Sara Whitman

Banks Gone Wild

Filed By Sara Whitman | February 26, 2009 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: AIG, Barack Obama, government bailout, Sheryl Crow, stimulus package, Tiffany's

I've had it. Maybe it's my inner Republican coming out in full force but this whole bailout business is getting to me.

Yesterday, the NYTimes reported that AIG is still sucking wind and needs, oh, another 60 billion or so. Not to mention the US will end up owning about 40% of Citibank- not sure that's such a good investment.

The good news? It seems the death penalty is too costly, and many states are considering an end to it.

But reading just now about how Northern Trust, a bank who received 1.6 billion, and laying off 450 employees, had a party.

Sorry, they had a PARTY. As reported by TMZ, Gift bags from Tiffany's, sponsorship of a PGA gold tournament, fancy hotels, Sheryl Crow live for a private concert along with the band Chicago (I guess that was a tip of the hat to the recession)- millions spent.

I'm sure all the out of work employees enjoy chewing on that irony.

I have to wonder- why isn't this on the front page of the NYTimes? If they can report on Kansas giving up the death penalty based on cost, why aren't they working on the incredible bullshit going on with the bailout money given to banks?

I don't know about you all but I think handing over billions means there has to be some serious accountability. I want to know where every damn dollar is going. I want to read a business plan that shows they are capable of making change and if they are not? Boot them all. Hire new people.

Companies fail when they are poorly run. Handing money over to poorly run companies is not going to make them better. It will only prolong the pain.

Like I said, it's probably just my inner republican jumping out, but I am sick of reading about these abuses.


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I’m in complete agreement but I would go a step further & include General Motors in with these banks. For a company with a widely acknowledged history of inept management to again request MORE funds is astounding.

beachcomberT | February 27, 2009 6:16 AM

Rep. Barney Frank and a few Democrats have introduced a resolution requiring Northern Trust to refund its party money. But, truthfully, this type of excess is hardly confined to banking -- it's amok throughout Corporate America. My former employer, a newspaper, has laid off 200+ of its 800 workers in the past year. For years, it told its reporters it had no money to send them to training conferences but regularly treated dozens of its biggest advertisers to major junkets, such as cruises. Corporate hospitality tents and luxury seating are standard fare at any big sporting event. Northern Trust and the others say it's all done in the name of marketing and client relations, and our rotten tax code still allows most of this to be written off as legitimate business expenses. Incidentally, Northern Trust noted its party conference helped create work for restaurant servers, bellhops, et al. Aren't those crumbs delicious?

While financial institutionswere lining up to get bailout money, they peddled the myth that they were too big to fail. What may be closer to the truth is that they were too big to succeed. Some of them even used our money to go on an acquisition spree, becoming even more bloated and unmanageable.

Now that Americans are a little closer to running our country, we should go on a de-acquisition spree, forcing banks that are too big to succeed to spin off healthy parts of their businesses into appropriate sized businesses and the unhealthy parts to break up further until they can reorganize into viable businesses.

Which company was it that actually switched the type of business they claim to be so they could get $10 billion only to turn around and spend $6.5 billion on bonuses to the asshats that brought down the company to start with?

This mornings news, the government will now own 36% of Citigroup. The other big owner is the Saudi Prince. My head is spinning. There is much discontent with Wall Street Traders (Rick Santelli) and calls for tea being dumped in the harbor.

I don'tknow Bil, but it's a feeding frenzy right now and it's not pretty.

nor is it going to help.