Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Give AIG the Broad Prize

Tell me with the rapture and the
reverent in the right - right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright
light, feeling pretty psyched.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.


What happened to the Ownership Society?

Isn’t it amazing how fast the free-market Ownership Society rhetoric turns to corporate “socialism” once the economy heads south? Suddenly banking and insurance failures bred of greediness and corruption, become “all of our problem.” I wonder if they'll blame this one on the public education system?

Today it looks like the end of the world for AIG, the world’s largest insurance company and for thousands of teachers’ pension and retirement funds. But why are current and former AIG execs like Martin Sullivan laughing all the way to the bank?

Sullivan was the guy who cut the deal with Bush/McCain regulators (yes, McCain chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, opposing every form of government regulation) that got AIG through the difficult process of reaching a settlement with regulators, paying $1.64 billion to settle charges of fraud, bid rigging and improper accounting, one of the largest regulatory settlements in U.S. history.

He knows that Bush/McCain (and you and me) will come up with another $75 billion bailout while he walks away with his $68-million severance package, singing:

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.


Broad's merit pay

That works out to about $300,000 a week (but who’s counting?) for every week during Sullivan’s miserable career at AIG. Something for teachers to think about as they have merit pay pushed down their throats.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention another AIG director, Eli Broad, who’s been pushing his business model on public education. Maybe AIG could win the Broad Prize for management.


Sid's laughing too...

My friend Sid, ‘60s leftist turned Republican, TMs me this morning, words dancing off my Iphone with glee: Hey Mike. Where’s Obama?

His words sting. McCain was all over the morning shows today talking about the financial crisis being caused by the “greed of Wall Street,” as if he isn’t Mr. Wall Street and wasn’t part of the Keating 5 scandal. Where was Obama? Out in Hollywood raising more dough. In his place, making a rare TV appearance, the sleep-inducing Joe Biden.

Not a word about the War of course (is there still a war?) which has bankrupted the country, leaving poor folks in flood-ravaged communities on the Gulf Coast or on the short end of the banking and housing collapse to fend for themselves.

It’s the Ownership Society folks. Or as Obama put it:

"In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own.”

1 comment:

  1. Many of my colleagues who were sitting around at lunch today were not all that familiar with AIG or Eli Broad. But when I mentioned VALIC, their eyes opened wide. VALIC is one of the 10 district approved annuity companies. Many of our teachers have their entire pensions in VALIC and VALIC is owned by AIG.

    Suddenly Wall Street didn't seem so far away.


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