What Obama Said About Bankers' Bonuses

Greg Sargent has the transcript:

QUESTION: Letís talk bonuses for a minute: Lloyd Blankfein, $9 million; Jamie Dimon, $17 million. Now, granted, those were in stock and less than what some had expected. But are those numbers okay?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, first of all, I know both those guys. Theyíre very savvy businessmen. And I, like most of the American people, donít begrudge people success or wealth. Thatís part of the free market system. I do think that the compensation packages that weíve seen over the last decade at least have not matched up always to performance. I think that shareholders oftentimes have not had any significant say in the pay structures for CEOs.

[MORE . . .]

QUESTION: Seventeen million dollars is a lot for Main Street to stomach.

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, $17 million is an extraordinary amount of money. Of course, there are some baseball players who are making more than that who donít get to the World Series either. So Iím shocked by that as well. I guess the main principle we want to promote is a simple principle of ďsay on pay,Ē that shareholders have a chance to actually scrutinize what CEOs are getting paid. And I think that serves as a restraint and helps align performance with pay.

The other thing we do think is the more that pay comes in the form of stock that requires proven performance over a certain period of time as opposed to quarterly earnings is a fairer way of measuring CEOsí success and ultimately will make the performance of American businesses better.

Whatever you think about the substance of the answer (I found it fairly off kilter, reflecting Obama's ever present desire to not piss off anyone - unlike FDR, Obama does not welcome their hatred), it clearly was a political fumble.

Is it a big deal? Nah. But it certainly was poorly played by the President.

Speaking for me only

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    Not a small deal, either (5.00 / 10) (#2)
    by david mizner on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:05:34 PM EST
    It's getting a lot of play, thanks largely to an somewhat unfair Bloombery headline, that Huffpo and others picked up. And now the WH is doing damage control.

    Completely undermines that new populist tone he was supposed to be taking. Course, it wouldn't matter so much if he hadn't been so friendly to the banks at the outset.

    Ideally, we'd have a president who actually felt some disgust at the banks. Short of that, we'd have a president with the political sense to think, okay, this question is about bankers bonuses: not to time for nuance, outrage needed.

    Nobody (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:10:15 PM EST
    believes that populist tone anyway so he might as well drop it.

    YOU don't (3.00 / 5) (#100)
    by IndiDemGirl on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:13:46 PM EST
    believe it. But then you have an irrational hatred of Obama and his wife don't you.  I'm just suprised that yours wasn't the first comment because you look for any excuse to slam Obama.  

    Oh puleeze (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 08:11:25 PM EST
    Obama's actions and behavior have rendered him unbelievable in that arena. Believe it or not I do not control Obama's actions. He is responsible for those whether you want to believe it or not. Making it all about me is just silly.

    You don't control (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:31:21 AM EST
    Obama's actions, but you do control your comments.  Any review of your comments show a irrational hatred of anything he does, wears, says, etc. And you don't stop there -- you have made equally inane comments about Michelle Obama (she looks like a clown).  

    Liberals have no Obama Hatred (4.20 / 5) (#125)
    by norris morris on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:12:40 PM EST
    Stop kidding yourself and practicing reverse racism.

    Obama has fumbled and he's undermined his promises and the future he promised doesn't seem likely. HC reform bill caters directly to the corporations and Obama's backroom deals with Big Pharma and Insurance monopolies was hardly open and transparent as promised.

    He has failed to clarify the HC bill or to specify the bill he wants. He's played timidly and the stalling,bribing,corruption we've seen fro Dems in congress occurred in a leadership vacuum.

    Obama has not been a strong leader. The latest, "hey these guys have a right to make a living" is obtuse. Obama doesn't get how he's coming off. Throwing hate bombs at his critics doesn't help Obama  understand what his priorities are in terms of what his base and the rest of the country need from him.

    The HC reform has been a fiasco and Obama has failed to deal with the very difficult financial situation. yes he was dealt this, but he was elected to solve problems.  his concern with bi-partisanship from the get go has been naive and has backfired.

    FDR,JFK,Clinton all had Republican opposition in the extreme and understood what and how to deal with right wing obstruction. LBJ was a master at putting through Medicaid,Medicare, and Civil Rights bill in less than first part of his one term presidency. I was around during all of these
     presidential terms, and Obama has not operated like a feisty Democrat.  He needs to make changes
    and do a 180 degree turn in order to govern effectively, which I hope he does but hasn't done so far.


    Yeah, you have a point (none / 0) (#9)
    by david mizner on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:15:25 PM EST
    Hearing him rage against "fat cat" bankers is a little cringe-making.

    Yes, I wish a reporter could (none / 0) (#11)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:16:31 PM EST
    ask if these friends of his are "fat cat bankers".

    Let's face it (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by athyrio on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:55:12 PM EST
    The man is a secret Republican...

    That's a surprise to me---when (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:56:58 PM EST
    did it become secret?

    The whole modern Democratic Party (none / 0) (#43)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:05:06 PM EST
    is, at best, Rockefeller-Nixon republicans, with very few exceptions.

    Obama has ratified the worst fo Bush (torture, renditions, indefinite detentions, bank bailouts.  At the same time his legislative package, such as it is, always looks like it was written by corporations.

    Marginally better judges and pro-choice.  Is that all there is any more to distinguish the parties?


    pro-choice? (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:15:47 PM EST
    since when?

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:10:08 PM EST
    You mean keeping the conscience clause, taqking out low cost birth control and bartering women's reproductive rights in health care isn't pro choice?



    If Obama (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by cal1942 on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 02:40:49 AM EST
    ends up putting Social Security in peril then I'd put him to the right of Dwight Eisenhower who refused to consider dismantling the New Deal.

    That would also put him farther right than Nixon and Rockefeller.


    Take a look at the new "jobs" bill. (none / 0) (#149)
    by Romberry on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 09:57:08 AM EST
    The "business tax cut" which is supposed to produce new jobs (but won't) comes in the form of exempting businesses from paying their portion of the Social Security contribution for employees:
    (E)ven the Obama administration acknowledges the legislation's centerpiece -- a tax cut for businesses that hire unemployed workers -- would work only on the margins.


    "We're skeptical that it's going to be a big job creator," said Bill Rys, tax counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business. "There's certainly nothing wrong with giving a tax break to a business that's hired a new worker, especially in these tough times. But in terms of being an incentive to hire a lot of workers, we're skeptical."

