24 Oct 2009

Corporatists 237, Bob Murphy 3

All Posts No Comments

Wow I’m sorry that I missed this, loyal readers. I really need to stop outsourcing my financial news gathering to places like CNBC. It was only after watching a video interview with “special master for executive compensation” (that’s actually his title, which is hardly less worrisome than “pay czar”) Ken Feinberg that I realized his “90% pay cuts” actually are only pro rated to November and December. (I believe Tokyo Tom in the comments of my knee jerk post was trying to point this out, when he said the decision wasn’t a clawback.) Furthermore, as Feinberg says in the video, everything is back on the table starting in January 2010. (However, some news reports have Feinberg saying the rules will be in place for 2010. The only thing worse than having a pay czar chop your pay by 90%, is not knowing if the pay czar will chop your pay by 90%.)

Don’t get me wrong, I still stand by the general theme of my first reaction: This is a horrible precedent, and will make it all the easier for the government to regulate all financial compensation packages down the road, so long as it gives some bogus finding of “systemic risk.”

But once again I was snookered by the progressive rhetoric, in contrast to the corporatist reality: Thus far 25×7 = 175 people have had two months’ of their salaries altered, after living large on the taxpayer’s dime the first ten months of the year.

This is the real danger of listening to Rush Limbaugh et al.: It’s not that it will turn you into a racist, but rather that it will make you actually believe the progressive rhetoric coming out of the White House. For example, Rush actually think Obama is getting ready to pull all the US troops out of Afghanistan. Riiiight.

Incidentally, I noticed at least three humongous lies in the short Feinberg video linked above. For example, he says there are no plans to move beyond this, and yet I have heard audio–on Rush’s show I believe–where Feinberg says his next task is to figure out the compensation for the #26 – #100 people in each of these companies. He also says that neither the White House nor the Treasury exerted any input at all into his decisions. Well (a) that’s obviously a lie and (b) it would be absurd if they didn’t! Do we really want to believe that Obama would allow one guy unfettered power over seven huge companies?!

Comments are closed.