More than 300 million US citizens are paying around $700 billion to jumpstart the economy. And after the first $250 billion was doled out to eight top banks, the banks were admonished to spend the money, not just hoard it. That, after all, was the point. Free up the credit markets! Loosen the worldwide financial system! Grease the wheels!
Well, it looks like the banks are just sitting on it, despite their marching orders. In addition, the news keeps getting uglier, as AIG has decided to spend its bailout money on mani-pedis and grouse hunting, and Merrill Lynch is paying a guy who worked for two weeks anywhere from $10 million to $25 million.
But they still don’t understand it. It’s not their money. They think they can keep playing the game the way they’ve always played it, with multimillion-dollar bonuses and multimillion-dollar salaries. And they are so astonished to have to testify before Congress and have their private little arrangements aired.
We all need to be way more angry about this. Our savings are decimated and our futures have all become a lot less secure because of these greedy, stupid bastards. It’s time to start putting some well-heeled feet to the fire. Heads should roll. And we shouldn’t back off on demanding that banks start lending to one another. That money wasn’t free. It should have come with more strings but of course we were played by Paulsen on that one.
It’s time to start demanding accountability.