A.I.G. Bonuses: Class War in the Media

Dean Baker, Truthout: "The debate over the A.I.G. bonuses is class war in its full naked glory. On the surface, everyone agreed that paying multi-million bonuses to the folks who bankrupted their company and handed the taxpayers a bill for $170 billion ($2,300 for a family of four) was outrageous. The difference is between the angry masses, who actually want to take back the bonuses, and the elites who insist that there is nothing that can be done. In spite of the superior education of the elites, the masses have the much better argument. As a result, the elites have been desperately cooking up excuse after excuse as to why their well-heeled friends at A.I.G. and the bankrupt banks shouldn't lose their bonuses."

//www.truthout.org/032309J



As Credit Markets Froze, Banks Loaned Millions to Insiders

Stella M. Hopkins, The Charlotte Observer: "Banks nationwide hold $41 billion in loans to directors, top executives and other insiders, a portfolio that experts say should be stripped of secrecy. Insider lending to directors is particularly troublesome because it could cloud the judgment of people charged with protecting shareholders and overseeing bank management, the experts say. At Charlotte-based Bank of America, those loans more than doubled last year, to $624.2 million - the biggest dollar jump in the country. The largest of them likely went to three directors or their companies."

//www.truthout.org/032309K



Economic Dirty Bomb Goes Off in New York

Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com: "In my neighborhood, back in those fateful September days in 2001, you could hear the sirens, see the jets streak overhead, catch the acrid smell of the towers and everything chemical in them burning, and like the rest of America, watch those apocalyptic-looking scenes of the towers collapsing in clouds of ash and smoke again and again. But if the look then was apocalyptic, the damage, however grim, was limited. This time around there's no dust, no ash, no acrid smell, no sirens, no jets, and no brave rescuers either. And yet the effect might, sooner or later, be far more apocalyptic and the lives swallowed up far greater. This time, of course, the fanatical extremists were homegrown. Their 'caves' were on Wall Street. They hijacked our economy and did their level best to take down our world."

//www.truthout.org/032309L



The Big Takeover

Matt Taibbi, The Rolling Stone: "It's over, no empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline - a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country's heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire."

//www.truthout.org/032309M



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