Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Showing us who's the boss

Yesterday we heard from Larry Summers, talking about how, in the end, Wall Street will do what's right for the American people because "we were there for them." Well, that statement also happened to coincide with a meeting the President was having with the major heads of financial corporations on things like executive compensation, new regulations, and lending. Thankfully, a few of our financial betters decided to show just how thankful they were.
President Obama didn’t exactly look thrilled as he stared at the Polycom speakerphone in front of him. “Well, I appreciate you guys calling in,” he began the meeting at the White House with Wall Street’s top brass on Monday.

He was, of course, referring to the three conspicuously absent attendees who were being piped in by telephone: Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; John J. Mack, chairman of Morgan Stanley; and Richard D. Parsons, chairman of Citigroup.

Their excuse? “Inclement weather,” according to the White House. More precisely, fog delayed flights into Reagan National Airport.
Awww, fog. Shame there isn't a high speed rail system connecting the two cities, just as it's also a shame that the fog was only bad enough for those three not to make it out of New York.I guess there just wasn't a sense of urgency, seeing as they weren't going to be getting any more billions in return for showing up.

On the bright side, they are saying there has to be major financial reforms. Sure, the armies of lobbyists they pay and their Congressional toadies are saying something else, but the CEO's are pretending really hard. In the end, isn't that repayment enough? Isn't putting up a thin candy shell of humility, gratitude, and claims that you're ready to act like humans again "doing what's right'? It'll just makes the loophole riddled bill that Congress passes and Wall Street loves easier to swallow. Imagine how hard that bill would be to take if these CEO's acted likes assholes the entire way through the process?

Next time make more of an effort to catch a plane: it makes it easier for us to pretend you care. Our psyches are fragile enough as it is, what with lending dried up and no jobs. We need some phony showmanship, so we can at least pretend we got something out of the global financial apocalypse. Can't you at least give us that?

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