The Masters Of The Universe Strike Again

They say there is a "brain drain" going on in Wall Street. Countering the theory that there is much in the way of brains to drain on Wall Street is the head of AIG Financial Products (via TPM):

American International Group Inc.'s financial-products unit is on track to wind down by year end, but the controversy over bonuses that led to the loss of some key people may have made the process more costly for taxpayers, the unit's head said. AIG Financial Products head Gerry Pasciucco, in his first extensive public interview since the bonus dustup last month, said 20 of the unit's 370 employees quit amid the controversy . . . Mr. Pasciucco says the controversy "hurt morale" and "stunned people such that our wind-down has slowed down." He added, "Taxpayers probably have been damaged."


Forget for a moment the merits of Mr. Pasciucco's argument, how stupid do you have to be to give an interview where you say these things? Here's the best line though - "some had clubs ask them to resign." Oh no! They were shunned at the club? How horrible! The Masters of the Universe, ladies and gentleman. Let's all give them a trillion dollars!

Speaking for me only

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    Ah, the agony of it all (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:27:55 PM EST
    and the arrogance.  Yeh, let's talk about damage to the people this week who are paying a third of last year's income in taxes but don't even have jobs now.  We can bet these brainy financiers found ways to avoid paying a lot of their fair share of taxes for last year and now expect to keep living off the rest of us.  Let that come to an end.

    I'm happy to add my two cents (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by ChiTownDenny on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:57:23 PM EST
    to this apples and oranges conversation.  The oranges, of course, refers to the forthcoming regulations that will put a diaper on these "masters of the universe".  Soon enough, recklessness will no longer be rewarded.  
    (The apples, btw; how to stablize our financial institutions.)

    I don't mind recklessness being rewarded (none / 0) (#51)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:31:47 PM EST
    just don't expect to be bailed out if the recklessness blows up...

    unfortunately that's not happening...hell, these guys won't even admit that anything was done wrong...this stuff just happens according to the those involved at this years WEF...


    gee (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by CST on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:31:11 PM EST
    their morale is down?

    Welcome to 2009.  My morale is down too.  That's what happens when the economy collapses.

    I don't see many consumers with (none / 0) (#5)
    by SOS on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:33:39 PM EST
    credit cards fanned-out like poker hands, ready for "action" these days that's plainly obvious.

    Shunned at the club.... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:35:27 PM EST
    that is hysterical...I can't help but picture Louis Winthorpe at the club asking for a loan from his Harvard buddies after the Dukes set him up.

    "Nobody wants to buy your drugs here, Louis. Why don't you just go away?"

    Will there be lots of "tennis whites" (none / 0) (#8)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:58:25 PM EST
    and those awful patchwork madras golf pants at the consignment stores soon?

    Uh, no, I don't think so.  They'll find other clubs.


    mr. pasciucco (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:51:34 PM EST
    is delightfully un-self aware. in a way, you amost have to admire that kind of total obliviousness.


    Backward thinking like some (2.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:12:41 PM EST
    of you have just exhibited continues to cost the US, including of course taxpayers, more money.

    Reports have said that less than a handful of people at AIG FP at the time of the recent bonuses contributed to the problems at FP, and yet some of you want to blame and punish everyone who is there.

    The US has the right to own 80% of AIG, and to recoup some of the US investment in AIG, yet some of you continue to root against AIG. Doesn't make sense to me.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:15:07 PM EST
    We are the problem.

    Sounds like you are ready to be a Master of the Universe!


    It's not about "punishing" them (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by CST on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:19:55 PM EST
    it's about not letting them continue to live in a bubble where it is okay to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars when their company collapsed and they are tax payer funded.

    And not giving a cr@p whether they are members of a club, or if they "feel bad" about their jobs.  A lot of people feel bad about their jobs, but they are also happy to have them.

    It's about recognizing that these people do not deserve any more than anyone else.


    This is short-sighted thinking, (2.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:25:04 PM EST
    in my view. "it's about not letting them continue to live in a bubble where it is okay to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars when their company collapsed and they are tax payer funded."

    If they can save lots of money for AIG, and thus the US, why don't you want to pay them to do that?

    Jeez, the head of the unit just said that the recent bonus stuff has hurt the unit fairly significantly. Doesn't anyone care about saving money for the US? What about education and hospitals?


    180 billion dollars later (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:30:22 PM EST
    you write "If they can save lots of money for AIG, and thus the US, why don't you want to pay them to do that?"

    Let's start with what this post is about - to wit, the stupidity ofan AIG executive complaining about taxpayers being pissed about AIG.

    If you can not see how stupid that is, then I do not know what to tell you.

    I think the issue of "keeping" Jake DeSantis is extremely overrated.

    so far, these "geniuses" have been unwinding deals by paying counterparties a hundred cents on the dollar. We hardly need any "brains" for that.


    They may or may not need brains (none / 0) (#21)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:51:55 PM EST
    but they do need people to do it that know how to do it and preferably are familiar with what it is they are working with and know the people (the team) that they are working with. That holds true in any business.

    As an example when a bank takes over an insolvent business they do everything they can to keep the people on the payroll who are necessary in winding down the business in an informed and orderly fashion. In fact I have seen banks pay those people more money that they previously earned just to keep them around on the temporary basis they will be needed for. Because if they all leave the bank then has to bring in people who have no clue as to the business, the paperwork, the creditors or customers, etc and have to spend a great deal of time (money) just getting up to speed.

    Those of you laughing at AIG over what Pasciucco said have no idea that what he is saying is true. AIG is no different than the bank takeover example I gave above. Of course I wouldn't expect anyone who has no experience in such things to know what it is they are saying is wrong which is why I am posting what I am. So people will know it is no laughing matter and to not make uninformed comments like they are.


    Not to pay 100 cents on the dollar (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:59:15 PM EST
    Takes no expertise for that.

    It is not that simple (2.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:09:16 PM EST
    Many, if not all, of those CDS' are bundled and it does take familiarity and expertise to unbundle them. And it does take a cohesive team to do it also.

