Friday, October 24, 2008

Involuntary Servitude for the Financial Industry?

It was wonderful to see CNN's Situation Room do a short clip Oct. 23 featuring Dennis Kucinich, who wants to launch new legislation preventing those banks who were helped in the bailouts from granting bonuses to key executives. CNN interviewed some asshole economics professor who said that leading financial barons needed to be provided some sort of incentives to stay at distressed banks, or they'd go work for hedge funds or sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). Well, that's assuming that we don't place them in a position of involuntary servitude.

Why not modify the Thirteenth Amendment to say that slavery is abhorrent except when applied to key investment-banking executives, hedge-fund managers, and Nobel laureates in mathematics who work in the financial field? We lock in the financial services industry today, forcing everyone currently working in the industry to remain in place, working for minimum wage. They will be forbidden to switch to SWFs or hedges. Their $40 million apartments on the Upper West Side will be provided rent-free to community non-profits, and they will be given seedy apartments in Alphabet City, which they will be forced to travel to using mass transit. Weekend chain gangs will be led, not by Ben Bernanke, but by Saint Greenspan himself, for continuing to hew to the Ayn Rand/Milton Friedman school, while giving only the mildest of mea culpas. Time for slavery! And no reparations in a century for financial robber barons!


Sharon said...

You gotta love Dennis! As for the executives I think they should pack of their monopoly sets and be sent home without their supper. :)

Sharon said...

"of" was supposed to be "up"......

Sharon said...

From Larry:

Funny that Greenspan was "shocked, I say "shocked that people would cheat for money". MBA schools (like the one I graduated from) should focus more on ethics and less on personal gain.

Remember the cruelties! Off to the guillotines!

Ruth said...

Love that Kucinich.

Yeah, I was stunned one day early on in the meltdown when some guy in Manhattan called it laughable that the execs should take less money since, well, you know, have you seen what a million dollars gets you in Manhattan? It isn't realistic to expect them to go so low. As if they shouldn't "suffer."

And that argument that no one will want to run a company for less money and bonuses, like Don says about football or baseball player: you think you can't find some great player to play for $150,000 a year? Someone who loves baseball and would be happy with that much moolah?

I love your modification to the Thirteenth Amendment. Forced labor sounds brilliant, bwahhhaaaa.

Loring Wirbel said...

Soundtrack: L'autrichienne, by Jucifer, a history of the post-Terror Thermidor period and why it matters today. There's even a guillotine on the cover. Might be more important than Guns 'n' Roses' Chinese Democracy.

Right after the Thermidor period started in France, there was a group of rowdy aristocratic youth called the "Gilded Youth" that went around in eye makeup and beat up poor people. Shades of Clockwork Orange. Maybe bankers that escape from the chain gang will go transvestite and start beating up Obama supporters.

Ruth: The problem with finding replacements for the Masters of the Universe is that no one can do the math. Heck, even the Nobel laureates in math can't do the math. That should say something.

Sharon: I love that deer, but your most recent self-portrait is even better.

Don said...

Is it really that complicated? I think it only gets complex as these execs keep pushing and pushing and seeking better ways to hide their activities.

I like your idea of placing them in solitude and allowing them to work from their new homes. Jackson Pen is a good place to start.

Loring Wirbel said...

The complexity comes from trying to make high profit margins on what are essentially fancy bets about future pricing trends. The very name "derivative" or "futures" means "phony" in my dictionary. My rule of thumb is, if you're trying to make money off an asset, and you can't kick it and hurt your toe, it's probably illegal - or should be!