Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wall Street Learned Nothing From 2008

AIG which was at the epicenter of the 2008 Wall Street collapse, just announced that it is considering suing the U.S. government for bailing it out. As always, you can't make this shit up. When a society's wealthiest constituents become so greedy and corrupt that they can no longer make an honest living, then all they can do is resort to rent seeking until the entire system collapses under the weight of its own stagnation and inertia...

For those who never read Matt Taibbi's article "The Big Takeover" on the AIG bailout, it was in my opinion the single best article written on the corruption surrounding the 2008 debacle and bailout. As he explains, at the peak of the collapse in 2008, AIG was losing $27 million every hour, $465,000 every minute, culminating in the largest 3 month loss in U.S. corporate history of $61 billion. 

The total bailout ultimately cost taxpayers $182 billion and was only recently paid back. In the interim there was no certainty or probability that any of that bailout money would be paid back.

Without the U.S. government, AIG would not exist right now. A lot of these ungrateful fucks wouldn't even have jobs or steady paychecks right now, but they have the ingratitude to try to bilk the U.S. taxpayer out of yet more money. And not one of these bastards was prosecuted after 2008. Society at large, "we", just go along with this overwhelming malfeasance and assume that it's just business as usual, however, the final invoice has yet to be rendered for this level of ongoing corruption...

From the article:

"People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they’re not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d’état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.

 The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve — “our partners in the government,” as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout."