We are not as stupid as you look.
I have been trying not to let the financial clusterfuck that is tanking the world economy upset me unduly, though I realize that "unduly" is a terribly subjective term. So, to qualify, "not upset me unduly" to me means accepting that there is very little I can do to affect this situation, that I am blessed that its reach to me so far is only to wreck our 401K and dig into Anna’s college fund and that it has meant job losses for some friends. I’m trying to ride the balance between upsetting myself over things I can’t control and Marie Antoinette. Largely this means that I listen to news and follow a few financial blogs, but mostly I just listen and absorb.
Today, however, I lost my ability to simply absorb, and as the day wears on, I’m just getting angrier. I have heard more than twice today from "experts" that we just don’t understand how finance works, that the bonuses to AIG executives really do have to stand, and that we need to leave them there because they are the only people who are smart enough to get us out of this. I have to respond to this, because it’s making me so angry that I’m going to explode if I don’t. We’ll start with the short answer.
For clarification, the longer answer:
I don’t want the executives at AIG to get any money. I don’t want them to even have jobs. I do agree Grassely probably shouldn’t have said they should kill themselves, and I don’t think they should be lynched, either, but I do think they should be tried in a court of law and jailed or fined, or both. Certainly I don’t think they should be given the task of "rescuing us" from their own idiocy, let alone be given "good-boy" money. Frankly, it’s difficult to know what to say to someone who has the balls to even suggest this. After my anger, my next thought is that these experts should perhaps be fired, too, or asked which AIG executive has promised to blow them. Because I can’t imagine why anyone would be so clueless as to try and suggest to an entire nation that no, we’re just silly children, and we truly do need these people to bail us out, so we have to let them set the terms.
If these assholes are our only hope, if these are the smartest financial brains we can muster up, I think it’d be best if we just let the world economy collapse now and hopefully take a lot of the greedy rich bastards who got us here with it. Because despite these condescending "experts’" assertions, I do understand that if we let AIG fall we may hurt the world economy more if we keep it around. But I also understand that if you let these assholes get off not just scot free but PAID for fucking us over, not only will THEY do it again, but other slimy bastard financier who is watching will note that they can play whatever fucked up game they want, just so long as they threaten the world economy if they lose.
AIG is the ringleader in turning private loans and mortgages and in effect the entire world economy into a giant casino. And instead of firing them and taking them to court, we are paying for their bonuses and bending over, spreading our legs in hopes that this time when they fuck us up the ass, they will use lube and not laugh too much. Well, you know what, I can get better sex than that on my own, thanks, and with a lot more dignity. Fuck the "war on terror." Those asshats killed thousands of people yes, but at least they did it quickly. These dungheads are hurting millions upon millions, and they’re killing us slowly. And then asking for our lunch money, too.
Grassley, I don’t agree with you often. But if you get that money back from those assholes, I just might vote for you next time.
If you want intelligent, reasonable, non-partisan critique of the financial situation, check out The Baseline Scenario. Simon Johnson is my hero, and I would nominate for him for anything financial and support anything he suggests. Unless he suggests supporting the bonuses for AIG executives. Then I will weep over my loss and never read his blog again.