The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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AIG

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As you all know, President George W. Bush is on his book/rehabilitation tour -- hitting every MSM and cable news show from the Today Show to Hannity, plus Oprah, Rush Limbaugh, and beyond. His candor, decency, self-effacement, and clear love of country stand in stark contrast to the current antagonist-in-chief at the White House, so... Read More
Scroll for updates... My syndicated column today shines light on all the Goldman Sachs company men in the Obama administration's midst. The GOP wants SEC correspondence disclosed. Here's that story. In related news, Goldman Sachs cheerleader and beneficiary Rahm Emanuel met with NYC business elite about the financial reform plan. Listen up: Related must-read from... Read More
Goodbye, sir!
Touchy, touchy. When Barney Frank doesn't get to blubber uninterrupted on TV like he does in committee hearings and on the House floor, Barney Frank stomps off the set:
The WSJ broke the news on Friday about Obama's new "pay czar," Kenneth Feinberg. His official title as executive-pay-limiter-in-chief: Special Master of Compensation. Can't wait to see his logo. Next up: Obama appoints the... ...Distinguished Overlord of Oxygen Intake (to limit individual human carbon emissions); ...Royal Captain of Calorie Consumption (to limit weight gain and... Read More
Gulp.
You know that bank bailout program to buy up toxic assets that morphed into a capital injection plan and then back again? Well, now TARP is going to be expanded to cover life insurers. Yes, life insurers: The Treasury Department has decided to extend bailout funds to a number of struggling life-insurance companies, helping an... Read More
Scroll for updates... 85 House Republicans, I shall remind you again, voted for the AIG/CYA confiscatory bonus tax. Some of them have learned their lesson, but not all. Today, 10 Republicans joined the Grabby Hands Democrats in passing the new "Pay for Performance Act" -- to curb "excessive" employee pay at financial firms that receive... Read More
Grabby Hands.
This is not a surprise. Grabby Hands Barney Frank has been signaling his salary control plans for weeks. In early February, you'll recall, he told Business Week that compensation restrictions might be restricted to all US companies, not just TARP recipients. Now, via Byron York: [I]n a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led... Read More
Asshats In Government.
Simple question from Glenn Beck today to the crusading Connecticut Attorney General still on his anti-AIG witch hunt: Under what law are you going after the AIG bonuses? Blumenthal hemmed and hawed for a painful six minutes before coming up with this: "Because they are undeserving of it." Remember those six chilling words: "Because they... Read More
Artifice in government.
Financial blogger Zero Hedge has a provocative post that will raise your blood pressure this morning. This is worth fist-pounding and investigation in Congress: Exclusive: AIG Was Responsible For The Banks' January & February Profitability It's complicated, but it boils down to this: Banks bragged about their wonderful performance the first two months of the... Read More
And another one down, and another one gone...
It's not like Tim Geithner can afford to lose any of the few officials who are actually working at the Treasury Department with him, but last night, he put one on leave. Very curious -- especially given the sacked employee's recent increased visibility for his public statements about the government's (mis)handling of AIG. The WSJ... Read More
My syndicated column today continues the theme I blogged about two days ago in the "Rule of the Mob" post. Keep an eye on next week's G20 summit in London. Thousands of anti-capitalism zealots will be amassing there to intimidate and harass bankers. The vandalizing of the Scottish ex-banking executive's home in Edinburgh is just... Read More
Never mind.
The AIG bonus-bashing, backside-covering sound and fury signifying nothing fizzles out. Curtains close on Kabuki Theater of Outrage...until the next act comes along: A House panel endorsed a gentler approach Thursday to trying to stop bailed-out financial institutions from giving their employees big bonuses, as lawmakers indicated they were willing to put down their pitch... Read More
Broken windows.
Have you seen this? It's the handiwork of an "anti-capitalist vigilante group calling itself Bank Bosses Are Criminals." The broken window is in the home of Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland. His car was also vandalized. The thugs are threatening other targets: The ex-banker’s £3 million Edinburgh... Read More
I mentioned in my liveblog of the POTUS/TOTUS show that President Obama got testy when asked by Ed Henry why his administration took so long to respond publicly to the AIG bonus botch. RCP clipped the video: OBAMA: "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before... Read More
Cooler heads have prevailed in the U.S. Senate and in this particular case, it is a good thing. The Senate took its role as a deliberative body seriously and has buried the demagogic, backside-covering corporate bonus tax bill passed last week by the House. They've kicked the can down the road. The Hill reports: I... Read More
Bonus-tax boneheads.
