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Who's to Blame? Congress

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
This article specifically addresses the AIG debacle, from how they get into trouble to the bonuses paid and what led to the institution of these huge bonuses in the first place. And the blame is laid squarely on the shoulders of Congress, and the deregulations that allowed the massive derivatives and credit default swaps happened under Clinton.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29724816/

I thought it was a really good article that explained to us laymen how all this happened, and why it happened. I never really understood it until I read this.
post #2 of 19
I might have posted this in another thread, but it's so appropo here. Jaime Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase addressed the deregulation by saying something along the lines of: "just because you can do it doesn't mean it's a good idea." I don't think there's any way regulation can substitute for discipline and common sense. Yet, it's all we've got. Greed will find a way, and if the way is wide open, it's too easy.
post #3 of 19
Shocking, just shocking. Man's greed never ceases to amaze me.
post #4 of 19
Thanks Heidi

That's one of the most clearly written articles on the subject I've ever seen. Congress is one of those animals I have no hope of ever understanding.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
Congress is one of those animals I have no hope of ever understanding.
I think some understanding comes from watching their hearings
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Shocking, just shocking. Man's greed never ceases to amaze me.
Here, here!!
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
Congress is one of those animals I have no hope of ever understanding.
The only thing I understand is that when the poo hits the proverbial fan, they all have one finger pointed the other way. You decide which one I'm referring to.
post #8 of 19
What I'm scratching my head over is this: Republicans had control of Congress (house and senate) under Clinton, so they had to have set those rules in motion and approve them before Clinton did. So this is just another example on how both parties failed the American people.
post #9 of 19
post #10 of 19
At least Joe Biden got it right last year by opposing the bailout!! While I agree with the Pres. & Sen. Grassley's current sentiments, too bad they weren't on the ball earlier - why they didn't see this train a'comin' down the tracks .
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20108.html
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
Congress is one of those animals I have no hope of ever understanding.
Thats why we need to clean house and the people of this country need to open their eyes and do something about them!
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
Thats why we need to clean house and the people of this country need to open their eyes and do something about them!
I would agree, except that I'm afraid what my Grandfather always said is probably true...

"The only people smart enough to be in politics are too smart to want the job"
post #13 of 19
I will never understand how any of them sleep at night while millions of hard working, honest Americans are the ones with troubled sleep, worrying about bills, money and surviving this entire mess.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittybernard View Post
I will never understand how any of them sleep at night while millions of hard working, honest Americans are the ones with troubled sleep, worrying about bills, money and surviving this entire mess.
They don't care because they are greedy and self serving.


Why isn't the government helping the people who are losing everything in this economy with the billions of dollars they just gave to AIG to pay CEOS their bonuses. Unbelievable!!!

I think that we all should quit paying these politicians wages until they start working for the people not Corporate America!!!
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
I think that we all should quit paying these politicians wages until they start working for the people not Corporate America!!!
I'm all for that, except then they'd be 100% dependent on lobbyists' donations instead of just 90%
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Some thoughts I have on the whole mess, after rolling it around for a while. It's kind of on the same thought as the original post, that Congress is really the ones to blame, but a little more specific. All of this information is gleaned from various news shows, articles, etc. that I've seen/heard/read over the past couple days so I don't have links.

The bonuses that AIG paid out, while a very large amount to all of us peons, is actually only 1/10th of 1% of the total bailout. Another way to look at it is if the bailout money is comparable to $100 (an amount we can relate to), then the bonuses are one dime; 10 cents. So why is everyone so freaked out about this? It's a good talking point for the politicians, I guess, but in the grand scheme of things it's nothing. Yeah, the idiots who decided to insure the risky loans shouldn't get a bonus for anything, but it's really not a huge amount compared to what they received.

AIG paid out 70% of the bailout monies that it received to banks on the bad assets that it owed on. Refer back to the article from the first post, where they sold insurance on bad mortgages (obviously they didn't think they were going to be bad, but when the system collapsed they owed a LOT in insurance payouts). So AIG did what they were supposed to do with the bailout money, as opposed to the banks that just sat on the money while the credit market went to hell in a handbasket. Again...why are we all so mad at them? Can you say SCAPEGOAT???

Back to the bonuses. Not a big deal in the grand scheme based on percentages, but a PR nightmare for AIG and the ones who authorized the payouts - Congress and Obama. We've all heard how the bonuses were in the contracts that were negotiated on or before February 11th. Magic date - February 11th. Before the bill was finalized or signed. The excemption is in the so-called "Dodd Amendment", but Chris Dodd says that he didn't put the exemption in the amendment (just the limits to bonuses). He said it wasn't there when it left the Senate, but was there when it came rushing back for final approval (that no one could read, remember). Interesting, though, that he did get the largest contributions from AIG. So someone put that exception with that date in the bill. So who worked on the bill? If I recall it was the Congressional Leadership, who are now among those screaming loudly about the bonuses and wanting to tax them 90-98% if the execs don't give it back voluntarily.

Here we go with the finger pointing again. And no one taking responsibility for anything.
post #17 of 19
Bill had a great op-ed today addressing exactly this issue. It's copyright; I can't post the whole thing here, so here's a short excerpt:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Sebastian
Congressmen, Senators, the head of the Fed, the White House – the last White House – all of these people have failed in their responsibilities to protect the American people.In fact, the list of people who have failed us is so long that I have trouble believing this is an accident some days.
From here: http://billsebastianforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=299

Basically he said it boils down to selling out to campaign financing; but he says it so much better.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I might have posted this in another thread, but it's so appropo here. Jaime Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase addressed the deregulation by saying something along the lines of: "just because you can do it doesn't mean it's a good idea." I don't think there's any way regulation can substitute for discipline and common sense. Yet, it's all we've got. Greed will find a way, and if the way is wide open, it's too easy.
I am really glad that I work for JP Morgan Chase instead of one of the other major banks. They seem to be weathering this better than the other major banks and so far haven't gotten caught with some of the over the top absurd things that some of these other large corporations have been caught with.
post #19 of 19
I remember when Barack told another lie and said all the bills would be put out there five days in advance so people could see them, does it really surprise us that when he did the opposite that there was a reason.

This Congress and the Obama administration will go down as one of the most corrupt, you wait and see.
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