Outrage at what the government is doing to bail out floundering companies, financial and otherwise, is at such a high level that people can’t even take a joke about it.
Wall Street Fighter ran a parody of bailout reasoning in the form of a letter from a CEO “of a major financial institution.” It was originally authored by Streeter Seidel, of College humour fame. The reaction by readers was apoplectic derision.
“It’s sad that this guy is in a position that he needs to try to reason for this. He probably lost a good deal in the past couple of months and is trying to recoup his own money,” said one reader who took it seriously.
Here’s the part that really bugged people:
“By investing a large portion of the government bailout in executive bonuses we are, in turn, investing in the infrastructure of the American economy. Suppose you are CEO of a major financial institution like me and you’ve just been given a multi-million dollar check for your loyal service over the last year. Now, what will you do with that money? You’ll buy Manhattan real estate, that’s what. So now you own a very nice 3BR, 3 1/2 Bath condo in TriBeCa with a private terrace and brand new Viking range and you’ve paid top dollar for it. The surrounding property values will rise as a result of your purchase and attract new buyers to the neighbourhood. The mortgages issued to pay for these condos will help support needy banks and the stores in the neighbourhood will have a new customer base. Maybe one of those stores does so well that the owners open a second location uptown or in Boston? I suppose they’ll need to hire a staff to run the place, don’t you? Job creation. And maybe one of those employees in that store in Boston eventually saves up enough money to make a small investment. What then? Then he can come talk to my friends and I, the ones whose selfless actions led directly to his prosperous position.”
“So you see, spending a large – very large, in fact – portion of the government bailout on executive bonuses is a practical, patriotic plan for our economy. By doing so, we will directly stimulate the real estate and luxury goods markets while creating jobs, thus stimulating the economy at large. I can’t explain it any better than that. If you still cannot fathom how this could be good for you, the taxpayer, you will just have to trust our decisions. After all, we are the experts.”
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