    The bipartisan Senate plan would exempt businesses from paying a 6.2 percent Social Security tax on the wages of new employees...

    Yes. He. Is. (none / 0) (#79)
    by jen on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:12:22 PM EST
    And who better to put Repubs back in power for generations? I believe it was all by design and it was a perfect, brilliant plan that's working beautifully. And Obama gets to go down in history as the first (1/2) African American president. It obviously was worth it to him. I wonder if his role in the successful destruction of the Democratic Party will make it into any history books? Ha!

    Obama Appears As A Democratic Republican (none / 0) (#127)
    by norris morris on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:21:49 PM EST
    Problem. We really don't know what Obama really stands for and is prepared to do.

    It's (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:09:30 PM EST
    What Obama Really Meant.

    The Return of WORM!


    Sure (4.00 / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:08:56 PM EST
    But it is a one day story.

    It can be turned around fairly easily if they want.

    It is more interesting to me as indicative of Obama's desire to be liked by everyone.

    A pol simply can not be that way and be successful in any meaningful way.


    naw (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:13:38 PM EST
    obama has too big of a crediblity gap for any of this to be turned around.

    But yes, it is indicative of wanting to be liked by the right even to the point of them getting him to curl up in a corner and whine for them to please stop attacking him.


    The ODS is strong today (none / 0) (#106)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:32:35 PM EST
    huh? This "credibility gap" sure isn't reflected in any actual numbers so I would assume it exists in your head.

    wapo (none / 0) (#148)
    by jedimom on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 08:15:20 AM EST
    HUGE gap, he is the head of our party in case you failed to notice, lol...therefore the dive we are taking acorss the board is on his watch:



    Part of his pattern (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by david mizner on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:14:33 PM EST
    His unwillingness-inability to get on the right sign of anti-Wall Street fervor.

    My guess: this answer was a product of Dems' fears about Wall Street cash flow shifting to the GOP.


    Well, since he can't expect (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:47:52 PM EST
    money from the Left next go round, where else can he go?

    Blofeld and Demon, my shipmates! (none / 0) (#53)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:19:15 PM EST
    It's all very Flemingesque.

    But, but.... (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by DFLer on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:59:10 PM EST
    In a Message to Democrats, Wall St. Sends Cash to G.O.P.

    Bankers are feeling like pinatas! Whaaa


    Obama cares if rich and powerful (5.00 / 5) (#10)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:15:58 PM EST
    people like him.

    Comedy gold (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by lambert on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:46:52 PM EST
    For the next couple of years, every time Lloyd Bankfein or Golden Sacks has a PR problem, we're going to be able to write, instead of Lloyd Bankfein, Lloyd "Savvy Businessman"Bankfein. And if the economy goes down again, we're going to get the chance to write that a lot.

    It's a gift that keeps on giving!


    Blankfein and Dimon PLC (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:09:18 PM EST
    "Savvy is our middle names!"

    A non-story (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:59:53 PM EST
    Have you been watching CNN or any other news channel today?? It's all about this massive blizzard we are having.  These remarks will not even be on the radar....

    Yes, well, BTD (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:40:05 PM EST
    While I do think there is an element of wanting to be "liked by everyone," I think this is also a mindset that you get with many (not all) "community organizers."  Their whole schtick is to "bring people together" (you know, the "let's all hold hands and sing Kumbaya" meme).  Not to disparage community organizers- they've done some truly stellar work.  But it's not politics, and what works for community organizers won't work in politics, where you need a certain kick-a$$, arm-twisting mentality.  Obama doesn't have this, and I'm not sure that he will ever acquire this.  Either that, or he's bought and paid for by the Chicago Machine and we haven't figured out what their angle is yet- sorry, that's tin-foil territory.  Pass the Reynold's Wrap.  ;-)  

    Zactly (5.00 / 0) (#96)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:55:48 PM EST
    He also has a vision of himself as a reasonable guy who can see the various sides of an issue.

    I honestly don't see the "wants to be liked by everybody" thing with Obama.  I think he thinks the way to get things done -- and break down the partisanship -- is to be seen as reasonable and an "honest broker" by all the playas.  Just like with the GOPers, he thinks he will get farther by enlisting their cooperation.

    I also agree with the poster above that when he ventures into outraged populist territory, it rings totally false anyway.


    I'm an old (5.00 / 6) (#98)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:10:08 PM EST
    "lefty-liberal-pinko-hippie.....etc" anti-war, pro-the-working-class, pro-civil-rights and so on person.  If you had told me 40+ years ago that I would be missing LBJ, I would have laughed at you and spit in your face.  I'm not laughing now.  There is no "bi-partisanship," and there will be none, unfortunately, in my lifetime.  We need a President who can, as you said, gyrfalcon, "get things done."  

    Z, can you tell us what it (none / 0) (#121)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:38:47 PM EST
    was like when LBJ was pressured out of running in 1968 - thus making way for RFK, etc.

    It was, FoxholeAtheist, (5.00 / 4) (#124)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:12:28 PM EST
    what can I say- an extremely "interesting" time (if that's the word).  Anti-war demonstrations, civil-rights demonstrations, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.  It was a terrible, terrible time.  LBJ, for all his progress on civil rights and health care (Medicare/Medicaid), which I cannot gainsay him, bought into the whole "Stop the Commies in Viet Nam or the whole Western world will collapse" meme, and escalated (while lying to us) the war there.  I lost friends in Viet Nam, who had been drafted.  And for what?  To this day, I cannot tell you- I still visit their names on the Viet Nam War Memorial from time to time.  I was a Gene McCarthy supporter.  While I respected Bobby Kennedy, I had my doubts about him because of his earlier work as assistant counsel with Joe McCarthy's Subcommittee on Investigations and that whole anti-Commie fiasco (and Bobby never renounced his work with Joe).  Still, I was devastated by his assassination, as I was devastated by MLK's.  As I said, it was a terrible time.  I would not do over any of the marches, demonstrations, etc that I participated in then, but I also realize that the ultimate result was the very unfortunate election of Richard Nixon.  I could write a book about those times.  Pardon me for being maudlin and meandering on, but it profoundly affected me, many of my friends, and this entire country.

    The dissimilarities between then (none / 0) (#135)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 07:12:19 PM EST
    and now are pretty unmistakable, especially in terms of street-level activism on a national scale. But, do you see any similarities at all?

    BTW, it's wonderful to hear about this stuff from someone who was there on the ground and directly involved in the movements of the time. I was around for the mid-late 70s, but not the 60s.

    Here's something I've been wondering about the peace movement of the past vis a vis the present: in the 60s there wasn't a "support the troops" ethos was there? My understanding is that there was a lot of animosity toward the troops and that caused some problems.

    However the current "support the troops" (or else) mind-set is rather self-contradictory imo and perhaps it complicates the prospect of a peace movement for our times. How does one separate the (wo)man from the mission. If the mission is FUBAR, does it make sense to support those who are carrying out the mission. And what would not supporting the troops look like nowadays.


    My friends and I (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 07:53:19 PM EST
    were never "against the troops," although there was definitely that unfortunate, too large (and largely misguided) element in the anti-war movement.  What really got me going into the anti-war movement, in fact, was a friend in college, who was a disabled (paraplegic, in a wheelchair) Viet Nam vet, active in Viet Nam Veterans Against the War.  That, and the friends I lost there.  It was not their choice to go, but they did what their country required of them.  There were atrocities committed by our troops (and My Lai was only the best known), but for the most part, the troops just did their jobs to the best of their abilities, tried to stay alive, and come back in one piece (or sometimes not in one piece).  With a few exceptions, I don't blame the troops, I blame their commanders, up to and including the Commander in Chief.  They should never have been there in the first place.  It was an impossible situation and devastating for the troops, for our country and most of all, for the Vietnamese people.  There is seldom a good reason for war, unless your country is directly attacked.  As for the lack of anti-war activism now, as compared to then, I attribute that to the draft.  Most American families, and young people of draft age, do not face the perils of having to go to war- they don't have "skin in the game," if you will.

    Thank you Z, (none / 0) (#151)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 02:06:09 PM EST
    your first hand account confirms my understanding of the events. Sorry I was a tad to young to have been there with you.

    Sweetie, I'm just sorry (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 05:49:52 PM EST
    that I'm too old and arthritic to be out protesting against the wars and other injustices going on now.  I do what I can (donations, calls, letters, emails), but I can no longer go out "in the streets."  Don't apologize for anything- your heart's in the right place, and that's what counts.  Peace.

    Foxhole, to the extent that (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:39:33 AM EST
    there was antagonism between troops and protesters, it had more to do with the fact that the troops were overwhelmingly extremely right-wing politically and extremely hostile to anti-war protesters than anything else.  We saw them as our "enemy" politically as individuals and had to assume their hostility to us.  Most of us thought they were victims, not bad guys, in terms of the war itself.

    Honestly, I've never even understood what "support the troops" is supposed to mean in practical terms.  Seems more like the meaningless sound bite version of flag pin than anything else.


    I'm hearing you... (none / 0) (#152)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 02:29:26 PM EST
    about the heightened conservatism within the military at the time. But, I imagine many of the guys who were drafted and served in Viet Nam would not have gone of their own free will. And it's great that some of them came home and became key players in the peace movement as Z has noted. Obviously, it's not like that now.

    Here's what I'm getting at: nowadays, I just don't get why there are so many people who've volunteered to fight preemptive wars - especially when we know the stated mission is a total fabrication - and we've thrown out the Geneva Conventions, etc.

    I can sympathize with the military being an option for people undergoing extreme economic hardship. But, speaking as a quasi-pacifist, I'd still rather do anything other than that.


    Volunteers? (none / 0) (#154)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 09:13:55 PM EST
    Not sure how many have actually volunteered.  There were a fair number who volunteered for Vietnam, too, to go fight the dirty commies and preserve the American way of life.

    But now the bulk of the burden is on existing active duty, reserves and national guard, as opposed to the draft in the '60s.

    I can understand why those who volunteered have done so, though.  For Afghanistan, honestly, I might well have considered volunteering myself if I were young enough.  And then the Bush crowd managed to convince a pretty substantial portion of the country that Saddam was a mortal threat and likely part of 9/11 to boot.

    People who choose military service under any circumstances tend to be more conservative politically to begin with, really, and more accepting of the idea that this or that tinpot dictator or radical movement is a serious threat that has to be stopped.

    But MT could tell you way, way, way more about military folks than I ever could.


    I mean, since the abolition of the (none / 0) (#155)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 01:49:21 PM EST
    draft after Viet Nam, people have "volunteered" for military service.    

    I can only imagine that those who voluntarily join the military must actually trust, or agree with, the motives of the military-industrial-congressional complex.

    Speaking from the perspective of my own life-time, beginning with Viet Nam, every major war we've fought has had a deeply dishonest premise. All have ended up as fiascos with absolutely ruinous effects domestically and abroad. I see no reason why Afghanistan should be any different.

    Terrorism is simply the new Communism. As Zobra says, peace.


    this is his tragic flaw (none / 0) (#13)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:18:23 PM EST
    Up to this point is had been virtually pathological.  I want to believe something is going to shock him into a personality evolution, but observation and logic are indicating otherwise.

    He is who he is, and extraordinary circumstances don't seem to be changing his "leadership" style, or his lack thereof.

    Amazing and confounding, but that's apparently the hand we've dealt ourselves, so far, by electing him.


    With his short tenure in the senate (none / 0) (#27)
    by hairspray on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:28:15 PM EST
    there really weren't any alliances built over time, favors owed, friendships forged and all the other stuff that comes with 10-15 years on the national stage.  Who owed him anything?  He has few people to call on for allegiances.  

    Where are the party elders? (none / 0) (#56)
    by NealB on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:24:26 PM EST

    The same place they were when (none / 0) (#140)
    by hairspray on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 10:08:12 PM EST
    they took a powder on Bill Clinton.  Looking after their own allegiances, etc.

    I always hear rumors that he (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:46:44 PM EST
    wants to be a cool kid and hang out with the cool silverspoon people.  I don't put a whole lot of stock in such things, I find it hard to think that our President is that impressed with and secretly desires to be a silver spoon kid.  Calling the crooks savvy businessmen deserving to pork out at the largest money trough they can steal gives me pause though, makes me think the rumor is true.

