Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Bear Stearns Crash Diet

So whatever happened to American justice? Are rich people just worth more, the way the heavier populated states have more delegates? What if delegates were allotted according to the proportion of money generated by each state? Hmmm…..

Seems to me the punishment should somehow fit the crime, that being caught selling a joint to your friend for $2 shouldn’t be equated with selling several thousand kilos via a network. Magnitude. Restoration. Seems to me these Bear Stearns bastards should have to pay, maybe do some prison time, be fined and stripped of their goods in direct proportion to the damage they caused. What kind of example is the Fed setting here? Or is this deal, as Rogers commented, ‘welfare for the rich’? How is it that hundreds of employees have lost their jobs, while the true criminal minds have been airlifted to safety?

My teenage son has been guilty of much rule-breaking at school, has not taken seriously the onus of detention, the threat of suspension. But at the same time, the principal at his high-profile school does not want a negative statistic on her record. He knows this, and continues to cross the line, whereas at the high-school across the river, poor kids are tossed for less than this.

Another parable: the overweight kid who, for his own health, must be forced or encouraged to exercise. But he refuses. So, his overpaid nanny bribes him with a cookie. He does a few jumps and hops, returns to the bench. Another cookie. Ups the ante. Until the whole box—every day— just to get him on his feet. By the third month, no way is he giving up the cookie habit. He’s fatter and fatter…blood sugar rising. Doctor orders ‘cold turkey’. But now, the cookie company will see a downturn in daily sales. So do we secretly cut a deal? What now?

Fat people do not like to have their plate taken away. Alcoholics do not like it when the bartender pours coke in their shotglass. And investment bankers are not willing to give up their excessive cookie money, no matter how many employees and American communities they must ruin to keep their bellies padded.

Have any of you seen this film ’Body of War’? The defense department, Dick Cheney, George Bush and John McCain should be strapped into a straightback unpadded chair and forced to screen this repeatedly. For that matter, now that Prince Harry’s been shipped home, how many boys in these wars gave up seven –figure incomes for the privilege of fighting? How many Bear Stearns sons are fighting in uniform? Why doesn't the Fed show them the money?

A protest was held in the Bear Stearns lobby yesterday. A journalist friend of mine described the demonstrators as ‘poor people’. This pissed me off. I think these Bear Stearns guys should be lined up and made to put their money in a pot. All of it. Then their lines of credit, their stock and gold shares, their overpriced condos. They can’t give back the holidays in the Caribbean, the private school tuition, their wives’ plastic surgery expenses. But they should be held responsible to the extent they profited from their bad behaviour. That word again. Accountability. These guys don’t like giving up their million-cookie ration. Instead they like pointing their finger at Eliot Spitzer and tormenting the tenants of my building and taking advantage of the rules and then burdening us with lawsuits so their kids can have more cookies than all the kids in China and Africa put together, in 10 lifetimes.

At least in the UK the judge shamed Heather Mills for her greed and gall. And Paul McCartney didn’t wheel and deal and steal for his billions. He made something. These bankers make nothing. They borrow and lend and squeeze and then legislate and manipulate, eat all the cookies and sit on the bench with the Feds. They con the rest of us out of our own and refuse to give them back.

I smell the smell of American sewage. I smell the smell of BS. This is a rotten state of affairs. The only hotseats here this month are those of our former and current governor whose middle-aged sex lives seem to sell more papers than the biggest scam of the year.
These guys have made off with all the cookies. And in case the cookie-makers are bankrupted, the Fed and JP Morgan will make sure they have plenty of cake. Brownies.

Want to know where to find the money to quell the housing crisis? From the bastards that caused it in the first place. Let’s play the film in reverse and make them give back all the commissions. But first to the wounded vets and their families. Then to the wounded middle class. And just to show them how justice works? Let the Bear Stearns executives earn minimum wage while they clean up the mess. I’ll sleep better. And while they’re figuring out how to pay for the family’s pizza and coke on an average American salary, they might remember how to do real math.

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