    This is not about taking a note for a dollar and cutting a check for a dollar. This is way more complicated than you seem to want to make it sound.


    Excuse me (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:23:31 PM EST
    I doubt it is brain surgery either.

    They are winding down a company, not anything else.


    AIG FP is being wound down, but (2.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:24:29 PM EST
    not everyone still at the company is involved in the actual winding down part.

    Until everything is wound down, the company has to continue certain other tasks, like hedging. If you don't have people doing and matching the hedging properly, there could be huge additional losses.


    No (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:28:28 PM EST
    That's wrong. All AIG-FP is doing now is unwinding existing contracts.

    And the 20 employees referenced are from AIG-FP.


    Nope BTD, you are wrong (none / 0) (#83)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:01:08 PM EST
    on this. Hedging is still an important ongoing aspect of the wind-down phase. See the 4th para. under Details Regarding Business Impact of Failure to pay in the linked AIG white paper.

    http://static1.firedoglake.com/1/files//2009/03/ny12532-_432294-v7-white_paper_-_aigfp_retention_pla n.pdf


    Actually (none / 0) (#64)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:11:51 PM EST
    a brain surgeon probably could do their job. And a brain surgeon probably could do your job as an attorney either. That's the point. People have an area of expertise. They have needed familiarity with the company, it's products, procedures, customers, regulations, and in many cases need to be properly licensed in their field.

    I gave the real world example of a bank taking over a failed company and what banks do in order to keep familiar and competent people on board until the company they are unwinding is unwound. There is no question that what I said is true of that scenario. And there is no question that the same thing applies to AIG. I really doubt the either you or I could go in and do the job at AIG.

    I know a bank cannot do the same job unwinding a failed company with less than the full required staffing. The same would hold true with any company, including AIG. Don't let your distaste get in the way of common sense. A case that requires 6 lawyers requires 6 lawyers, not 4. Saying what is being done at AIG "isn't brain surgery" does not change the facts of what needs to be done and what kind of people it takes to do it.


    They don't need brainy types? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:40:01 PM EST
    Then it's basic tasks that need doing, and the types to do that certainly can be found.

    sure they can get paid (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CST on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:31:05 PM EST
    just not obscene amounts of money.  President Obama gets paid less than AIG execs and his job is pretty tough too.  He probably has a lower net worth as well.  There needs to be a realistic scale here of how much these people are really worth.  Personally, having gone to school with a lot of them, I don't think they are particularly irreplacable or smart.

    we can save money for the U.S. by not giving it all to AIG too...


    The market sets the price (2.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:18:24 PM EST
    on what people are worth. Same as in baseball or basketball. A lot of athletes also make more then Obama and have a higher net worth as well. Are you complaining about them? All they do is play a game.

    Are you complaining about Bill Gates? Are you complaining about Warren Buffet? Jack Nicholson?

    Whatever field you are in the market sets the price you get paid.


    No (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:22:26 PM EST
    If that were true, they would be out of work. AIG is a failed company.

    Even people in failed companies (none / 0) (#48)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:27:51 PM EST
    get paid, and some get paid fairly well. Even a failed company has to go through bankruptcy (or something equivalent). Bankruptcy courts routinely give permission for compensation to be paid to employees. And get this, stay bonuses are often necessary and approved in bankruptcy situations. Imagine that.

    No (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:29:19 PM EST
    they don't. They lose their jobs.

    Not in most cases (none / 0) (#75)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:39:38 PM EST
    do people lose their jobs. Failed companies include those in Chapter 11 for instance. Most of those employees don't lose their jobs. In Chapter 7 as I already illustrated employees are often kept on board by the liquidators of the company be it the bank or other.

    If a bank was nationalized all employees would not lose their jobs and that company would be called a failed company.

    Many for profit companies in the US are non-profitable and exist solely on cash flow. If they are not profitable I guess you could call them a failed company since a for profit company is formed to make profit yet they have employees for years and years. So no people don't always lose their jobs in a failed company.

    In the case of Bush and Obama have decided that it is in the best interest of the country to keep AIG afloat so we don't have to experience the domino effect of them going BK. Given how no one here, especially the anti-AIG crowd, knows exactly what that domino effect would be and how sever it would be I'd say they are arguing against AIG and Obama without knowing all the facts. If they don't know all the facts as to the domino consequences then they don't have a good argument. It's like playing without a full deck and not knowing which cards are present or missing.


    AIG would be in 7 (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:44:31 PM EST
    and even in 11s, much of the work force gets trimmed and loses pay and benefits, not "retention bonuses."

    What part of that do you not get?


    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#101)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:06:08 PM EST
    In 11 companies are allowed to keep everything they need to do as much business that is profitable. That is the purpose of 11 - to allow the company the cashflow and profits they need to get healthy again, while the creditors have to wait for some or all of their money. That's how 11 works. That is the part I get :)

    Same for pay, benefits, and retention bonuses. If the court sees it as necessary to keep skilled and experienced personal on board that are critical to the success of the business they it will be allowed. I don't think anyone here can summarily say what the 11 courts would rule when we don't have the details or the petition. And even if we did we are not the judge who can do whatever he wants (pending appeals of course).


    There's also something called (none / 0) (#108)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:32:05 PM EST
    a liquidating Chapter 11. This is sometimes used for businesses that have substantial operating businesses for which it would be best to liquidate over time (and selling the valuable operating assets), instead of just shutting down as soon as practicable.

    Retention bonuses in bankruptcy. (none / 0) (#86)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:07:11 PM EST
    Like I said, retention bonuses in bankruptcy are not uncommon, altho perhaps less common than they were until 2005. Legislation several years ago added the following retrictions for retention bonuses for insiders, but still allowed them and didn't restrict retention bonuses for non-insiders.

    Here's a summary of the legislation from 2005:

    "Retention bonuses paid to insiders are permissible only if: (1) the bonus is essential to the retention of the insider because the insider has a bona fide job offer from another business at the same or greater rate of compensation; (2) the services provided by the insider are essential to the survival of the business; and (3) the amount of the bonus is not greater than 10 times the mean retention bonus paid to non-management employees during the year in which the bonus is paid to the insider, or if no retention bonuses are paid to non-management employees during the year, the amount of the bonus is not greater than 25% of the amount of any retention bonus paid to the insider in the preceding calendar year."


