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Executive Decisions

September 23, 2008

In another attempt at unilateralism, the Bush Administration has put a bailout (or should I say a corporately led bailout) plan forth as the best hope for averting a worldwide economic meltdown. As the details of the plan begin to leak, and the rhetoric of fear spreads, I can’t help but think of the definition of Shock and Awe strategically placed at the forefront of Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. 

“Shock and Awe are actions that create fears, dangers, and destruction that are incomprehensible to the people at large, specific elements/sectors of the threat society, or the leadership.  Nature in the form of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, uncontrolled fires, famine, and disease can engender Shock and Awe.”

 – Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance, the military doctrine for the U.S. war on Iraq


Once again we are being shocked and awed.  We are being told to do it the Administration’s way or face certain and eminent destruction.  Let me first state, there needs to be action taken to end our current economic crisis – but we cannot reward the culprits (and I mean culprits) in this colossal failure. I admit whole-heartedly that I do not care that CEO’s of bailout organizations don’t get their golden parachutes.  It would seem to me CEO pay is a consideration of company shareholders, not the taxpayers. In fact, I consider any decision that would garner a $700 billion dollar buy up of bad assets, which allows CEO’s to resign with million dollar paydays.  Especially since they, as the first level of regulatory control, have failed so miserably. I for one believe they should end up like folks on main street.  When we are asked to resign from our positions, we do not get package deals – we get the DOOR.

Apparently the Wall Street crew have not succumbed to the reasonable humiliation, any other failed executives would.  I say this because Secretary Paulson (Ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs mind you) has asked the Congress to speedily pass his “clean deal.”  Which includes according to Section 8 making:

“Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are
non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be
reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency”

Let me get this straight.  The suits on Wall Street screw-up the industry, tank the market, and cause financial worry around the globe – but we are to hand them the reins of power (un-checked) so that they can go back and fix it!

Unbelievable.

Not this time! They might have shocked us, but we must not stand in awe.  We must insist on complete transparency, we must demand that everyone with a finger on the country’s bank accounts be held accountable, we must demand STRONG regulatory controls, and a review (and possibly renewal) provision put in place in whatever language is solidified. We are talking about nearly a Trillion dollars folks.  That is not chump change.  It is an extraordinary amount of money and it must not be flitted away easily. 

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