    Did you read "The Audacity of Hope"? (none / 0) (#150)
    by Romberry on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 10:02:37 AM EST
    I ask because Obama's desire to hang out with and  be a part of that crowd is in there more or less explicitly. In his book, Obama talks about how the rich are smart, funny and have good ideas and relates how comfortable he has become moving in those circles. On its own, that's not a problem. But I found it telling.

    FDR was to the manor born and as such he knew that the rich were no better than you or me. He owed them nothing. Obama was raised up through patronage and he owes everything to these people. FDR didn't mind putting these people in their place. Obama won't do it. He can't do it. He owes too much and is too grateful for having been allowed into their club.


    Being Liked Is Only Part Of it (none / 0) (#128)
    by norris morris on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:23:59 PM EST
    If all Obama wants is to be popular with everyone he is failing.

    As a President he is obliged to take sides and fight for his principles.  But what are Obama's principles?


    Principaled people get filtered (none / 0) (#133)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:58:47 PM EST
    out early in the process.

    ten bucks says he is beaten in 2012. (1.00 / 0) (#29)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:34:49 PM EST
    he's a lame duck already IMHO.

    I hope you mean he is beaten (none / 0) (#37)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:55:05 PM EST
    in July/August 2012.

    Agreed, by a progressive Democrat (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:05:38 PM EST
    Yeah that'll (none / 0) (#104)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:31:28 PM EST
    happen, Dennis Kucinich is going to take on and beat a sitting president.

    Wes Clark, especially with BTD (none / 0) (#112)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:40:47 PM EST

    Cant we find a Kucinich (none / 0) (#116)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:24:39 PM EST
    who looks like Mitt Romney somewhere?

    The man (god bless him) has a major Dukakis-in-a-funny-helmet problem. Not that it should matter, but it always does.


    Too bad you can't (none / 0) (#117)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:26:28 PM EST
    offset attractiveness by averaging in the spouse- then Kucinich would have a shot.

    The GOP thinks so (none / 0) (#67)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:49:04 PM EST
    dictating to him what he should do, and the man actually listens to them.

    Oh I'll take that bet (none / 0) (#103)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:30:46 PM EST
    he's in the same range as Clinton and Reagan at their respective points, and Obama has the advantage of his opposition party being deeply, deeply divided-- the base's choice of a canidate (Palin) and the Party Head's choice (Romney) are nearly diametric opposites. Seriously, if Palin is the GOP nominee we might see a 1984 style sweep for Obama.

    Actually Huckabee (none / 0) (#105)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:32:13 PM EST
    is leading the straw poll. You might want to hedge any bets you have to make.

    Being on, or knowing people (none / 0) (#132)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:41:24 PM EST
    on, the interlocking boards seems to be the best, surefire way to insure your compensation package is "warranted" these days.

    Though it would be nice to see an in-depth study that examines the specifics of what else some of these individuals actually do, besides voting each other raises, engineering accounting sleight of hand tricks, and greasing the right pols, to earn their money.


    "Well, look, first of all, I know both those (5.00 / 14) (#3)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:07:22 PM EST

    Personally, I tend to judge people by their friends...among other things, of course.

    Tone deaf still.

    If I had a gun and a religion, I'd be clinging to it now.

    well said (none / 0) (#49)
    by Nathan In Nola on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:10:02 PM EST
    Classic n/t (none / 0) (#146)
    by cal1942 on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 02:59:08 AM EST
    He failed to connect... (5.00 / 9) (#6)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:12:17 PM EST
    ...exploding executive pay with shrinking worker pay.  I guess he'd see that as too "class warfare"-ish.  And the athlete analogies are ridiculous, insulting, and really just dumb.  Sorry, Manny Ramirez and Lance Berkman aren't pulling the strings of a global economy.    

    I'd be a lot more worried (none / 0) (#108)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:34:33 PM EST
    you know except for the fact that the Goldman bonus was entirely in non-vested stock options, and that Chase as high as the bonus was- was never bailed out and thus quite frankly no one cares.

    Really? (none / 0) (#123)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:06:44 PM EST
    As JPMorgan Chase's Chairman, President & CEO, Dimon oversaw the transfer of $25 billion from the US Treasury Department to JPMorgan Chase on October 28, 2008 via the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).[8] This was the fifth largest amount transferred under Section A of TARP[9] to help troubled assets related to residential mortgages.


    Of the US's nine largest banks, JPMorgan Chase was arguably the second healthiest bank, and did not need to take TARP funds (the other was Wells Fargo). In order to encourage smaller banks with troubled assets to accept this money, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson allegedly coerced the CEOs of the other seven largest banks to accept TARP money under short notice. [12]



    Oh (none / 0) (#141)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 10:25:45 PM EST
    so they took them but were forced to do so- wow, the guy must have been really messing up.

    Red Meat (none / 0) (#143)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 11:02:34 PM EST
    For the haters...  lapping it up as usual, on command.

    Off effing Kilter? (5.00 / 15) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:18:19 PM EST
    Ohhhhhhh, I'm so effing ticked.  Well, look, first of all, I know both those guys. They're very savvy businessmen

    Yeah, they're so savvy they blew up their businesses.  They exploded their entire industry.  By the way Mr. President, I know other businessmen even more savvy who blew up and destroyed nothing and stole nobody's retirement.  Where's their $17 million dollars courtesy of your bank and financial industry bailout?

    And the free market system?  Really Mr. President?  You are going there justifying this? The freemarket does not get government bailouts when savvy businessmen blow up their own a$$e$ so badly that God can't even find the pieces.  Nope, in a "free market system", if you are so effing stupid that you only care about how much money you can rip off from everyone else you will lose everything eventually and then you are poor.  Only in dictatorships do people who rob, cheat, lie, steal grandma's handbag while she's standing at the stoplight get millions in bonuses.  The President should be fired for saying something so ignorant, so irresponsible, so humilating to the poor stupid ba$tard constituency that he serves.  Except we can't fire him......yet.....he had better grow up though.  I can't even believe he said any of this.