    Now you're just making things up (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:39:00 PM EST
    Plenty of companies simply greet their employees with a locked door and a sign that says, "out of business".

    Of course, some employees lose (none / 0) (#58)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:49:50 PM EST
    their jobs. However, not all do. Also, there's the WARN act, which requires notice for things like plant closures and large layoffs.

    Had AIG filed for banruptcy, AIG FP would probably have continued to exist largely as it did since the bailout.


    btd (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by CST on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:24:11 PM EST
    speaks for me on this one.

    Notice none of us are complaining about Buffet - and he works in finance.


    also (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by CST on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:50:17 PM EST
    what do aig and obama have in common that those other people you listed don't?

    They are tax-payer funded.  Not market-funded.

    That's why their salaries are lower.


    Oh yeah (none / 0) (#103)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:21:05 PM EST
    those ball players salaries are not subsidized by taxpayer funded stadiums that are built, or the free land or by the tax breaks that the ball-clubs get. Sheesh.

    Ha (none / 0) (#102)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:15:59 PM EST
    well if you knew that Buffet opposed "Card Check" then maybe you would complain about him. Buffet has lobbied and got personal sittings with law makers on a number of issues you may not be happy with.

    Buffet IS one of them. Don't forget that.

    Just because you don't know what you don't know does not mean it doesn't exist.


    stadiums (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by CST on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:48:43 PM EST
    may be subsidized - that's up to the local gov't to decide and to each his or her own.  However I do not know of any case where a prefessional sports team is publicly owned.  There is a difference between paying for a building and paying for a company.

    Also - I am not complaining about how much Buffet is PAID.  I said nothing about any of his personal and political views.  I know he is one of them.  But he isn't getting bailed out by me so he can do what he wants with his salary.


    Buffet and Bailout (none / 0) (#105)
    by Politalkix on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:22:31 PM EST
    Please see [link]. So it may not be just Geithner and Summers and Bernanke, Obama may also be influenced by Buffet while taking decisions about the economy. Buffet's views on finance are very widely respected within the finance community and also outside it.
    Retention bonuses should however not be paid at these financial institutions with bailout money. Period. If people at AIG and banks that have received bailout money want to walk out of the door because they did not receive bonuses, let them do so.

    Kinda sorta (none / 0) (#106)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:37:27 PM EST
    some information about publicly held sports franchises here.  But they don't really exist in the sense that we think of a publicly traded company.

    If you think that (none / 0) (#107)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:49:06 PM EST
    paying for or partially paying for (these days it is mostly paying for) a stadium is not paying for a company you are wrong. With the banks we are not paying for the company, we are partially funding the company. And I say 'funding' because unlike a stadium where we pay for it and then "give" it to the club owner, with banks we are "lending" it or taking stock for the money. We are 'giving them nothing.

    I don't know how many times I have read the words "taxpayer giveaway" when we are giving away nothing. They're loans and stock swaps. That is not a giveaway. A stadium is a giveaway. Ball club owner special tax breaks are a giveaway. You have it all backward.

    As for Buffet I said nothing about how much he makes. You say he can do what he wants with his salary. One thing he does is fight against card check. You approve of that? The other thing is does is buys political influence to pass laws that benefit him not you. You approve of that too?

    When you said you don't complain about Buffet it is because you don't know what you don't know. Now you know.


    Buffet (none / 0) (#109)
    by CST on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:42:20 PM EST
    is free to contribute his money how he wants.  I disagree with how he spends it, but I don't disagree that he has the right to it and can spend his money how he chooses or make as much money as he chooses so long as he pays his taxes.

    As for the sports teams - we do not own those clubs.  Subsidized or no.  We own 80% of AIG.  That is a fact and since we own them we have the right to b*tch about their salaries.  If I owned (or the state owned) a sports club (even 80%) than I would b*tch about athletes salaries.  As it is - my state did not subsidize my baseball park, and only subsidized a fraction of the cost for our football and basketball stadiums (no where even close to a 50% controlling stake).  So no, I don't complain.  Other people should feel free to if they feel ripped off.


    You (none / 0) (#110)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:59:30 PM EST
    have the right to b*tch about anything. Now does that mean that you know all the particulars about everything to do with AIG or others? No. Does that mean you know the final outcome of what you complain about? No.

    For instance today it came out that AIG was not backdooring profits to the likes of Goldman Sachs. But yet people were b*tching that they were almost daily. It was not true.

    People complained and politicians took advantage and set forth compensation rules. Now as a result you will see smaller community banks that need the money short term either get stigmatized out of business because they need the money and other banks don't, or they will not take the money and be stigmatized but then not make it because they are short on capital. In the end you will have fewer community banks and the big boys you hate will be stronger as a result. in fact that community bank will be bought up by Big Boys Inc.

    So watch what you complain about because it could come back like this will and bite you in the rear, giving you exactly the opposite of what you wanted. You just watch. I've seen this movie before.


    Green Bay Packers (none / 0) (#118)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:50:29 PM EST
    are community-owned.  Just saying.

    The market? Let's talk supply (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:38:12 PM EST
    and demand.  There's a sizeable supply of brainy people out of work now.  And the demand, if we are to believe you and these universe masters, is really down now without the lure of bonuses and club memberships and the like.

    So the market ought to be good for getting replacement hires that won't expect the moon.


    I had a a manufacturing company once (none / 0) (#78)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:51:23 PM EST
    Small one with about 100 people in the factory. I could have fired them all and hired a 100 new people. Does that mean that day one those 100 new people could even produce half of what the already trained staff did? No way. Does it mean that day one they would now how to even assemble what it is we made. Nope. And they could even be smarter than the original 100 and it would make no difference.

    I also had a business consulting business with consultants that had years of experience knowing the ins and outs of customers businesses. If I fired them and hired "brainy people" would those "brainy people" be able to do the same job in even 6 months? No.

