Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy Birthday....Spring time!

Okay Okay....I am 1 day early for Spring but I am trying to get myself in a cheery mood. Kinda hard when my right leg's bumming me out and I think I might miss the race. I am going to be off from work today but I am not going to be enjoying myself much outside of getting my car inspected and such.

In addition to this, all I ever hear about on the news these days are about the greedy people in this world. Especially....the bankers.

If it isn't already outrageous what executives in the financial industry make nowadays, then I have to scratch my head to think that they are oblivious enough to feel that they deserve it.
Yesterday, the entire world watched as Congress grilled the newly appointed AIG CEO about bonus monies that they received despite the sorry state that their company was in. The whole show before congress was a little disingenous if you ask me. Considering that our government probably had some knowledge of what was going on, my take is that they made this a spectacle to appease the public masses. Both past and present regimes must've known about these irresponsible payouts well before it became public, thanks to Andy Cuomo.

There's a great many people who are saying that what is worse than allowing these execs to get their bonus monies for a job poorly done is to have our government bailout AIG altogether. $170 billion dollars, which will have to be paid by long-time suffering middle class Americans like myself. Last night, and on CNN, Ben Stein commented on how having the government allow the likes of Lehman Brothers to tank was even worse. He did not go into specifics, but I did my homework a while ago on this subject. I agree this was a bad thing. Almost as bad as when Bear Stearns was gobbled up JPMorgan Chase. They came right on in and made a nice killing off of Bear's credit default swap mess. It was a bloodbath resulting in a lot of loss jobs, and probable cash pocket stuffing by the orchestrators at mahogany row at 270 Park Avenue. Who knows now, how long do we, the taxpayer, have to pay for AIG's mess? For all we know, they might still fail, and there will be more bailouts on the way. Where does it end?

However, I have even a more compelling argument....

Why did we (the American People, Government, etal) allow AIG to grow as big as they did? It is apparent to me now, that with over $1 trillion dollars in assets, and as the leading insurer in over a dozen different lines of industry (real estate, financial, hollywood, transportation, airlines, etc), that our government had NO choice but to bail AIG out. Shame on all of us for allowing them to get to the position of a monopoly. Another example of how it's big business (NOT BIG GOVERNMENT) which has hurt this nation in recent times. Even though AIG was shamed yesterday into giving back their bonuses it took a public outlash for them to do anything "decent". However.....what about the rest of companies that didn't perform and are getting bailout money?

I realize that I may sound like I am trying to launch some form of "Robin-Hood-like" crusade here. Let's get the pitchforks out and find Frankenstein! Attack! Attack! :-) Well, I am not. I am all for success in the workplace, and the greater good for the American people and to democracy. I don't get to write the rules, and I only have but 1 vote every four years for the top dog. Yet, this country has blessed me with the liberty to "opinionize" and free from persecution. And having said that, I truly believe that there should be a ceiling when it comes to compensation.

Last year, for example, Martin Sullivan, the then President and Chief Executive Officer for AIG, made $10,125,000 in cash. And that was just the bonus! All told, he made $35 million dollars in total compensation between 2006 & 2007. That amounts to 195 TIMES the compensation that I received. I may not have a PhD, and perhaps THAT is the reason I don't get to be as corrupt as these unsavory types are, but I sure as hell work my tail off.

Even companies that are doing well, the figures are staggering. Take Jamey Dimon for instance who is the Chairman and CEO for JPMorgan Chase. In 2007, he made a bonus of $14,500,000. These figures come straight from their website's annual proxy report. Apparently, they have no shame to advertise this. But it doesn't end there. His total compensation for 2007 was $27,797,275 and in 2006 it was $39,053,329. In all Jamey Dimon was compensated to the tune of nearly $67 million dollars, roughly half of the reported bonus monies given out at AIG to all 75 of its recipients, and 352 TIMES my total compensation.

How much money does one person actually need?

The JP Morgan chase annual proxy went on to show the earnings of their top 5 individuals. The other 4 were Michael J. Cavanagh, Steven D. Black, James E. Staley, and William T. Winters. All told, $217,332,104 were paid out in compensation to them over just 2 years. Let me repeat that...the top 5 people at JP Morgan Chase made $217 MILLION DOLLARS in 2 years time.

Are they for real?


Anonymous said...

Hard to enjoy your day off when your "stressing" about things beyond your control. Love that your music reflects your commentary. It is One day early for Spring but you could celebrate St Joseph's day with some pasteries!

Alex Gonzalez said...

Not to toot my own horn, but I usually take a lot of abuse before I dish it out. Perhaps being the nice guy all the time is the reason why I dont HAVE the bonuses that those other people do.

For starters: I am down to 163.6 pounds right now, so why would I want to celebrate St.Joe's by adding weight with pasteries?

Now as for your "beyond your control" comment, all I can say is that perhaps you are right. Only for now, though. The court of public opinion is predominantly made up of John-Q-publics like me who have no control. Thus, they having nothing to do with those who DO have the CONTROL. Those are the ones who are raping our free enterprise here in America by making 200-2000 times the compensation as someone like me. Know of anyone?

So yeah, I have no control RIGHT now. BUT....I do have the blessing from my country to exercise my right of free speech, though you might like to think that I am stressing. Despite for the select few who would wish otherwise, I do have a 'say' in this matter.

Eventually, if enough people get organized, then we WILL HAVE CONTROL. Then, things like handing out 1 million dollars and up in bonus money to people who are doing a lousy job of keeping our country afloat (ie. banking execs), could become a thing of the past.

I love the right to free speech! Isn't that a great thing?

Thanks to this, just watch what is happening in the news these days! See what the "not-in-bcontrol" people in this country are doing to those selfish, greedy people who are out of touch with the rest of the country, yet still are CLINGING to their "control! God Bless America!

If enough people express their viewpoints and DEMAND action, then we will EVENTUALLY be heard. And once we are heard, we will command the control. Control, that for which otherwise would still be in the hands of those abusing the system of power today.

And who are you to even assume (and wrongly I may add) that I'm "stressing"?

Perhaps "incensed" is more like it. But hey, oh, why am I wasting all my breath on you? I forgot. You are ANONYMOUS, so you don't even exist, right?

You know, in a way, you are like those for whom I mentioned on this post. Those that receive ridiculous sums of money, while most of us honest and hard working Americans struggle just to pay the bills. Those rich people would prefer to remain ANONYMOUS as well.

Hey, here's a novel idea....Why don't you actually try living in the light sometime? You might actually enjoy it. :-)

DGA said...

Perhaps Anonymous was trying to sell you some Irish delicacies. Do you know any Irish Pub or pastry shop in your area? If you do, look no further, there is your anonymous commentator. Hey, don't be so hard on him, everyone is entitled to make a decent buck, especially nowadays with the economy so screwed up, compliments of the malignant duo Bush-Cheney.
Your blog was just perfect and like you, millions of Americans, thinking the same way, may be as pissed as you are with the unfairness of a system we've been shoved through our throats for almost 8 years, actually probably since that second rated Hollywood actor who became President to destroy the balance between big corporations and their employees, known as Unions.
Therefore, please keep making your thoughts comments. We are not sheep, we are people and have our own minds and if we don't like something we talk about it, and if we talk about it, we might be able to change things that are wrong. Bravo for your blog!