    Krugman channeling you, MT (5.00 / 7) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:01:36 PM EST
    First of all, to my knowledge, irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn't brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and/or houses.
    The point is that these bank executives are not free agents who are earning big bucks in fair competition; they run companies that are essentially wards of the state. There's good reason to feel outraged at the growing appearance that we're running a system of lemon socialism, in which losses are public but gains are private. And at the very least, you would think that Obama would understand the importance of acknowledging public anger over what's happening. link

    Good Post (none / 0) (#129)
    by norris morris on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:26:58 PM EST
    You've said it all.

    "reflecting Obama's ever present (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by my opinion on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:24:17 PM EST
    desire to not piss off anyone"

    That is not a true statement. It only applies to certain groups.

    Yes (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:26:41 PM EST
    Obama doesn't mind p*ssing off the left...but he'll do just about any convolution not to p*ss off the right.

    I have always held the hope (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    that the man was bright enough to grasp the problems this country faced. This statement was deplorable though.

    I mean who calls people who almost topple the whole entire world economy to the point where it has to be rescued by the American taxpayer, savvy?

    Who defends giving those type of people 17 million dollars, more than the average American makes in a lifetime, for doing the above as the free market at work?

    The free market he has lauded has created tent cities. It's taken houses and jobs from the very taxpayers that bailed those "savvy businessmen" out. It's got people with jobs worrying how they are going to pay for increases in gas, or electricity or health care when they have seen the real value of their wages plummet.

    Someone better do something soon because he does not seem to have a real grasp on what average Americans are feeling.

    Obama Is Beholden To Wall Street (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by norris morris on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:28:54 PM EST
    It should be obvious by now. He gets it but feels he'll be re-elected no matter what. Arrogance and deafness are a toxic combination.

    It is a big deal & will get tons of play (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:01:25 PM EST
    I can't believe he said these things, suggesting the self-directed, massive payouts of these welfare KINGS is in anyway a sort of free market outcome. "Savvy" businessman?

    I am getting down to the last straw with Obama, this may be it.

    Chase never (none / 0) (#109)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:35:25 PM EST
    recieved a bailout.  Goldman has entirely paid back their bailout money.

    All banks in the federal banking (none / 0) (#114)
    by my opinion on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:02:59 PM EST
    system are supported by our federal monetary system everyday. They would fail without that support. If citizens could get the same deal we would all be doing fine.

    The Entire Fiancial System Failed (none / 0) (#134)
    by norris morris on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 07:03:38 PM EST
    And Obama calls them "savvy businessmen?"

    They happen to be very savvy with Fed Reserve protecting their screwup gambling and saving them at our expense and with our own money.

    How boneheaded.


    Well, Just a Small $25 Billion Bailout (none / 0) (#122)
    by The Maven on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:03:42 PM EST
    Yes, they paid it all back last summer, but I'd hardly call that never receiving a bailout.  "JPMorgan Chase Repays $25 Billion In TARP Funds In Full"

    should have clarified (none / 0) (#142)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 10:27:45 PM EST
    Chase never took a willing bailout- they were in effect pushed to take the money so as to reduce the stigma on those who took them.

    Buzz (none / 0) (#147)
    by jedimom on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 08:12:31 AM EST
    wrong. Jamie did receive a bailout whether he wanted one or not lol. Jamie is also getting bailed out to the tune of big big billions on the lifting of the caps on FAN FRED, the Fed is buying all the toxic MBS crxp from JPMC

    Jamie in fact gave Obama over 30k from the firm and thousands himself

    Jamie killed the return of Glass Steagall, not that I think it couldve worked today anyway

    Obama knows who his friends are, UBS, JPMC, Credit Suisse thus his EPICM FAIL to meaningfully address housing


    Not a one day story (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:04:01 PM EST
    in my opinion.

    Not by a long shot.

    It proves once and for all that Obama does NOT
    feel our pain, that he does not live in a bubble, but in a free-floating balloon, high above the misery in the country he purports to govern.

    He certainly doesn't appear to understand (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:20:10 PM EST
    what the bottom 80% are feeling.

    17 million dollars is more than the median income worker will see in his lifetime.

    That same median income people are the ones who are worried that they will be the next group on the chopping block if the economy doesn't pick up. They are the people who looked at his health care and said "what's in it for me" or looked at the amount of jobs created and said "its not enough" in places like MA, VA and NJ.

    I still can't believe he doesn't get this.


    Believe it. (5.00 / 5) (#84)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:26:29 PM EST
    I still can't believe he doesn't get this.

    He gets it.

    It's the people who keep hoping that Obama is what they fancied he was that don't get it.


    Not hoping at this point (none / 0) (#113)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:50:40 PM EST
    for me is unthinkable. I feel like I'm in a car about to careen off the cliff ad I'm forced to decide on whether to buckle up and stay in the car or go over the cliff without the darn car. Neither option is darn good.

    I keep thinking of what happens in 2012 if he doesn't get it. I keep thinking of comments like means testing and privatized vouchers for Medicare.......and that's only a tip of the iceberg.


    It (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:27:54 PM EST
    would be better for you to just get out of the car before it careens off the cliff.

    I don't know exactly what you are hoping for.
    Obama to be different than the person he is?

    It would be healthier for all of us, I think, to realize our true condition. Our government does not represent or serve us. Both political parties (all we're allowed to have) are beholden to the same corporate interests. They have their agenda. It does not have anything to do with us except to the extent that they can get us to pay for their activities.


    I don't know Obama personally (none / 0) (#120)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:36:52 PM EST
    I can't speak to the person he is. He is a pol, I've always known that. Truthfully, I didn't vote for him because I did not believe he was up for the task and I believed he would b e bad for the Democratic brand. I have wanted to be wrong and I con tinue to want to be wrong. I wanted to see the potential and hope that others saw in him and I still do.  All I can do at this point is hope that he wants to be re elected or to be respected when history writes his legacy. I keep hoping that he looks at his two girls and wants to make a better place for them to live and grow up in(like I have wanted for my children).

    I can't unwrite what was done in 2008 and I fear what is coming in 2012 so right now all I am left with is hope that he'll turn things around somehow.


    I (none / 0) (#131)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:34:52 PM EST
    hope so too.

    But every single time I think he's going to do something I care about, he goes the other way.


    Don't worry--global warming will (none / 0) (#115)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:05:32 PM EST
    take care of the iceberg.

    Remember when bush was president, (none / 0) (#58)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:28:20 PM EST
    and he made the joke comment about talking to 'his base?' It didn't upset me. Why? Well, gee whiz. in that comment, there was more than a kernel of truth, and he made no bones about being liberal, populist, or progressive.