    People who post here that think all it takes to replace AIG employees is "brainy people" have no business sense or experience or they would not say such things. Curb your anger and apply some common sense here.


    You said brains not needed (none / 0) (#127)
    by Cream City on Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 03:55:39 PM EST
    not me.  Hard to follow your arguments here, all over the place.  And I'm not angry, more bemused by the muddling.  The anger is yours here, clearly.  So curb yourself.

    exactly when is this miracle (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:29:39 PM EST
    If they can save lots of money for AIG, and thus the US, why don't you want to pay them to do that?

    expected to occur?

    guess what? i don't think those people have any greater knowledge of those securities than i do. anything made that complex was done so for a reason. the usual reason is to make it damn near impossible to figure out what's really going on.

    less than 10% of their workforce in this area have left. sounds pretty much like normal turnover to me. i seriously doubt anything said on this blog will have any adverse impact whatever on the employees of AIG, or any other company.

    think of this blog as a way to keep the (very) angry villagers from showing up on their front lawn, pitchforks and lit torches in hand.

    as one of the 80% owners, i reserve the right to skewer any of "my" employees that exhibits such stupidity in public. keeps the rest of them in line.


    If it was up to me... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:32:27 PM EST
    I woulda never let AIG suckle on the teet in the first place...sink or swim like the non-too big too fail's.  What is cheaper than zero?

    Except letting them fail (3.50 / 2) (#20)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:38:47 PM EST
    would not cost zero. It would cost even more and create a bigger mess and likely make the recession longer. I'd explain kdog but if you were really interested in it you would have already taken the time to read up on it.

    Fair enough.... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:19:09 PM EST
    I know what we're told when Paulson planned the first taxpayer give-away...pay up or you're on a breadline.  I didn't buy it then, I don't buy it now.

    talk about short-sighted... (none / 0) (#72)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:25:50 PM EST
    that seems to be the character trait of the financial industry right now...

    gee, I could stay at AIG at a reduced rate until AIG is back in full swing, at which point we'll no longer be owned by the people of this country and we'll be able to pay ourselves whatever we feel...

    but I don't have any confidence in myself to pull AIG out of this, so I'll just go somewhere else...

    'F' the future, it's all about right now in America (in all industries...just look at the cap-and-trade debate)


    the thing about the human population is... (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:33:26 PM EST
    there's always a new generation of the 'best and the brightest'...

    ready to do the same job for a bit cheaper...


    Absolutely no one is (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:40:18 PM EST
    indispensable in the workplace. Absolutely no one.

    Well Said (2.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:28:10 PM EST
    They not only want AIG to fail they want Obama's plan to fail. Which of course would make them right, but in the process would further damage the economy more than it is now. So personal rage comes before the economy and the jobs that a better economy brings with it. And these are people who say they are pulling for the little guy yet all the while they want failure that hurts the little guy. Backward thinking indeed.

    Kind of reminds me of the backward thinking regarding Bush's surge in Iraq. People rooted against it working yet they continually said they wanted less US deaths and for our soldiers to come home. But instead of wanting the surge to work so there could be a move toward less US deaths and that they could come home sooner they rooted for failure that would give them the opposite of what it was they said they wanted. So in the end it was not really the deaths or the soldiers coming home that mattered. What was more important was that Bush didn't succeed. How's that for logic? And the same thing is happening with the current situation with the banks and the asset problem.


    Just checking..... (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:14:48 PM EST
    Are you aware that when you write something like, "So personal rage comes before the economy and the jobs that a better economy brings with it" and then hit the "Post" button, your comment actually goes out into the universe through the inter-tubes where the whole world can read it? I mean, are you sure you want to be known, here on Talk-left, as the person who wrote "that?"

    Tell us it was parody; tell us it was a clumsy attempt at "snark," but please don't tell us you really believe that. Because if you do, that's not very funny; it's not even a little bit funny. What it is, is a troubled mind attempting to smear good, concerned, and cognitively able people.

    So, if you found your way here to T-L, you should know better than to write something so offensive. At least, I hope you do.


    I was with some of your (none / 0) (#32)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:35:03 PM EST
    previous comments until this one.  Now you just sound like somebody who listens to too much Sean Hannity.

    Well I respect your opinion (none / 0) (#69)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:22:34 PM EST
    And I'd even give it consideration if you could tell me how this anger that overrides common sense is different than the Bush anger that overrode common sense regarding the surge.

    Obviously to me it is one and the same mindset: Anger overrides what it is that people say they want.

    They want something to fail that if it did not fail would actually give them what they say they want. I say that is not common sense. If you can make an argument that it is I'm willing to listen.


    No indeed (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:14:07 PM EST
    Not my argument, nor would it ever be.  With a few exceptions like BTD (with whom I disagree, but who can't be accused of not thinking things through), there's wayyyy too much failing anger and way too little thinking about this whole thing, IMHO.

    But the idea that folks on the left rooted for the surge to fail is just odious and false and reminiscent of Andrew Sullivan's "fifth column" rant.  Folks here and elsewhere would like the Obama/Geithner approach to fail because they think it will damage the country badly if it "succeeds" because they believe the aims are all wrong and it will perpetuate a corrupt and rancid system.  But they are not so stupid as to want the efforts to fix the economy to fail.  They just want a totally different approach, which the Obama administration might turn to if Geithner's way looks like it's failing.

    This idea of people rooting for things to fail, whether it's a war or an economic policy, is cheap and false.  Vehement disagreement does not equal hoping for failure.


    I believe lots of people on the left (1.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:16:36 PM EST
    rooted for the Surge to fail. They didn't support it, they said it wouldn't work, they didn't want McCain to be proven correct, and most still won't admit that it succeeded.

    Well there you go (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:22:35 PM EST
    another little Hannity in our midst.  How charming.  If you think something is a bad idea then OBVIOUSLY you are rooting for it to fail.

    Do you (none / 0) (#116)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:32:16 PM EST
    think the surge worked?

    You ignore the point (5.00 / 3) (#117)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:45:04 PM EST
    which is that you made a disgusting and unsupportable accusation against a wide swath of people.