Last week, I printed the list of 85 House Republicans, led by Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who sided with the AIG-bashing Democrats demagoguing the bonus issue to cover their own backsides. Now that these 85 Republicans have signaled their willingness to pass after-the-fact confiscatory taxes to take back "ill-gotten gains" whenever the Dems and the... Read More
Now what? Last week, the Obama administration brought us a $1 trillion Federal Reserve magic trick hatched by the David Copperfield School of Economic Recovery -- printing up a trillion bucks and “pumping it into the U.S. economy”…by buying up bonds and mortgage securities…sold and backed by the government. Today, hapless, truth-challenged tax cheat Treasury... Read More
My syndicated column today tallies up all the craptacular spending that's been going on while the AIG-bashing hypocrites on the Hill crow about $165 million in corporate bonuses none of them bothered to stop before they rushed to fork over billions to AIG in the first place. I mention the little-noticed $6 billion GIVE Act,... Read More
You can find the full roll call vote on HR 1586, tax cheat Charlie Rangel's ass-covering, after-the-fact AIG bonus tax here. I have broken out the 85 Republicans (led by GOP Minority Whip Eric Cantor) who voted with Rangel and the Democrat demagogues. Because you should know: Aderholt Alexander Barton (TX) Biggert Bilbray Bilirakis Blunt... Read More
Scroll for updates... If you haven't been watching the AIG bonus debate in the House, you really should tune in. Barney Frank is shrieking. Jumping up and down over parliamentary procedure. Blaming Bush, Bush, Bush, and then attacking GOP for "partisan attacks." John Boehner just finished statement: "Are you kidding me? This is joke. Vote... Read More
Grabby.
The House is set to vote today on the retroactive, confiscatory 90 percent tax on bailout-funded bonuses. Lawmakers say the tax will apply to Fannie/Freddie bonuses. But who knows what the hell will end up in this Chicken Little measure: The NYPost rightly warns that such politically expedient power grabs are courting catastrophe: Now, a... Read More
Fall, fall on your sword, ye Purveyor of Hypocritical Indignation. Via CNN, unscrupulous borrower and No. 1 AIG benefactor Chris Dodd admits that yes, yes, he did support AIG bonus protections before he was against them: CNN isn't the only one he made the false claim to, according to a reader who phoned his office... Read More
Update: Allah's got video. Ditto what Allah says about Frank: "What a wretch." I noted in the public flogging liveblogging below that Rep. Barney Frank rather flippantly dismissed the death threats against AIG executives. Edward Liddy read this threat, after which Frank smirked, "I am not persuaded:" All of the people should be executed with... Read More
Code Pinkos scolded, Barney Frank on a witch hunt. Ackerman: "Cut your losses." (Photo credit:
Scroll for updates... AIG president Edward Liddy has started his testimony before the House Financial Service subcommittee. Here's his WaPo op-ed if you haven't seen it. He just noted that he has asked employees to give back half the bonuses and some will return 100 percent. Question: Will any of the fist-pounders move beyond the... Read More
Ed Morrissey: If AIG’s retention bonuses are a problem, why aren’t Freddie Mac’s? Barney Frank was unavailable for comment...
Boogie while the Beltway burns.
When in panic mode, return to the campaign trail. Take to the comedy and cable shows. Relive the glory. This is the White House m.o. Recall that when the porkulus bill was in danger, President Obama hosted a revival meeting in Florida and held a rally in Indiana. Now, in the face of the AIG... Read More
My syndicated column today looks at the award-winning performances of Washington hypocrites outraged by the AIG entitlement beast they nurtured through four massive bailout infusions. For added comic relief, be sure to read through the entire transcript of Robert Gibbs' press briefing yesterday. (It's been sanitized. Just add 25 "ums" during every exchange on AIG... Read More
Bob Owens keeps his eye on the ball and breaks it down:
A suggestion from reader Richard W.: Michelle, I don't understand why AIG doesn't just borrow the same approach Obama took to defending the $410B pork-laden spending bill he just signed in private. Seeing as how the bonuses were earned for work done in 2008, AIG should just call the bonuses, "Last year's business" and make... Read More
Nice trick: Eleven AIG employees received $1 million retention bonuses -- and then left the company after collecting the cash to keep them there. How do I get in on a deal like that? *** See comments below on timing of bonuses. Point taken. See also: A reader advises AIG to take a page from... Read More
Calling bull.
