The Obama administration needs to nationalize some of the country’s major financial institutions, including the insurance giant A.I.G.
The administration also needs to press for criminal investigations against investment bankers and mortgage experts who made millions off the housing bubble. Did they commit fraud? Some of these thieves are actually receiving major financial bonuses from taxpayers. A.I.G., which has received $170 billion in government bailout money, plans to give $165 million in bonuses to the very people who bankrupted the company.
President Barack Obama has denounced the bonuses, but can he stop them? A.I.G. leaders say they are contractually obligated to pay them. A.I.G. is one of those companies deemed “too big” to fail.
The larger picture here is the Obama administration, with its “we only-look-forward” philosophy, continues to allow people, who should actually face criminal charges related to fraud, to remain in positions of power and authority in major financial institutions, such as A.I.G. Consequently, people are rewarded for greed and incompetence.
Throughout the country, people who have been wrong or silent about every major fiasco during the Bush administration remain securely ensconced in power. It’s a real tragedy. The stimulus package wasn’t big enough, and some of our major financial institutions, now propped up by taxpayer money, are still controlled by crooks, who subscribe to failed neoconservative ideology and openly flaunt their bonus money in President Obama’s face.
The core philosophies of companies, such as A.I.G. and Citigroup, are corrupt. Their controlling principle is to shift as much wealth as possible as fast as possible from the middle class to the ultra wealthy. This is the major Bush-era mandate, true, but now Democrats have to do something about it or simply become part of the problem. How can you rescue a company when it continues to employ charlatans and incompetent managers who believe in market fundamentalism with religious zeal, but gladly accept government handouts to buy their next yacht or Italian villa?
If major, failing financial institutions were nationalized, then the government could stop these companies from paying lavish bonuses and salaries to executives who have run their companies into the ground and brought about the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression. This would stabilize the economy and the markets as a different set of management methods and business values replaced the reigning corruption and unfettered greed on Wall Street.
The world waits on the United States to do something meaningful to restore its economy. Right now, we’re just throwing taxpayer money at the rich people and hoping they will change their ways. It’s not a good strategy.