    The current president?

    Somewhat different.


    The "first" thing he wants us to know is (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:13:24 PM EST
    that he knows these men and they are savvy businessmen?  Really?

    Isn't the next question "what does 'savvy' mean in your dictionary, Mr. President, if these 'savvy' businessmen headed banks that came inches from failing and taking the entire US economy with them?"

    And, really, what comfort are we to take that Obama knows these men?  And feels he needs to defend them?  I guess he has no freakin' idea how insulting it is to millions of people who don't know where the next mortgage/rent/car payment is coming from, how they will pay for health care, feed their families, heat their homes.

    The only populism I think Obama supports is the kind that would enable him to count himself as a member of the moneyed class - if he doesn't already.  I mean this is a man married to a woman whose wife whined about the high cost of ballet lessons for her children, after all.

    The only thing he can be grateful for is that millions of us are contending with a blizzard and between shoveling and plowing and keeping people fed and warm, and the takeover by local media of the airwaves with non-stop weather coverage, we haven't seen much real news in the last 24 hours.

    Obama (5.00 / 4) (#85)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:27:55 PM EST
    is speaking to the same base as Bush.
    The haves and the have-mores.

    Someone (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:35:02 PM EST
    on another blog suggested that next time, Obama might want to take a cue from Palin and write a few notes on his hand to prevent such a bone-headed mis-speak.


    Krugman (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:35:26 PM EST
    had a good comment about Obama's nutty remark comparing bankers and baseball players:

    First of all, to my knowledge, irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn't brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and/or houses.

    This nothing burger isn't even cooked. (1.50 / 2) (#52)
    by steviez314 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:18:42 PM EST
    Can people here please turn on the outrage-o-meter to full burn please.

    At least he didn't say the (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 11:59:20 AM EST
    bankers are his friends (though they probably are).

    The banksters are not his friends (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by lambert on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:35:51 PM EST
    The banksters are his owners.

    He might as well have. (none / 0) (#93)
    by Lora on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:41:04 PM EST
    Talk about flubbing a grounder (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:20:19 PM EST

    Not a flub (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by lambert on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:36:36 PM EST
    Here's the baseball metaphor I recommend:

    You don't bat zero for the season without a plan.

    Ha! that's a good one (none / 0) (#35)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:49:52 PM EST
    on the other hand, he is used to watching the Cubs.

    It was an honest thoughtful answer (none / 0) (#17)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:30:18 PM EST
    He said what he really thinks and reflected who he really is.  Yes, it does not work politically for the current times but I'd rather he was honest than indulge in fake outrage.

    What was lacking and would be in keeping with Obama's beliefs was a reference to more progressive taxation starting by repealing the Bush tax cuts.

    I agree that the answer reflects (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:44:33 PM EST
    who Obama really is.

    It was a terrible answer. (none / 0) (#18)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:42:11 PM EST
    These are not businessmen---they are bloodsuckers who take no risk of their own, as they are hugely rewarded no matter what the outcome.

    And the (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:59:22 PM EST
    sports analogy was also wrong.

    Sports stars are accountable.  If they don't perform, they're cut lose.  Scumsucking banksters are only rewarded for non-performance


    No, not really (none / 0) (#28)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:29:38 PM EST
    There are countless examples of sports contracts that don't work out for various reasons.

    And those contracts (none / 0) (#46)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:07:59 PM EST
    do not get renewed.  Unlike Dimon and Blankenfield.

    That is not quite right (none / 0) (#55)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:22:47 PM EST
    Players continue to get jobs year after year even though much cheaper replacement level talent is readily available.  The baseball talent market is not efficient.  This allows smart GMs to exploit inefficiencies.

    Dimon has done quite well for his constituency of stock holders.  Yes, he fleeced the national government in a trade.  Why would we expect him to feel remorse about it?


    oh please stop (none / 0) (#60)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:34:03 PM EST
    there is a difference between owners paying players and the tax payers paying bonuses to private enterprise.
    the socialist revolution is not going to happen... and partly because you all love to make nonsense arguments.

    disagree (none / 0) (#62)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:43:21 PM EST
    "Players continue to get jobs year after year even though much cheaper replacement level talent is readily available"

    Absurd, as any baseball fan observes year in and out.  Sure, on rare occasion a team (Braves) will hire a career ending Babe Ruth to prop up attendance.  Other than that exception, baseball chews up and spits out non-performers.  Non performers do not get jobs "year after year," not as players anyway.  Do some average players, yes.  But the average Major League player bats .250, which would be a difficult thing for most of us.

    If a GM could replace any player with another of equivalent talent for less money, he/she would do it.


    Tradition and conventional wisdom (none / 0) (#74)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:03:56 PM EST
    are very strong forces.  For many players in MLB hitting below league average, there are players in AAA who could do as well.  Not to mention that hitting is only one part of the game and the value of defense is uderrated.

    You (none / 0) (#88)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:32:25 PM EST
    are arguing something other than the point.  

    #1. Nobody said that talented baseball players weren't waiting in the wings.  They are.  And when the STAR stops being good, stops being a ticket drawer, they're cut lose and the next person slides on up.  And cheaper talent may not be a ticket draw.

    #2.  Nobody expects Dimon to feel any remorse.  However, we expect the leader of the national government that got fleeced to feel remorse.

    Anyway, it appears that your strategy is to take any tangent that gets away from the true conclusion...that this president feels no qualms about p*ssing off his core constituency to win favor with the constituency of the hour...and once again has proven this.  So, I won't argue further with you.


    That's the wrong conclusion (none / 0) (#139)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 08:29:44 PM EST
    I came to TL about two years ago because all the talk about hope and change struck me as not reality based.  Now TL is filled with gloom and doom which is based on a false premise that people who care about bank bonuses are Obama's core constituency.  Any issue, big and small, is an opportunity to bash Obama for not being something he isn't, indeed something he can't ever be.  You all are setting up a strawman and then proceed to knock it down.  I don't know why I find that depressing but I do.  The hope and change turned out to be a powerful force.  I fear that the doom and gloom will be potent as well to our detriment.  Like you I will argue no further.



