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Different Strokes

Digby comments on an Ezra Klein post about the complaints of people at AIG that they might not receive gazillions of dollars in pay for their “outstanding performance” in recent memory.

The reason they complain is that they don’t accept any responsibility for the melt down, and why should they? The Village is treating it as if it were some type of natural disaster, rather than the result of the unvarnished greed of the financial sector.

As Robert Peston notes the attitude on the other side of the pond is quite different:

However, several ministers and officials have told me that the goverment is determined to extract revenue from banks for taxpayers and simultaneously prevent the banks from awarding substantial bonuses to their employees.

“It is a matter of justice,” said one minister. “Investment banks are making exceptional profits as a result of the intervention of government and the Bank of England to limit the economic damage from the mess caused by those very same banks. So it would be outrageous if they paid those profits to employees and bonuses. We are determined to prevent that.”

The UK government knows who is at fault and intends to make them pay for their gambling. They want them to pick up the bill for at least some of the budget deficits they have caused, and the Tories will go along with the effort.

In the US, Fed chief Ben Bernake thinks that the Social Security and Medicare trust funds should pay for it.

December 6, 2009   4 Comments

Feast Of Saint Nicholas

Russian Icon of Saint Nicholas

Yes, it is the day that kindly old Saint Nicholas fills the footware of good little girls and boys with treats [or his assistants beat the evil out of bad children, depending on the local customs – they didn’t just leave the sticks, in some places they use them.] Don’t forget the carrot if he rides a horse in your area.

He is the patron saint of Russian merchants and pawnbrokers.

December 6, 2009   4 Comments