Thursday, November 13, 2008

"For When Pastures Turn Green Again"

This comports with what I've been hearing. Of course, there have been layoffs. But in many cases year-end bonuses will be shockingly high, even at firms that are being sustained by money from teachers, doctors, cops, farmers, small business owners, and yes, plumbers.

Readers might be interested in a few recent encounters I've had with some unrepentant Wall Streeters (friends and strangers) here in Manhattan, where hubris and a sense of entitlement remain deeply embedded even now. Specifics soon, hopefully. If you have high blood pressure, consider this fair warning.


Blogger Tony said...

I can see the other side of the argument: if the firms don't pay, the talent goes away.

Likewise, AIG must schmooze agents or they do not get the business. The business model dictates some level of this apparent excessive spending.

The problem is that govt money is being spent on this business model, so my question is that if the business models needs govt money, isn't it flawed at the outset?

11/13/2008 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble with this on so many levels.

(1) The talent goes away? You mean the talent that helped to create this mess? No problem there.

(2) Where are they going to go? Are competing firms really hiring in any significant numbers?

(3) Shouldn't it be fine if the strongest firm that did NOT take a bailout acquires the best talent? Isn't that how it's supposed to work - success draws success to itself???

Clearly I don't understand how this was supposed to work.

11/13/2008 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Commenter #2 took the words right out of my keyboard.

With few exceptions, the "talent" i've seen coming from Wall Streeters i know personally are limited to: 1) the ability to discuss, at length and persuasively, issues they do not really understand and 2) more than average height.

Is being tall a talent? Hmm, change that to just #1.

11/13/2008 8:54 AM  
Anonymous e. nonee moose said...

My 401k could use a bonus this Christmas...

11/13/2008 9:03 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

This mess should be the stake in the heart of the "but we need to pay executives millions of dollars, or else they'll leave" argument. What a farce.

I'll take my chances without them, thanks. What's the worst that could happen, we lose $699,999,999,999?

11/13/2008 9:47 AM  
Anonymous JohnR said...

#2 - exactly; but that whole argument always was simply a transparent rationalization for self-indulgence. The logic is the logic of 4-year-olds arguing why they should be allowed to stay up late and have cake for dinner. Supposedly the grown-ups make the final decision.

11/13/2008 9:47 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

This mess should be the stake in the heart of the "but we need to pay executives millions of dollars, or else they'll leave" argument. What a farce.

I'll take my chances without them, thanks. What's the worst that could happen, we lose $699,999,999,999? These people are fucking parasites on the backs of productive workers throughout this country and we'll be well rid of them.

I'm looking forward to hearing about the continued excesses of Wall Street with our money. There already IS class warfare going on in this country, but it's only being waged by one side, and tales of sinful excess might actually turn that around.

(feel free to delete my first, incomplete post)

11/13/2008 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

I was getting ready this morning and not listening closely, but someone being interviewed on Morning Edition flat out stated that the heads of at least two of the Big Three car companies should be forced to resign as part of a bailout for the auto industry. I don't know who it was talking, but that sounds about right.

11/13/2008 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

Without actually listening (I'm at work, I took 30 seconds to find this) it looks like it was Douglas Baird of U Chicago Law that said it:

11/13/2008 1:05 PM  
Blogger Opus Maximum said...

I have one bit of good news to report. Last night I went to an orientation for, a not-for-profit firm that organizes private-sector volunteers to help out nonprofit organizations with various strategy and marketing projects. It was one of three orientation meetings offered this month, and it was PACKED -- 57 people in attendance. Many had recently been laid off from banks and hedge-funds and credit institutions. Some were high-ranking executives at media and financial firms. All of them had begun to realize that the single-minded pursuit of filthy lucre had damaged their souls, and damaged the country. If there's any positive fallout from the fall, it's that cultural and humanitarian concerns will be tighter, more effective, and work better.

11/13/2008 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush: Economic crisis not a failure of free market

"Our aim should not be more government. It should be smarter government," Bush said during a speech in New York, a day before..."

"Smarter government.."! No kidding...

Dennis Kozlowski Weighs In On Corporate Greed, From Jail

Even Dennis Kozlowski thinks things stink.

11/13/2008 4:54 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


How can you have "smarter government" and BIG GOVERNMENT/ They are mutually exclusive ... If government were really SMART they'd be SMALL!

Bonuses should be performance based. PERIOD!!! No profit no bonus! It falls in the same category of NO INCOME ... NO LOAN! But somehow the "talent" missed that!!!

I am not fooled by ex CEOs handing out food at food banks. Its like carbon credits for Gore!

We have no HONEST MONEY!

11/14/2008 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Kilfarsnar said...

Like most others, anon @8:18 took the words out of my mouth.

Screw these guys and their sense of entitlement.

I wish I had something more constructive and interesting to say, but I don't.

11/14/2008 3:24 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

11/15/2008 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YouTube video (a little humor, a lot of truth - oh, but it was better than reading Nouriel Roubini again):

Wall Street, Explained (2)

11/16/2008 12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Top 10 Bailout-Sponsored Junkets

11/16/2008 1:20 AM  

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