Today I want to shed some "lyte" on anger. The big story is how there is a groundswell of populist anger over the bonuses paid to bailout recipient, AIG. How this populist anger may spill over to the current administration.
We need to be careful, because once a mob gets out its pitchforks and lights its torches, it will run on emotion, not logic and will mow down anything in its way. We need to be clear as to who is responsible for AIG's behavior and the lack of consequences for it.
AIG is being bailed out under TARP. That plan was the brainchild of Henry Paulson, former Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush. Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, put very little limitations or restrictions in place for the use of TARP funds. So, recipients of such funds were and are pretty much free to do what they want with them. Obama's hands are tied, he didn't create this mess, he is just trying to clean it up.
I mentioned yesterday that AIG used a large portion of its TARP funds to pay back companies that also received bailout monies. Guess who one of these companies are? If you said "Goldman Sachs", you get a gold star for the day.
Now am I the only one who finds it a bit convenient that the guy who created TARP, which just hands money to the very institutions that engineered and profited from the meltdown (with no restrictions), just happened to head one of these very same companies? Or that this same person let one of the biggest competitors to his former company, Lehman Brothers, fail, while insisting that AIG had to be saved, just so it could pay his former company billions of dollars? I'm beginning to feel like Mel Gibson in "Conspiracy".
Paulson's machinations are like the fox guarding the henhouse. So when the mob starts moving, they shouldn't head towards the White House, they need to go on Google Earth and find the location for Henry Paulson. They need to direct their very justifiable anger towards the guy who helped start the fire, not the guy who is putting it out.