    Don't traffic in that sort of slime and then expect people to play your little question-and-answer game.  Small wonder you've been banned from this site under multiple nicks.


    I didn't ignore anything (none / 0) (#119)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:15:02 PM EST
    I posted the methodology in coming to that conclusion. So here you go again: Most people here don't like Obama's plan; They don't want Obama's plan; They prefer for another plan to replace Obama's plan; And that is nationalization; They cry out for Nationalization daily; That is what they want to replace Obama's plan.

    In order for them to get what they want, Nationalization, Obama' plan has to fail. Obama is not going to change horses mid stream unless he sees it failing. The nationalization supporters know that. It has to fail or they wont get Nationalization of the banks getting TARP and TALF.

    Very simple.

    So when people day after day after day cry for Nationalization then they are wanting Obama's plan to fail because that is the only way they get what they are so adamant about - day after day after day.

    Now as for my question to you - I forgot you can't answer questions. Too difficult for you.

    Banned? Not me. Possibly you. So far I look at over half of your posts today and they are personal attacks and smartas* remarks. Troll remarks that add no content, no facts, no nothing. Just bile. The only thing they do is show your personality. And you dare complain about slime?


    That's true (none / 0) (#124)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 02:24:18 AM EST
    I sometimes get snippy with commentors on the Internet.  But at least I don't go around accusing my fellow citizens of rooting for America to fail in a war, which I (but apparently not you) consider to be a far weightier matter.

    Cut the crap (none / 0) (#126)
    by Catch 22 on Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 02:08:30 PM EST
    How many times have I read posts here from people who say those who don't agree with nationalization care about the banks more than regular people? Too many times even though that is untrue. And where were you then to complain to them for false accusations? You are all to common. One set of rules for what you believe and another set of rules and false outrage for what you don't want to believe. Attitudes like yours are a dime a dozen online.

    Iraq. The surge. You friggin actually think there were not, people who didn't want the surge to fail? You actually think that? Yo actually read what people were posting during that time and came to the conclusion that they wanted the surge to succeed? If so you are dumber that a iron kettle.

    Do you think I am the only one on the Left that had the brains to take what it was we were reading and come to the very easy conclusion that many people wanted the surge to fail? And these people claimed they wanted US deaths to stop and they were rooting that it would not work, and when it did they would not admit it. What kind of people are those? What kind of intellect thinks like that?

    You know friggin well that there are people who wanted the surge to fail. But yet when Green26 wrote the following:

    I believe lots of people on the left (none / 0) (#88)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:16:36 PM EST
    rooted for the Surge to fail. They didn't support it, they said it wouldn't work, they didn't want McCain to be proven correct, and most still won't admit that it succeeded.

    how did you respond?

    Well there you go (5.00 / 1) (#96)
     by Steve M on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:22:35 PM EST
    another little Hannity in our midst.  How carming.  If you think something is a bad idea then OBVIOUSLY you are rooting for it to fail.

    What a joke dude. You think playing the Hannity card is an intelligent response? You think that changes the facts that you know, that there were people who wanted the Bush surge to fail? And yet you still persist with me saying "But at least I don't go around accusing...". Do you think that is persuasive? It's not. You know damned well there were people who wnated the surge to fail. But yet you post that crap and pretend it is not true? That gives you zero credibility in my book. Are you that dumb or are you just playing dumb? In either case it is not flattering.

    And the same holds true for Obama's plan versus your desire - nationalization. Are you telling me that you don't want nationalization? of course not. Have you or anyone else here who supports nationalization ever written that you want Obama's plan to work? NO! Not ever. So if you have never supported it to work and you want nationalization instead then by simple deduction you want his plan to fail so you can (a) get what you want, and (b) be right and Obama be wrong. It doesn't take rocket science to figure that out as your own words shout it out loud and clear. As do your lack of words of support of wanting Obama's plan to succeed.

    It is one thing to say you like your plan better but hope his does work. It is another thing to say his plan sucks, I disagree with everything about it, including the people who are involved with it, and hate the people it is helping, and think they should be replaced, and that their banks should be nationalized and then sold to other people, and my plan is better.

    Now if the above summary of what you and others write here doesn't smack of wanting Obama's plan to fail then nothing does. But there is no question of what it smacks of.

    Please don't bother with one of your admitted "snippy" remarks because I will not be reading it anyway.


    I agree with Green26's (none / 0) (#95)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:22:23 PM EST
    response. The Left overwhelmingly wnated the surge to fail.

    But they are not so stupid as to want the efforts to fix the economy to fail.  They just want a totally different approach, which the Obama administration might turn to if Geithner's way looks like it's failing.

    But look at what you are saying. If people in disagreement with Obama's  plan are to get their way - i.e. "a totally different approach" - then in order for them to get that Obama's plan has to fail!!!

    So by default arguing against the Obama plan in favor of another one is hoping for the Obama plan to fail as that is the only way they get their way.


    I'm so glad the conflict in Iraq is over... (none / 0) (#113)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:21:32 PM EST
    way to go surge...way to go...

    Ah (none / 0) (#115)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:24:36 PM EST
    So you ignore that since the surge there is far less violence and far fewer American deaths and far fewer Iraqi deaths. How observant of you. How compassionate.

    there was WAY too little thinking things (none / 0) (#112)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:20:45 PM EST
    through by the financial geniuses, too...

    hence we're in the position we're in...

    oh wait, I forgot, no one could have predicted this crisis...it was just bound to happen and nothing could have been done about it...it's no one's fault..who is John Gault...


    Is there any real sense... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Addison on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:12:30 PM EST
    ...of where these people are going? Have they started offering discounted commuter flights to Galt's Gulch on Travelocity or something?

    Also, 20 people out of 370 quit? So, that's 5.4%? Shouldn't they be routinely firing more than that anyway considering how many of them apparently did a bad job AND how much less their company is/should be worth?

    Addison (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:38:44 PM EST
    they already fired a whole bunch of them, most of the executive layer of the financial products group.

    The people who are bailing out now are going to foreign banks like Deutsche Bank and to smaller, more aggressive investment funds, hedge funds, etc., according to a piece in the NYTimes the other day.


