18 March 2009

If only AIG were more like Fannie and Freddie

Then, people wouldn't be in such an uproar.

Wait a minute. What's this? Retention bonuses at Freddie Mac, scheduled for next year? (H/T: Ed Morrissey)

Important note: While we do know that the recipients of these offensive bonuses worked in the AIG division which caused AIG's downfall, we still do not know who these people are, or what their specific duties were, or how the performance of these duties makes them responsible for the calamity. But we're going to treat them like it anyway. (And when we find out who these people are...let the lynchings begin.)

Another important note: We are still talking about money equaling a mere .095% of the bailout money. There is still a deafening relative silence about the 69.36% paid to, among others, certain overseas banks.

And, in top-of-the-hour radio news I hear His Beatitude inform us that the AIG bonuses are a symptom of our entire culture, excessive greed, excessive compensation, excessive competition. And he also informs Wall Street that we shall not be returning to "business as usual". Well, that ought to keep it from ever hitting 14,000 again. There will be no more competition, no more compensation, no more anything which our betters believe is excessive.

And he also compared Timothy Geitner to Alexander Hamilton. The reference to Hamilton, is positively ironic. Thomas Jefferson, no fan, said that Hamilton's goal was to ally the rich to the government at the peoples' expense. The reason he said so is that what Hamilton was after was an economy such as we have. (Hint: Despite repeated usage of the term, it is not a "free" one.)

Hamilton, who Thomas DiLorenzo -- rightly -- calls the founding father of crony capitalism, was a traitor to the Revolution. It would be fair to say that the only thing he and his ilk objected to, when it came to British mercantilism and imperialism, was being on the paying side of it. They didn't mind mercantilism and imperialism as such, especially if it were to be American mercantilism and imperialism. If Hamilton had had his way, at the convention to "improve" the Articles of Confederation, we would have a permanent president who would appoint the state governors and have veto power over all state legislation. Under his plan, state sovereignty would have been destroyed, and there would have been no escape from the central government's high taxes, protectionist tariffs, heavy debt, and foreign-policy imperialism. Oh, yes, and a central bank -- very important; can't have a country without it. It took a while, and a "civil war"; and he didn't live to see it. But Hamilton eventually got most of his way. No, the President can't veto state legislation; but either Congress or the Federal courts can. States' rights? Just use the term and you'll be treated like a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Like I said: The reference to Hamilton is ironic.

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James Frank SolĂ­s
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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