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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 17, 2009 / 21 Adar 5769

Paying the piper as an act of self-preservation

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | American International Group, an insurance company that has received about $180 billion in taxpayer funds, last week paid $165 million in bonuses to executives whose bad judgment is largely responsible for the financial mess we're in.


Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, wants the government to take back the bonuses. This is a change of heart for Mr. Dodd, because it was he who inserted in the "stimulus" bill an amendment which specifically protected from restrictions on executive compensation "contractually obligated bonuses agreed on or before Feb. 11, 2009."


The amendment applied principally to AIG.


This apparent hypocrisy was not helpful to Sen. Dodd, who has been criticized for receiving a cut rate loan from Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide Mortgage, one of the worst of the subprime mortgage lenders, and for his purchase of a $160,000 Irish "cottage" with the assistance of an insider trading felon for whom Sen. Dodd had arranged a pardon.


Why might Sen. Dodd have been so solicitous of the welfare of the AIG execs? Perhaps because last year he was the single largest recipient of contributions from American International Group's political action committee and its employees, $103,100, according to opensecrets.org, which derived the information from Federal Elections Commission records. The second largest recipient of AIG largesse? Barack Obama, $101,332. Sen. Dodd says the language in the stimulus bill was the Treasury department's idea. Treasury is saying Secretary Geithner didn't learn of the bonuses until March 10, and didn't tell President Obama about them until March 12.


It's difficult to say whether it would be worse if Secretary Geithner were lying, or if he is telling the truth. Let's assume he's telling the truth. The Wall Street Journal reported March 1 Treasury had approved the release of an additional $30 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds for AIG. Even in the Obama administration, $30 billion is still real money. How could the Treasury secretary have approved of an expenditure of that magnitude without knowing what the money would be spent on? Is anybody minding the store?


Associated Press reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis suggests Mr. Geithner may be more dishonest than inept:


"For months the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts," she wrote Tuesday. "It wasn't until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back."


A billion is a thousand million. Some suspect the belated sturm und drang in Washington over the $165 million in bonuses is an effort to distract attention from what AIG did with the thousand times more money it received in federal bailout funds.


AIG released last Sunday (March 15) a list of its counterparties (the firms to which it owes money). These were major European banks, plus U.S. giants Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley. There may be a good reason why these financial giants — especially the foreign financial giants — should be made whole at the expense of taxpayers who've lost about 40 percent of their life savings thanks in large part to the machinations of these financial giants, but to date, no one in Washington has offered it.


"The AIG bailout has been a way to hide an enormous second round of cash to the same group that had received TARP money already," wrote former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer in Slate Tuesday. "AIG was nothing more than a conduit for huge capital flows to the same old suspects, with no reason or explanation."


Perhaps there's a hint of an explanation in this: Employees of Goldman Sachs contributed $955,473 to the Obama campaign. Employees of CitiGroup contributed $653,468; employees of JP Morgan Chase, $646,058; employees of Morgan Stanley, $485,823.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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