Thursday, 13 November 2008

Is Everybody Going Crazy?

Like many people who work for a publicly traded company, I probably am spending more time than I ought watching my stock (and hence net worth) evaporate in front of my eyes. I am not one given to a Howard Beale type melt-down, but with the events unfolding before us, it is becoming increasingly difficult to remain sanguine. Companies are failing. Stocks are falling. Jobs are leaving.

And yet, we still see stories of the sort reported today in Yahoo Finance that executives at places such as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and the other gang who could not shoot straight are preparing for their year end pig out:

(http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/125352/Bail-Outrage-Misuse-of-Funds-Lack-of-Transparency-a-National-Disgrace?tickers=GS,MS,JPM,BAC,C,WFC,XLF)

They argue that they will *reduce* bonuses this year. They argue that they have to pay their "best" people or those people will leave. They argue that they will use "other" money, and not bailout money to pay.

To quote a recent pop song, "Is every body going crazy?"

If these "best" people engineered losses and stupidity of the scope we've seen, then I shudder to think what our MBA factories are turning out on the average. That these best people would have other jobs to go to, when the rest of us try to keep our heads down so they don't get chopped indicates that something is broken here. And the idea that there is "other" money is so laughably wrong-headed, all one has to do is say "Bill Clinton budget surplus" to see that that dog doesn't hunt.

Folks, this is not capitalism. It's not free markets. This is piracy. With your money. And mine.
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