    Good for them (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:06:01 PM EST
    We do not need to hear the whine then, do we?

    I have little doubt (1.50 / 2) (#53)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:36:34 PM EST
    that most departing and well-compensated employees from AIG and Wall St. will land on their feet, make lots of money again, and end up having the last laugh on this.

    Maybe Congress and US regulators, with support from some of you, will be able to push more US jobs, industries and expertise to other countries and to places with less/different regulation than the US.

    Obama, Geithner, Summers, Bernacke, understand this. Doesn't appear that most of you do or care.


    Exhibit A (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by sj on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:39:41 PM EST
    on "How we got into this mess"

    And what countries would that be? (none / 0) (#57)
    by CST on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:46:03 PM EST
    Europe?  HAH!  Less regulation - I don't think so, especially not in the near future if France and Germany get their way.  Friendlier taxes - I don't think so.

    It's not like every country in the world has a wonderful functioning financial industry.  And it's not like most people in finance would be willing to live just anywhere.


    Try London, Singapore, Hong Kong, (none / 0) (#60)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:52:31 PM EST
    certain tax havens. Ireland. Maybe Japan. For regulation, it depends on the industry.

    hmm (none / 0) (#63)
    by CST on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:11:48 PM EST
    I wouldn't count it staying like that.

    What do all these places have in common?  They are all doing really poorly right now.  In some cases (london, ireland), worse than us.  If that's what it takes to attract AIG employees - than I'd say "good riddance".

    I think we are gonna see some massive global changes in regulations.  Tax havens are not gonna be so easy in the future.


    They should go (none / 0) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:13:57 PM EST
    Then the weaker companies who need TARP will bet treated as the market should treat them.

    Heh (none / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:50:55 PM EST
    Sorry if I do not worship at the altar of the Masters of the Universe as you do.

    Sorry you don't have an (1.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:54:20 PM EST
    understanding or appreciation of the US' role in finance, banking and capital-raising.

    Sorry you do not (none / 0) (#65)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:13:18 PM EST
    appreciate free markets.

    Like free markets where (1.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:52:51 PM EST
    the Congress puts an arbitrary $500,000 limitation on pay?

    On companies (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:11:31 PM EST
    That take government money.

    Pretty simple, you abandon the free market, different rules apply.

    What part of that do you not understand? Hell, I thought we agreed it is a great Goldman is giving
    the TARP money?

    Didn't we agree to that?


    the number isn't that arbitrary... (none / 0) (#114)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:24:08 PM EST
    it's basically consistent with what any high-ranking officer working for the government probably makes (if not more)...

    these guys want to work for a company this is propped up by the government (a company that wouldn't be profitable, if even in business, if they had to account for all their assets right now)...


    we don't care... (none / 0) (#68)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:21:30 PM EST
    we'll have banks no matter what...that market will be more than full no matter how many regulations there are...

    if those people who don't like that don't want to live in America, then I can tell them what I've been told anytime I say something bad about America's policies--go somewhere else...

    shoes on the other foot, I guess...


    we all also have little doubt (none / 0) (#70)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:23:13 PM EST
    that the Banksters and Hedge Fraud Managers will have the last last...

    that's why we call them the Masters of the Universe...

    it's our perverse way of accepting that there is a different set of rules in America for the Financial Aristocracy...

    We have NO DOUBT that they will have the last laugh, and that's probably why we have so much resentment right now...


    last laugh... (none / 0) (#71)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:23:43 PM EST

    Don't much care (none / 0) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:32:59 PM EST
    whether they whine or not, as long as they're telling the truth.  Far as I know, this guy is, but if not, I hope somebody will correct him publicly.  But I haven't a shred of sympathy for him whether he whines or sucks it up and sings mea maxima culpa for the rest of his life for whatever lapses he may or may not be giulty of.

    The morality of all this is interesting, but more interesting in the short term to me is what works and what effects government actions are having on the situation.  One effect appears to be that it's driving a good number people out of the big U.S. financial institutions and into smaller unregulated ones or foreign unregulated ones.

    Is this good for us in the long run?  I don't know, but I think in the short term until this whole mess gets unwound, it probably isn't on balance.  YMMV.

    I do remember, though, that a month ago everybody was totally certain that there was no need whatsoever to pay any "retention bonuses" under any circumstances because these people had nowhere to go and would be unemployed if it weren't for the government bail-outs.


    I'm certain of it now (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:42:01 PM EST
    I do not believe these folks are all that. you still do.

    These folks are all what? (none / 0) (#82)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:00:23 PM EST
    I'm not following you here...

    All that (none / 0) (#93)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:09:58 PM EST
    It's an expression.

    An expression of what? (none / 0) (#122)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:52:55 PM EST
    I have literally no clue what you're saying or what point you're making or what saying you're saying!

    If you google "all that" (none / 0) (#123)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 12:06:03 AM EST
    you'll find a TV show that used to play on Nickelodeon.  Not that I've ever heard of it.

    ...all that... (none / 0) (#130)
    by sj on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:32:26 AM EST
    ... and a bag of chips.

    Keep up. :)


    To be fair to the residents of Galt's Gulch... (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:12:09 PM EST
    they actually produced something of value...sound banking, mining, railroads, art...damned if I know what these guys produce except bankruptcy.

    Well, at least they have the memories (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:17:06 PM EST
    of what it was like in the good old days - and now they'll have some extra time to put their pictures in photo albums and polish up those club trophies.  Rolling eyes.

    Have I mentioned lately just how awful I think AIG's PR department is?  Not one - not a single one of the executives I've seen interviewed - should have been allowed to do an interview with the media.  

    I doubt that PR for AIG (none / 0) (#37)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:43:54 PM EST
    was a difficult task in the olden days, before the crash.  The media just lapped up any info without questions.  And if AIG is like most short-sighted companies, and it certainly seems to be, the PR people were the first ones let go.

    Those who remained got to implement (PR doesn't do policy, although it may have input) that great brainstorm of renaming AIG.  Yeh, that'll work.


