The New York Post writes:
"The US government last night went into the insurance business in a big way - effectively nationalizing the industry's largest firm, with the taxpayers footing the $85 billion bill.
The Federal Reserve - whose move was unprecedented in the scope of intervention - agreed to bail out on-the-brink AIG with the mind-boggling loan in exchange for control of nearly 80 percent of its faltering assets over the next two years."
While there are many factors and players contributing to this Nanny State Debacle, Michael Lewis at the NYP has a few culprits worth noting:
1. Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has the job of regulating these companies that helped make it possible for every poor American to get a mortgage, a Clinton administration social engineering policy---whether they could afford it or not---and are now, as a result, falling apart. Cox, in bed with the big investment banks, continuously shouted down and ignored those voices shouting in the wilderness foretelling Lehman's impending demise.
2. Wall Street CEO elites who instead of taking responsibility like men for running their businesses into the ground are now getting slapped into baby strollers by Nanny Paul. Can thumb sucking be far behind?
Stan O'Neal,chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch. Dick Fuld, CEO of Lehman Brothers. James Cayne, CEO of Bear Stearns. Each took home tens of millions of dollars in pay for making the highly risky and greedy decisions that destroyed his firm.
Of the lot, O'Neal of Merrill Lynch, deserves perhaps the greatest scorn because he took a business that wasn't well designed to take huge trading risks and wagered it all on a single bet.
He screwed up the lives of more innocent people than the others. But interestingly, if any of these men had behaved well and resisted the pressures and temptations of the moment, his firm would have, for several years, dramatically underperformed the competition. He probably would have lost his job.
There are many other culprits in this dogfight, but will leave it at that for now. Remember it's us taxpayers and stockholders who are paying to bail out the men who awarded themselves millions and millions of dollars in bonuses while bringing down their companies in the process. If we're not outraged, then we must be smoking and inhaling something illegal.