The Huffington Post reports
that financial services companies receiving Federal bailout money have been spending a good sized chunk of it on "retention awards" for upper level financial advisers. Morgan-Stanley and Citigroup's Smith-Barney have taken a combined $60 billion and have spent $2-3 billion to retain the talents of the financial advisers who probably created the black hole eating away at the credit markets in the first place. At a recent meeting, Morgan-Stanley co-president James Gorman urged his lucky financial advisers, "Please don't call them bonuses."
Meanwhile economists are concerned that newly appointed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has ended "market-to-market" accounting rules that would hold toxic assets to their street value; instead, the Treasury will guarantee them at the higher value created by the hyper-inflated housing bubble. In other words, Geithner will use tax-payer dollars to turn shit into gold. But not for you, silly tax-payer. For the bankers.
Carrying on with HuffPo links, Robert Borosage explains why Geithner's plan, though still sketchy, sucks:
The plan won't get us where we need to go: we need to restructure - and downsize - our financial sector. Its baroque excesses - billions in bonuses, golden parachutes, million dollar office renovations, $35,000 "commodes on legs," $50 million private jets, legions of employees - were constructed atop a housing bubble that finally burst. Now the banks and financial houses must be downsized, chastened, and regulated. As President Obama stated, "the party is over." But the administration's plan envisions a restoration, not a restructuring. We don't want to go there even if we could afford it.
As for oversight, OpenSecrets.Org reports
that the members of the House Financial Services Committee have been recipients of largesse from Political Action Committees created by the very financial institutions the committee is supposed to watchdog. But, come on — are you surprised?
But what do I know? I'm just a silly socialist.