by Pa Rock
One good thing to come out of the government bailout of the banks is that suddenly there is some small degree of public accountability. A case in point is the $50 million swank corporate jet that Citigroup planned to purchase. The new acquisition by bailed-out Citigroup first came to the public’s attention yesterday, and the working stiffs of America were not amused! Not only was it seen as an extravagant and unnecessary elitist indulgence, the new jet was a product of France. France! The thieving hogs weren’t even supporting the ailing American economy!
In a bold move, the likes of which has not been seen in the White House in more than a decade (or two), the Obama administration made a simple telephone call to the Gods at Citigroup and told them that a change of plans was in order. Soon thereafter the chastised banking giant grudgingly announced that they would not be taking delivery of the luxury aircraft after all. Now that’s change that I can believe in!
Bank of America, which recently acquired Merrill Lynch thanks in large part to an influx of bailout billions, is also suffering some comeuppance as a result of accepting public money. John Thain, the now disgraced former head of Merrill Lynch, moved up the payments of executive bonuses when he realized that his company was on the verge of going under or being taken over. He and his executives got theirs while the getting was good! He also spent part of last year redecorating his office, all the while cutting thousands of jobs. The cost of that redecorating, which included such necessities as a $1,400 trashcan, eventually totaled 1.22 million dollars!
There has been no word yet as to whether the recently fired Mr. Thain received a call from the Obama administration or not, but he announced today that he will reimburse Merrill Lynch / Bank of America for the renovations to his office. And what about those early bonuses? New York’s attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, said that he will be investigating that matter. (It’s our money, and I, for one, would like to have it back!)
Yo, John, your subpoena is in the mail!
Greedheads beware! The time for payback draws nigh – and it’s gonna be a bitch!