Your ol' pal Clark doesn't want his blog to be a political one. I prefer to read those. But I'm about sick to death of the election baloney now. Most, if not all, politicians are crooked. Some are more crooked than others. Some also get caught. It's really odd that those that get caught sometimes are still elected and re-elected to office. WTH??
I pride myself at being mostly in the middle with regards to politics. There are so many people on the fringes of both parties that are just plain kooks. I was appalled at how much money went into this supposed bailout and it didn't really do anything. Stocks plummeted and banks failed. Why not just let the stocks fall and the banks fail? Not all the banks will fail, will they? Perhaps I'm short-sighted or naiive or something, but I remember that the government bailed out a bunch of savings and loans about 25 years ago when they failed and that turned out OK. At least after a while.
I think the reprehensible people are the fat cat CEOs that manage to be awarded contracts that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, stocks, and bling (ooooo, I'm so hip!) regardless of whether the company they run is thriving or failing. The CEO of Lehman Brothers (Fuld I think is his name) got nailed by Sen. Waxman in Congress the other day. You see, my friends, Fuld got an estimated $450 million (or $350 million if you believe what Fuld said before Congress) in severance when Lehman crashed and burned. He shouldn't have gotten a dime over his regular salary plus two weeks. Some guy at some other company was only on the job a month and got some $20 million (estimated) in severance. Thankfully, someone with a set of cojones punched Fuld in the nose at the gym in the Lehman Brothers building in NYC. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall for that one.
Other than legislate people's salaries, which is way too socialist for my tastes, how do we combat runaway salaries for CEOs? If I were in charge, I would have written into the so-called "bailout" that CEOs immediately forfeit any severance if their company has assets purchased by the government. Those "golden parachutes" would immediately go to the government to buy back the reworked securities.
Oh, and another thing, company CEOs caught cooking the books would be prosecuted no matter how much money they gave to lawmakers on the Hill.