Bailouts and “Too Big to Fail”
This was in my FB memories from 11 years ago today. I still think I had some good ideas.
1. Don’t like the idea of “too Big to Fail” Thought we learned that lesson no later than in the late 80s. Oh, well.
2. Don’t like big things (banks, car companies, etc.) failing… Too many unemployed, too much damage to the economy.
3. Don’t like bailouts… giving money (read that, MY money) to fatcats so they can continue their lifestyle/failed business model.
So what to do?
1. Regulate. (Yes, I am an unreformed liberal.)
2. Allow bailouts, but with substantial consequences.
2A. Since you, through your ineptitude (or just inability to compete in a changing world) have proved that you are not a fit manager, and have asked the American people to step in and help with their (my) money, they (I) want to be paid for that. From now on, forever, 51% of the total compensation budget of your company will go directly to the US Treasury to reduce debt or taxes for the rest of us. Since you needed the bailout, that proves that we are more important than you, and we want 51%.
2B. Since we also know how good you are at cooking the books, just to be sure, the American people want a 20%, non-voting share of ownership in the company, with all financial benefits going to the treasury as in 2A. I know giving us 20% has shareholder implications; you deal with it. You want the money, the American people want an opportunity to participate in the upside. What is this crap where we (I) have to give you money when you’re in trouble and then you get to go back to making hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses the next year? That is going to stop.
2C. Since obviously the 51% thing can only work once, you can only have one bailout. If you manage to blow it anyway, even after we have given you money, you and all of your little friends are blacklisted. Since we didn’t bail you out a second time, the company failed. You are now looking for another job, and all of your little cozy director buddies are looking for other companies to “guide.” Sorry. Any company that hires anyone from your failed company with a title of Vice President or higher, or any of the board members of the now defunct company, has indicated by such action that they are too risky to be considered investment grade. They will be downgraded by the rating agencies, and will not be allowed to participate in any governmental contracts. Any existing contracts will be reopened for negotiation, and the hiring company will be ineligible.
So, how’s that? Besides pretty pissed off, I know. Seems like we could get something like that written up… lots of lawyers made good, enforceable poison pill and/or golden parachute contracts. I’m just a layman, but I’d like to make it a bit more awkward for these jokers to ask for, and take, our (my) money.
Bless their little hearts,