Rewarding Failure

February 8, 2009 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

I didn’t want my first post on this blog to be a rant, but this article in today’s nytimes forced my hand.

The article is about President Obama’s proposed cap on executive compensation for banks that accept bailout money.  If you don’t want to read it, the gist of the article is this: whilst to “ordinary” Americans 500k/year may sound like a lot of money, to a high flying Wall St. executive, it’s just not enough.  Well, cry me a river, but I have one word to those executives who find making 500k/year unacceptable: Quit.  Really, just quit.  I really don’t care how much you have to pay for private school, and personal trainers, and association fees.  If you think you’re being treated unfairly, go ahead and find a new job.  You weren’t exactly a spectacular performer on this job, or you wouldn’t be asking for bailout money.  Oh, and BTW, good luck finding a new job given your most recent employment history.

I really don’t give a damn how bad you think you’ve got it.  Welcome to the real world, where performance actually determines how well you get compensated.  And if you do choose to quit, tell Obama’s people to give me a call.  While I’ve got no relevant experience in finance or managing a large investment firm, I have managed to live the past 10 years of my life without going bankrupt, which is apparently more than you can say.

And for all those republicans out there who say that the government shouldn’t be dictating terms to these banks (I’m looking at you Mitt) I have this to say: when a bank is at the point where it will fail without taxpayer dollars and requests the government give it money, then the American taxpayers just became majority shareholders in that bank.  We get to dictate how that business is managed from now on.  No one is forcing banks to take our money.  They can just as easily say “Thanks, but no thanks” and we’ll be fine with that.  Remember, the bailout isn’t about helping your friends on Wall St., or propping up some free-market businesses, it’s about preventing a financial collapse from dragging the rest of us down with it.

So go ahead, moan about your hard lives.  You have your options, and if you don’t like it, tough.

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Entry filed under: obama, politics, Uncategorized.

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