It shouldn’t have to come to this. Lessons should be learned the fourth or fifth time. The extreme regulation being forced out of Washington is disproportionate even to the outrageous sums used to pull back from this economic crisis. No one, including the most left-leaning, bleeding heart Democrat, would want the government setting pay guidelines for anyone in the private sector as it constitutes a moral hazard perhaps even greater than trillion dollar bailouts.
But even after melting down Earth’s first global economy, Wall Street is not fucking learning.
The House vote today to regulate executive pay packages shouldn’t have been necessary. After the extraordinary lengths to which the American taxpayer has been compelled to save our financial system from catastrophe, one would expect humanity from the beneficiaries of such unprecedented sacrifice. The party should have been over with the first bailout check. The largesse should have ceased when they came begging to us for salvation.
But, it didn’t. CBS reports that investment banks that received bailouts during last year’s meltdown awarded bonuses that grotesquely exceeded profits. That even while receiving TARP dollars, firms like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup paid between 2 and 3 times more in bonuses than they received in net income. While we took the consequences of their Wild West derivatives trading in the mouth, they handed out more than they were taking in literally twice over.
Another outrage on top of a demon’s resume of economic war crimes already divulged in the months since America bailed out Wall Street, this latest discovery is the steamer that broke the toilet. These bonuses are more than the mere product of a gaggle of pathological fuckups. They are the work of pure assholes; conscious perversions of our generosity for personal profit.
Every taxpayer’s impulse for a measured government response should now be abandoned. Every lawmaker’s instinct for limiting state interference in a free market should now be surrendered. We are done with being tempered in our reaction to the financial industry’s continued exploitation of our money for individual gain. These fuckers have persisted their fuckery to such an obscene degree that legislation is the only available curb.
Even for the frightening precedent it sets, even for the antipathy for capitalism it represents, Congress has got to nerf Wall Street pay. These dickholes just aren’t learning how to be human beings on their own.
That this is even necessary may be the most damaging part of Wall Street’s irresponsibility.