying fuck. What the US goverment ought to do is fire all these assholes and take all the fruit stand and Korean deli and bodega owners in NYC and put them in charge of the banks. Those are people who know how to run a fucking business. Not these compulsive gambler scumbags.

  2. #2 NJ
    March 28, 2009

    When I loaded this page, all of Mike’s post but only the first paragraph of the first comment were visible on the screen without scrolling. I read that first paragraph and thought “That must be CPP…”

  3. #3 Warren Bonesteel
    March 31, 2009

     Let’s run with the idea that some of you are a bit confused…

     That, or you’ve never actually read “Atlas Shrugged.”

     The bad guys in the book were the crooked, incompetent and corrupt CEO’s and politicians.

     The good guys in the book were honest and ethical, even rational, and expected a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. In the book, no matter what the good guys did, no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, so they ‘took their ball and went home.’ Which is entirely rational. If the other guy isn’t going to play fair, let alone play nice, you have no rational reason to play with him, no matter the game. Think of it as escaping from an abusive relationship.

     That’s the book in a nutshell.

     Got it?

     If you don’t get it, please read – or re-read – the book.

     It’s simple. It’s easy.

     I dare say that you would be “Going Galt” under similar circumstances in your own professional lives.