Say it ain’t so. But looks like it is. Here we are, clutching our devastated 401Ks, howling for scalps at AIG, dizzy with the zeroes of the $3.55 trillion budget and the $797 billion “stimulus” and the $700 billion TARP, and the election of a President whose answer to all ills is to frag bomb the capitalist system, spend us into hock unto the umpteenth generation, blow out our currency in the process, and usher us into an era in which ACORN helps with the census and government doles out the ensuing rations.
And, over at the outfit that primed the sub-prime fuse for this chain reaction, Fannie Mae, the top executives are now going to rake in six or seven-figure bonuses over the next year — in some cases double what they got last year. Here’s the AP reporting on Fannie Mae plans bonuses of $1M for execs.
OK, I know, these are not the same executives as the ones who did so much to set us up for this free-fall. There has been plenty of debate over what to do about Fannie Mae and its companion incubus, Freddie Mac. There is a rational argument to be made for trying to retain employees who know where the rest rooms are, inside the palatial complex of Fannie Mae’s well-manicured head office. And there is a long and complex discussion to be had, or perhaps a lot more head-scratching to be done, at a few zillion more congressional conferences at private spas, and White House fiestas serving wagyu steak.
But does anyone else get that feeling that enough’s enough?
I have an anecdote about the former CEO of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines. I’ve lost track over the past few years of how much, net, he raked in … between the $90 million in bonuses, the fraction repaid over the 2004 accounting scandal , the coming and going at Fannie Mae as the insane cost of this government experiment in housing promotion turned from a blip on the public radar into a nuclear cloud.