    Maybe these are good businessmen. (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:09:31 PM EST
    They "invest" $87 million in a campaign and for their frolic get billions for their companies and millions for themselves--and a license to continue doing it:}

    Hey, I get it (none / 0) (#34)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:49:26 PM EST
    I am all for recapturing some of the class struggle of old.

    Are you poor, forlorn and hungry?
    Are there lots of things you lack?
    Is your life made up of misery?
    Then dump the bosses off your back.
    Are your clothes all patched and tattered?
    Are you living in a shack ?
    Would you have your troubles scattered?
    Then dump the bosses off your back.
    Are you almost split asunder?
    Loaded like a long-eared jack?
    Boob - why don't you buck like thunder,
    And dump the bosses off your back?
    All the agonies you suffer
    You can end with one good whack;
    Stiffen up, you orn'ry duffer
    And dump the bosses off your back.

    The problem is that as soon as you dump the old bosses some new bosses are ready to climb on.  Perhaps we need to stop thinking of ourselves as horses.


    We've already stopped (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:06:50 PM EST
    It's the bosses who are unwilling to change their thinking.

    Not asking for fake outrage (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:58:12 PM EST
    but defending it with false analogies to baseball players is the opposite end of the extreme.

    The analogies aren't as false as you think (none / 0) (#32)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:39:01 PM EST
    Is it fair that baseball players (including some who are not performing) or entertainers make so many more times the annual salaries of teachers?  A lot of factors go into "success" including luck, talent, and opportunity.  None of the guys we are outraged by today created the system.  They simply took advantage of it.  It is the system, we need to reform.

    He didn't say that though (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:54:22 PM EST
    he appeared to be defending it.

    His response appeared to be "oh well, their 17 million bonus is the free market at work."

    Seriously. I mean was he awake when Joe Average Taxpayer was told we had to swallow a bailout because if we didn't the economy of not just us, but the whole entire global economy was going to collapse on top of us?

    As MT said, in a free market these guys would have had to face bankruptcy like GM did. They would have had their contracts scrutinized and renegotiated. They wouldn't have walked away with million dollar bonuses.


    But it is the system at work (none / 0) (#50)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:10:08 PM EST
    If you owe $1,000,000 to the bank and can't pay you are in trouble.  If you owe $100,000,000 to the bank and can't pay, the bank (and all that depend on it) is in trouble.  You need to separate the individuals (Dimon, etc.) from the institutions and the system.

    When the Titanic gets rescued, the rich along with the poor get rescued.  Why are we surprised that the rich would go back to their rich life?  It is unreasonable to expect any changes until we reform the whole system.


    If that bank is IN TROUBLE (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:30:31 PM EST
    then it isn't paying out 17 million dollar bonuses. The very organizations that claimed they needed this bailout, who have drug their feet on making concessions to homeowners as far as mortgage writedowns ,who also refused to lend out money given to them by the taxpayers are now conveniently, not years but months after requiring the bailout, in good enough shape to afford to pay out millions of dollars in bonuses?

    I'm not buying it and I'm betting neither are alot of other people.

    This isn't the free market rewarding "savvy" business people. This is a pervesion of a market that hands out golden parachutes to CEOs regardless of performance and spits out the people at the bottom of the economic ladder.


    The payment would not be made (none / 0) (#66)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:48:30 PM EST
    only in the event that the Titanic (banks) were allowed to sink.  If we had allowed the banks to fail of had nationalized them then there would be no need for bonuses.  When the decision was made to rescue them (for all our sakes) it is unreasonable to not expect them to go back to business as usual.  We need to change the rules of the system (taxes, corporate governance).

    And, I beg to differ, Dimon has demonstrated plenty of business savvy which eluded other players (not to say there aren't others who would do just as well for a lot less money).


    The point is though (5.00 / 5) (#68)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:56:31 PM EST
    that we did bail them out.

    So to call these bonuses the result of a "free market" is absurd.

    In reality without a bailout these institutions wouldn't be around to hand out million dollar bonuses.

    In a real free market the taxpayer would have allowed the institutions to fail to begin with.

    That didn't happen though which makes the idea that someone collecting 17 million from a failed institution that required a prop up the result of a "free market" pretty absurd.


    These aren't free markets (none / 0) (#75)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:08:28 PM EST
    we are talking about.  Bot the baseball player market and our banking system are regulated markets.  We can (and should) change the regulations.  Unfortunately, we can't make the changes retroactive.  We could try but that would be a bad precedent.

    I know it isn't free markets we're talking about (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:21:10 PM EST
    which is why it was absurd for him to reference the free market system in regards to these two "savvy businessmen."

    In a free market they wouldn't have gotten million dollar bonuses, savvy or not, because failed institutions aren't around to pay million dollar bonuses.

    In a real free market these men would be looking for employment just like the other 9.7% of the population that had the rugs pulled out from under them when their particular sector failed(see construction, manufacturing and a whole host of sectors).


    Yes (none / 0) (#42)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:04:36 PM EST
    And Obama is part of that system.

    Of course he is (none / 0) (#61)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:41:10 PM EST
    What do you want to replace Obama with?  The tea baggers led by Pailin?  Perhaps that shock treatment wouldn't be so bad.  Barring a revolution, the system is designed to change very slowly so the amount of damage or good anyone can effect is limited.  Over the long range, significant progress has been made.

    Grayson, Franken, Sanders, Kaptur even (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:46:09 PM EST
    Kucinich to name but a few.

    It's Obama who is leading us to Palin or some other far right corporatist nutjob in a suit (or dress), not his critics.  


    no, not the same (none / 0) (#57)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:27:05 PM EST
    ball players sell themselves and get paid what the market will bear for their time and talent.
    That is how it should be for the banks.  However instead of getting paid what the market would permit, they took my money and pocketed it when they were failing.
    It is as if the local Baseball franchise was lousy and the local government docked us all several thousand dollars a year from tickets to games we didn't want to attend.
    There is nothing wrong wight the system that some regulation and break up of big corporations wouldn't fix.

    It's amazing (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:00:50 PM EST
    isn't it? They drug their feet on modifying mortgages preferring the taxpayers that bailed them out to eat losses, they have drug their heels on lending to the point where small businesses are saying credit has dried up for them yet somehow they still have millions to hand out to a select few........

    If I am a taxpayer who isn't getting a million dollar bonus, I'm ticked.


