You know, I’m such a hypocrite sometimes. I was—and I basically still am—firmly in the “give Obama some room to operate” crowd that was trying to calm people down during the transition when Obama, who was not yet president, was “fucking up.”
We’re not done with the proverbial 100 days, and, well, the man deserves an extension because the goddamn Republicans have given him no grace period. Remember when Bush “won” by 537 votes and we were all supposed to just give him free reign for a while? Obama kicked the snot out of McCain and the GOP’s been putting his balls in a vice since Election day.
So, how can I believe all of that and still think it’s time for Geithner to be gone? Well, I’m not convinced that a year ago Obama sat in bed dreaming of a cabinet including Geither. My guess would be that he had someone else in mind. When the giant shitpile fell started stinking, Geithner, Bernanke, and
O’Neill Paulson were really the point men. And they fucked up like they were Viceroy of Iraq or something.
But, hey, it was a big problem and they needed time, right? Well, from the beginning, I always scoffed at this kind of populist urge to see the whole thing burn, because I think people say that and they aren’t serious, or if they are, they wouldn’t be if they knew what that meant. There were tough decisions to be made. But, as with Iraq, little old me of no particular expertise and a decent education in tangentially related subjects was able to predict better what should have been done. Iraq: no threat to us, no nukes. How’d I know? Shit, I can’t even remember anymore.
So, here, it’s been clear to me that the solution has been to take these banks into receivership and spin them back off. No big deal. Just like United Airlines. And I guess I bought it that, at least during Bush, this was going to be very tough to achieve politically. That kind of intervention was just anathema to these guys.
Well, it’s anathema all right, but not because they believe in the free market. It’s because this bubble (shit pile, as opposed to the dot com) has never been about anything except making financiers rich personally. The 90s were about making investors rich and creating a lot of innovative corporations.
So, here we are in 2009. Infrastructure is crumbling, unemployment is skyrocketing, we’re the only major industrial power without a decent health care system and I’m forced to take the side of *corporations* and *old(er) money* against these thieving banker class pricks who think they are smarter than God and aren’t really in the business of anything except skimming off the top.
They actually impede corporations. Get this: the corporations need the wealth to fucking trickle down to them! It’s true. If the salaries (not even the profits of the financial companies) of these folks were called what it was—a tax—and there was a “tax cut” corporations would have more capital to operate and… trickle down to us. I guess we take a trickle number.
And so Geithner is all about using the federal government to prop up this system and make sure all of these folks get recapitalized… it’s not about making the companies work, or recapitalizing them. That’s so simple it could be done in a day. Here, I’ll show you:
“The treasury of the United States hereby guarantees with its full faith and credit to pay obligations of AIG.
(Ideally there’s another sentence on another piece of paper that says everyone who works there is fired and shareholders are out.)
Take AIG. Big deal. Hire some people, have them run the company and guarantee their losses and try to clean it up ASAP. Or the banks. What’s the fucking mystery here? The claim is that these douchebags that fucked up the whole economy are entitled to a second chance to pad their wallets one more time before fnord regulation fnord comes in and cleans it up.
The financial system has totally abstracted away from what it’s supposed to be. See, a stock is supposed to mean you get a piece of the profits. But secondary to that is guesses on what the profits will be, what people think other people think the profits will be, what games people will play with that company in public (like on CNBC!) etc. All of this secondary manipulation doesn’t produce anything except salaries for these pricks.
I am here, a social democrat of a Canadian or European flavor pining for a return to the sensible world of J.P. Morgan serving as the banker for industrialists who ACTUALLY FUCKING MADE THINGS so that commerce would happen and someone could make $5 a day somewhere in the middle.
Anyway, Geithner must have a small dick that too many of these ass holes have seen in the sauna at the Harvard club or something and he’s too worried about what they think. Fuck that shit. If I’m Obama, you’re fired and we tried it the bankers way.