    IIRC - they have Bursting Marshmallow (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:46:28 PM EST
    representing them.  Mark Penn strikes again.  I think they are the firm that counseled the name change - which incidently based on all of the articles about them today - has not been adopted by anyone who is writing about them.

    Ugh, that firm (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:23:27 PM EST
    has such an inglorious past, held as an example of that in the PR history books.  

    Ooops (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by BDB on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:43:57 PM EST
    forgot an important "don't" in that last sentence.  "... where you don't..."

    Oy (none / 0) (#89)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:19:18 PM EST
    THese were not "performance" bonuses, they were retention bonuses.  If a company is doing really well, there's little need to pay retention bonuses because everybody wants to stick around and get in on the goodies-- including performance bonuses.  These were extra payments promised to people if they stuck around a sinking company.

    For the AIG employee who wrote (none / 0) (#90)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:23:35 PM EST
    the long resignation letter, his retention bonus was his entire payment for the period. He had been working for $1 per year, with the expectation that he would be paid at the end of certain periods.

    I thought the $1 per year thing was recent... (none / 0) (#111)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:18:11 PM EST
    meaning he really didn't work for that $1 aside from a couple of months...

    and again, we see that the financial industry is severely shortsighted...

    I guess it's too hard to think about things a year or two down the road...too hard for the best and the brightest in the entire universe...

    I very well could be wrong, though, maybe he did work for a full year at $1...


    Amusing. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:11:35 PM EST

    Be interesting to see (none / 0) (#3)
    by SOS on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:28:14 PM EST
    if there is any uproar over Goldman Sachs's latest raid on the US Treasury by funneling billions in taxpayer-funded payouts through AIG also.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#14)
    by pluege on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:26:23 PM EST
    such that our wind-down has slowed down.

    If more people are leaving, shouldn't that accelerate the "wind-down"? Please don't tell me he is saying that for lack of brains the "wind-down" is now taking longer.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:35:58 PM EST
    Do you know what the wind down even is? What it entails? What is actually being done?

    It isn't about getting rid of employees. In fact it takes employees to accomplish the actual wind down. So Pasciucco is right. If he loses good people who were helping with the wind down then it will take longer to wind down. And the longer it takes the longer those CDS' will be out there affecting the entire financial community. And the longer they are out there will slow banking and the economy and will require more bailout money to fill that extended recovery time.

    But it is better to see Wall Street types suffer than to see the economy recover as quickly as possible. It is better to see them suffer even if it means dragging this whole thing out longer. Sheesh.


    But he's saying in that quote (none / 0) (#40)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:47:55 PM EST
    that "hurt moral" is what's slowing it down, not the 20 people that quit. Really now, if the remaining 350 people can't handle the extra work of 20 people efficiently . . . .

    And since we did get the "pleasure" of reading one of the letters of resignation, I think we can see the mindset we are dealing with pretty clear. Immature and self centered as all hell pops to mind . . . . Can we get some adults in there PLEASE.


    this particular case with AIG (none / 0) (#62)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:03:36 PM EST
    is not like all those other wind-downs...

    with AIG we're talking about a company that is OWNED by the American people right now...these guys work for the AMERICAN PEOPLE...not the market...

    this case is specific, so we need to have specific goals and processes...

    the government should be taking care of the wind-down using reputable forensic accountants...

    it would take care of two birds...proceed with the wind-down, and find out who, if anyone, needs to be prosecuted, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, figure out how we keep this from happening again (and again, and again, and again, and again, like it has)...

    It's just hard for me, and persons like myself I'm sure, to get past the reasons why...I know that takes patience, but I have a gut feeling that we'll never see a government investigation on why we had this collapse (numbers fudging, securities fraud, policies/regulations on capitalization)...

    Finding the reason why is putting the cart before the horse, but if I had any hopefulness that a thorough study of the situation would be done (as was done with the GD, and if we had adhered to some of the findings of the GD our current crisis would be less---like ensuring that Banks and Investment Banks are separate entities, not owned by the same company) then I could patiently wait for the situation to unwind before asking why....unfortunately, though, I have 0% confidence that any real investigation will be had...


    I heard on the news last night (none / 0) (#45)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:19:38 PM EST
    that nationwide protests are planned for the 15th. Didn't catch who was organizing. There were also some this past weekend. They had the 2 bunched together on the news.

    Organized and paid for (none / 0) (#74)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:37:40 PM EST
    by right-wing astroturf groups and heavily promoted by Fox News, which will be covering them wall to wall on location with every show all day long.

    That sound like something you want to join?


    Nycstray is not the concern (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:51:38 PM EST
    I would bet.  Maybe thousands of Fox News viewers and others would be.

    Not concerned about (none / 0) (#84)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:02:05 PM EST
    nystray at all, and didn't intend to suggest I was.  Shoulda put a smiley-face in there somewhere...

    Nah. I just meant (none / 0) (#98)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:44:46 PM EST
    that I don't think we, so sane and reasonable as we are here, can dismiss the potential for uprising by others who may not ease their frustrations via blogs and really want to march on city hall or something.  Talking with the many family members and students and others who are laid off, the anger is there -- and the good weather, marching weather, is coming. . . .

    Like I said, didn't know who was organizing (none / 0) (#81)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:58:57 PM EST
    nor would I know Fox is promoting it as I never watch FOX. We've recently had Union workers protesting, so perhaps the ones on the 15th aren't the right groups, but there may be others.

    With respect (none / 0) (#85)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:06:10 PM EST
    it's actually been covered a fair amount on the blogs and some in mainstream media for a while leading up to it, including Fox's over-the-top enthusiasm.

    This was touched off by the famous Rick Santelli rant on CNBC about those irresponsible home owners getting bailed out by innocent stock traders' tax money.  Heh.

    The faux-populist astroturf groups started up the next day, and there was some suspicion for a while that Santelli had planned the whole rant in collusion with them.