George Stephanopoulos of ABC News just wrapped up a Twitter interview with John McCain. Stephanopoulous was more concerned with McCain's daughter's spats than with nailing McCain on his AIG flip-flopping. What a wasted opportunity. (Or as we say in Twitter-world: #fail.) Preceding the interview, Sen. McCain wrote this on his Twitter page: "If we hadn't... Read More
Kabuki Theater of Outrage, Act III. Unscrupulous borrower Sen. Chris Dodd struts on stage. Fox Business reporter Rich Edson turns on the spotlight: Need to make my airsickness bag triple-strength this morning. Update: David Freddoso has more... Here is the loophole, from the section of the stimulus package that deals with compensation rules for TARP... Read More
Kabuki Theater of Outrage.
Okay. We get it. Every politician in Washington wants to show They Care by bashing AIG. Which almost all of them agreed to bail out. Repeatedly. But never mind all that. This, however, is just too much: Bob Owens points out that Sen. Grassley took $26,250 from AIG in 2007-2008 alone. Is he ready to... Read More
Rx.
As I noted earlier this afternoon, President Obama had a little frog (or B.S.) caught in his throat as he was performing this morning in the Kabuki Theater of Outrage over the AIG bonuses. Photoshopper/blogger Bucktown Dusty worked up a little cure for the next time Obama chokes on reality, sanctimony, or hypocrisy: Unfortunately, the... Read More
How nauseating to hear the growing chorus of lawmakers on Capitol Hill inveighing about the AIG bonuses and the rewarding of incompetence. Spare me, Barney Frank: This, after the Senate refused to give up automatic pay increases for themselves and Nancy Pelosi refused to give the measure a hearing. Congress sez: Incompetence bonuses for me,... Read More
The Kabuki Theater of Outrage.
Scroll down for updates...Obama will "pursue every single legal avenue" to block AIG bonuses.... I snorted this weekend over the fecklessness of Tiny Tim Geithner, crawling on his knees to AIG in an attempt to avert a public relations disaster concerning the bailout behemoth's massive executive bonuses. AIG, 80 percent owned by taxpayers, basically told... Read More
Busy with offline stuff today. What's on your minds? Here's a blood-boiler of the morning. Mr. Lonely Tim Geithner -- who was instrumental in putting together the wealth-redistributing AIG "rescue" plan -- now apparently believes that if he says "pretty please with sugar on top," the bailout behemoth will cut back on bonuses sure to... Read More
Duh.
The Chicken Littles rushed to fork over billions to failing companies with no strings attached -- and they're still flummoxed about how they got taken for fools. Let the curtains open on the latest act of Congressional Kabuki theater, via The Hill: Senate Dems angry over four AIG bailouts By Alexander Bolton Posted: 03/03/09 12:11... Read More
Screw up, move up. It's how Obama cabinet officials get ahead. And it's how Washington's favored failing businesses get more of your money. The first $85 billion bailout under Bush didn't work. The second $38 billion under Bush didn't work. So, hey, how about tossing another $30 billion down the hole? So much for President... Read More
The Taxpayers Clearinghouse Prize Patrol travels to NYC, NJ, and Washington to present huge bailout checks to AIG, Citi, and other lucky winners of the bailout bonanza. Plus: Showering Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner with cash: Brought to you by the same creative folks who are offering the personal bailout contest at www.right.org.
Who's next?
Time for another party, eh, AIG? The feds are just warming up, people. This is chump change: The Federal Reserve Board said Wednesday that it would provide up to an additional $37.8 billion to the insurance giant, the American International Group, to help the company deal with a continuing liquidity crisis. The additional funds come... Read More
R.I.P.
Scroll for updates...10:54am Eastern Bush speaking now...bailout will be "grease for the gears"... "we expect this money will eventually be paid back"...HA-HA-HA... Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson just wrapped up his press conference announcing the Mother of All Bailouts. He said a "bold" approach was needed to achieve "stability" in the market. Let me translate... Read More
There's really only one thing to say about tonight's announcement that the weasel feds have changed their minds and will fork over $85 billion to rescue troubled insurer AIG: (*$&^(&)%(&)*(^&*%&@[email protected]#^@!!!!!!! I listened to a lot of foolish people praising the government earlier today for not giving in to bailout pressure. I was not one of... Read More
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