Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cavalcade of Capitalists: Lehman Handing Out Executive Bonuses While Begging for Bail Out

If failed Lehman was giving its executives hundreds for millions in bonuses as its economic ship sank, how much more did the companies that the federal government has committed to save burn on frivolous bonuses and golden parachutes during the economic decline of the past few years? The kicker in all of this is that the same people who would argue against government controlling what corporations decide to pay their executives fail to argue with the same zeal that the government should not be assisting those companies when their top-heavy budget takes them down. If companies are going to get any help from government, even down to the smallest tax break, then their salary expenses should be open to public regulation, because getting federal aid makes the public a shareholder.

What makes the Wall Street crisis more about "Main Street" is not whether or not the government will prop up the struggling economy, but who are the companies that put "Main Street" in harm's way to begin with? Until someone lowers an irrevocable boom on private corporations, "Main Street" will always be at risk.

UPDATE: Lehman CEO gets punched out in the Lehman gym.

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