    I plead baseball and farm season! (none / 0) (#91)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:30:14 PM EST
    I'm back to a smattering of local news (when will we get steady 60s and 70's PLEASE! and who lights 2 wk kittens on fire?!) and spending more time on sports and gearing up for fresh goodies :) Only following specific items, so I guess I'm missing the sideshows :)

    Mets new stadium pre-game starts in 5 . . . I was going out there, but have over the top allergies. Will be at Yankee come hell or high watering eyes {grin} So the republicans are outraged still/again?


    Sideshow indeed (none / 0) (#120)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:50:22 PM EST
    Remains to be seen whether the rest of the non-Fox media will glom onto this or not.  So far, they've mostly yawned.  The whole thing is about as coherent as the anarchists on the streets of London, IMHO.  They don't even know what they're protesting about.

    THere were a bunch of small-scale "tea parties" about a week after the Santelli rant, and Fox covered them breathlessly.  Oh, my, yes, genuwine grass roots stuff.  A week after Santelli, and every one of them was carrying identical fancy professionally designed and printed signs.  Real voice of the people stuff. (/snark)


    60s and 70s? (none / 0) (#121)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:51:33 PM EST
    I'd be happy with 50s.  We're still down around freezing or below overnight.  At this point, I'm so sick of schlepping firewood I could scream!

    The 50s are killing me because they are unstable (none / 0) (#125)
    by nycstray on Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 02:33:25 AM EST
    We're still getting the freezing nights with wind chills. Days it "should be nice" (high 40's into mid 50s) have ripping winds all day. Then we drop back down. We have 2 days of 50 and rain and then by Friday we'll have one of those fluke high 60-70 days. If we could get some high 50s and be stable (like we should) I wouldn't complain! With allergies, this is just killing my sinuses and I never know what to wear. And the cold days, I'm just over it! lol!~ yes, it's that time of year again! I did hear the ice cream truck for the first time today!!! {happy dance}

    Glad I'm missing all the outrage noise from the right. The protesters I saw interviewed (on the street) on the local news were targeted and specific about why they were protesting and how it's effecting them. Single mom in school and working being asked to take a work furlough etc. State tax fairness ones also.

    Oh, and be glad you're using firewood. I'm also over the dry heat being pumped up. I wonder if my skin/hair will ever recover . . . . At least you're doing good things for your body while heating your home. And yes, I'll be b!tching about the humidity mid summer  ;)


    Sympathies on the allergies (none / 0) (#128)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 01:06:43 AM EST
    something I've been blessed to have avoided.

    I appreciate, and even enjoy, very much what splitting and schlepping the firewood does for me, but it's mid-April and ENOUGH ALREADY!

    Nice thing about a wood stove is being able to put a fair amount of moisture into the air with a steamer.  One of the nicest things about Vermont for me is that we have low humidity year-round except for a few days in late July every year, when all the hardy native Vermonters faint and we urban transplants laugh.

    You're totally right on the weather, too.  Once you get a few days in the 50s, it's incredibly hard to live with it when it goes back down again.  We're into a nice warm stretch now, near 60 and sunny, but nights are still at or below freezing, so the woodstove gets fired up again after dark, much to the cats' delight.

    One suggestion on humidity.  If you have a clothes dryer in your home, you can get a kit to have it vent indoors through a water-filled container that traps the lint but sends a big blast of very humid air around the house.  Any time the air gets just too dry in winter, I start collecting laundry and do a couple loads!


    Thanks for the dryer tip!! (none / 0) (#129)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 01:39:46 AM EST
    I don't have one here, but will at the cabin :) The main room has one of those 2 story ceilings (majority of the main floor), so the added addition of the dryer with the wood stove should really help. Especially in the downstairs bedroom where I'll prob sleep. Laundry before bed, lol!~

    When I'm at the cabin, I'll be blessed with low humidity year round. I can go back to that straight hair that I always thought I had until I moved here {grin} My dog and cats will be MUCH happier. Dog thinks humidity sucks BIG time, which I'm thankful for! I take her out in the early morning or late at night when it's bad here and still get "the look". I'm very blessed to have a dog that's tuned in to my "the weather sucks" year round monitor :)

    Messed up in my dress tonight when I went out with 6 other folks for dinner. Actually all of us did! We got swayed by the more tempered 50's of yesterday. It was a colder 40-50 today and a bit of wind with a cold rain. It's just so hard to judge right now. You're either over or under dressed :(


    No.... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:35:28 PM EST
    I didn't go to a local tea party on the Long Island Sound cuz I knew the crowd wouldn't be one I'm too down with...but that doesn't mean a tea party isn't very necessary, or that more palatable groups to our tastes aren't holding protests.

    My grass-roots movement is the same miniscule movement it was pre-crisis...avoid banks and financial institutions like the plague.  It's your cash they play with.

    As for another grass-roots movement, the DEA says domestic marijuana grow-ops are up 60%...that's a living that doesn't require a bank or a credit card swiper or AIG.


    Underground economy growing fast (none / 0) (#100)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:51:36 PM EST
    in that movement, kdog:  From a report today:

    While the overall economy is struggling, the underground economy is surging, according to a still unpublished paper by a University of Wisconsin-Madison economist.  Unreported income in the U.S. has likely ballooned to as much as $2.25 trillion, creating a ratio of unreported income to reported adjusted gross income that is approaching the peak levels of the World War II era.  That is creating for the federal government an unpaid tax liability of more than $600 billion.  Research that uncovered the situation was done by Edgar Feige, an economics professor emeritus. . . .

    I know of someone (none / 0) (#97)
    by AX10 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:23:03 PM EST
    who's husband got quite a hefty "severance" package from the Wall Street thugs!  He's only 32 and is taking year off to enjoy life.  That is how much money  in bonus's these pigs have gotten.
    The person here is also a "Free Market" Republican along with his wife.

    While I know of someone (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:47:33 PM EST
    to whom I am married who got no such package the first time he "retired" at 55 from the place that now has destroyed his pension, too.  He did so to go back to school and into a new career -- so now that he is retirement age, he can't retire.  

    That 32-year-old also may find out that the future ain't all it's cracked up to be, huh?


    He's likely in for a shock (none / 0) (#131)
    by sj on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:37:11 AM EST
    When he starts his job search.  Possibly after he's already spent his bonus money.