Friday, February 27, 2009

New Bailout Rules

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis blatantly refused yesterday to produce information subpoenaed by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo was demanding a listing of "just who got what out of $3.6 billion in bonuses given to Merrill Lynch employees before the banks merged late last year." Those bonuses were rushed out by ex-Merrill Lynch executive John Fain, with considerable help from U.S. taxpayers.

Turns out, however, that Lewis himself -- as Fain's boss -- personally authorized in writing up to $5 billion in bonuses to the Merrill Lynch execs, according to the New York Daily News. Not only that, but he lied to Congress about it earlier this month:
Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis told Congress the bank had "no authority" to stop the bonuses, but he didn't reveal that he'd signed a merger document authorizing up to $5 billion in Merrill "incentive payments."
To add insult to perjury, Lewis used one of Bank of America's the taxpayers' private jets -- the very one shown above -- to fly in just so he could obstruct the justice system in person.

All of this inspires us to suggest a few new rules for the bank bailout program:

Rule No. 1: When a duly authorized state or federal law enforcement official who is investigating bank mismanagement asks for information about who personally profited from use of U.S. taxpayer bailout money, the bank CEO must either give it up promptly or he will be fired.

Rule No. 2: When a bank CEO is caught prevaricating, lying, or giving misleading testimony to a congressional committee investigating the misuse of U.S. taxpayer bailout money, he must either resign immediately or be fired.

Rule No. 3: Since the Bank of America "private jet" is so big, the plane will not be allowed to take off if there are any empty seats. Excess seats are to be offered to the general public on a first-come, first serve basis.

Rule No. 4: If it happens that the banker used the jet to get where he perjured himself, he must walk home.

Rule No. 5: In any event, every bank CEOs who seeks bailout money from the federal government must first deposit all of his personal financial holdings with the same bank, to be held in trust during the CEO's term of office. If he screws up, we get it all.

Now, there you have some "job incentives" that are incentives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

um.. if the jet was purchased before is it the taxpayers plane? More importantly how is it not the shareholders aircraft?