    If I were a baseball player, I'd (none / 0) (#73)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:03:50 PM EST
    be ticked off about not getting taxpayer money for a bad season, also.

    Baseball (none / 0) (#77)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:10:53 PM EST
    already gets plenty of public subsidies no matter how lousy the season.

    A lot (none / 0) (#89)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:33:12 PM EST
    of that has to do with the attendance at the various stadia around town.
    The local merchants make money.
    They collect sales taxes.
    The subways and buses make money.


    The rationale is that it is good for business.
    It's the same rationale for contributing public money to hold political conventions in a designated city.


    This (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:37:34 PM EST
    is lore that shows like 60 minutes have determined don't play out in reality.

    Anyway, it's completely beside the point.

    The point is when a player or coach stops performing, aka stops drawing viewers, stops winning, stops making money, they are ousted.  Unlike CEO's.

    Manuel's little side points are just diversions.


    The whole bonus argument is a diversion (none / 0) (#97)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:58:27 PM EST
    On the grand scheme of things we have to worry about banking bonuses are as relevant as baseball salaries.  Changing the rules of the game, fairer taxes, corporate governance, too big to fail institutions.  That is what we should keep our eyes on.

    Like what? (none / 0) (#101)
    by DFLer on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:17:59 PM EST
    subsidies, that is.

    Here is an example (none / 0) (#126)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:18:37 PM EST
    The Yankees' new stadium is now the most expensive ever even imagined, coming in at a staggering $2.3 billion. That includes its attendant parking garages and replacement parkland, but even the stadium construction budget alone is incredible, now standing at $1.56 billion.
    Of that, the public - city, state, and federal taxpayers - are now covering just shy of $1.2 billion, by far the largest stadium subsidy ever. In fact, even discounting the $417 million in property-tax breaks (if you're inclined to agree with Lieber), it's still the largest stadium subsidy ever. The Yankees, meanwhile, would be on the hook for just $670 million, after counting property-tax breaks.

    and this is just the Yankees.  If ever there was a franchise that needed no subsidies, it would be the Yankees.


    Yes, one may claim that this money creates jobs but so would hiring a few more teachers for NYC schools.


    Have you looked (none / 0) (#76)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:09:35 PM EST
    at how baseball stadiums are financed?

    Funny thing though (none / 0) (#83)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:25:22 PM EST
    Baseball stadiums actually are utilized and contribute back. Usually the subsidies come with strings like a certain amount of revenue, stadium usage for events and a whole host of other things.

    What was it again the average taxpayer has gotten for the subsidization of the banking system?

    I mean besides the select few gentlemen who are getting bonuses from them?


    Avoidance of a depression? (none / 0) (#95)
    by Manuel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:51:02 PM EST
    but maybe you don't think it would have happened.

    I think we're heading that way (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by cawaltz on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:29:03 PM EST
    anyway if not already in one. 17 out of 100 people are underemployed . 1 in 5 people are underwater on their mortgages. 12 out of 100 are on food stamps. Real value of wages has decreased. One out of 3 people under 65 have no health insurance.

    When I look at thesenumbers I do not see a healthy economy AT ALL. At least not for anyne not collecting a 17 million dollar bonus because their industry was bailed out.


    So, in other words, we were held (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 07:33:18 PM EST
    hostage by the financial industry, and forced to pay ransom out of fear that if we didn't, the economy would be killed.

    Now, we're expected to be grateful for having paid it, and feel magnanimous about the "hostage-takers" rewarding themselves.

    Now it all makes sense.


    His response is him placating the (none / 0) (#26)
    by my opinion on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 01:10:50 PM EST
    bankers after wall street expressed their "buyers remorse."

    yup (none / 0) (#64)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 02:46:21 PM EST
    I just almost threw up. (none / 0) (#72)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:03:02 PM EST
    I clicked on the Sargent link.
    The Obama love there is at dangerous levels---not even Big Orange Republic is so in love with Obama, not by a long shot.

    So what you're (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:37:17 PM EST
    saying is that its the exact opposite of the ODS seen among many here?

    No one should gush with love (none / 0) (#111)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:39:34 PM EST
    for a politician, unless that politician has delivered some goods!

    WH walking statements back (none / 0) (#78)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:11:46 PM EST
    The Corner loved the comments.

    HuffPo says the WH is walking the statements back.

    Administration aides insisted, in email exchanges with the Huffington Post, that the quote was largely overplayed. The story, they say, made it appear as if the president didn't mind massive compensation packages when he was simply stating that he didn't fault anyone for his or her personal or professional success. Moreover, they added, the president has made similar remarks many times before without getting the critical reception he received on Wednesday morning.

    "The president has said countless times, as he did in the interview, that he doesn't 'begrudge' the success of Americans, but he also expressed 'shock' at the size of bonuses and made clear that there are a number of steps that need to be taken to change the culture of Wall Street," spokesperson Jen Psaki told the Huffington Post. "[That is] a sentiment he has consistently expressed since long before he took office."

    First clue that Obama is in full (5.00 / 7) (#94)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:47:30 PM EST
    bamboozle mode?  The presence of his standard "tell:" a variation of "as I have always said."

    No one begrudges success, but I don't know how he, or anyone else, could define what these men put the country, the economy and the taxpayers through as "success" that is deserving of such massive bonuses (I'm sure they would tell us these are so, so much smaller than they ever have been, evidence of their awareness of the "difficult situation."  Ugh.  Pardon me while I try to get my gag reflex under control.).

    So, I guess we now have two more words redefined by Obama: "savvy" and "success."

    And, maybe it's just me, with a severe case of snow-crankiness, but this walk-back sounds more than a little bit like, "why are you mean people picking on the president?  His feelings are quite hurt."


    Obama didn't (none / 0) (#86)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:28:58 PM EST
    actually say what he just said.

    This is where a reputation as an idiot (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by observed on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:32:10 PM EST
    is useful. Whenever Bush said something ridiculous, there were obvious reasons to disregard his words.
    Obama has yet to learn the value of lowered expectations. His base is still expecting/thinking/hopey-changing that he's FDR---which is perfectly in line with what he told them.

    Savvy? (none / 0) (#82)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:22:50 PM EST
    I'll say they're savvy.

    Yeah- they must be doing something right (none / 0) (#107)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 04:33:34 PM EST