Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The World Has Gone Crazy...I'm Going To Work For AIG

Is it just me or does the entire world seemed warped beyond all recognition lately? I realize that there are always things happening that don't make a lot of sense, its just that now things seem even more insane than usual. I started this blog back at the end of November for that exact reason.

You'll recall back then that Stephen Harper was busy telling Canadians that there was an attempt being made to overthrow the government. Of course the "coup d'etat" to which he was referring involved elected members of parliament from the other three other words, our government was overthrowing our government. We have a PM who equates our House of Commons to the Electoral College in the United States, and as such he thinks Canadians voted for him as Prime Minister. Sad that the leader of the party currently heading the government of Canada doesn't understand the simple basics about our democracy. About the only thing that makes sense is that many brain dead Tory supporters don't understand it any better.

That was just the start of the silliness unfortunately. Our finance minister finally crawled out from under the rock he must have been living under for the past 6 months and realized Canada was not only heading for recession, in fact we're in one. Michael Ignatieff proclaimed himself as Canada's probation officer, pledging to keep the Harper government on a short leash...but really he was just kidding. After insisting the government provide details about how it was planning to spend a $3 billion dollar "slush fund" left over from the last budget, he has since folded faster than a riverboat gambler holding a 7 high.

Now we have British MP George Galloway being told he won't be permitted to speak in Canada, a decision our heritage minister Jason Kenny says he won't interfere with. It seems Galloway made the mistake of donating ambulances and medical supplies to Palestinians living in Gaza. Gaza as most know is ruled by Hamas, so the brainiacs at the Canadian Border Services Agency decided to bar him on the basis that Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization. Hello!!! Hamas is the elected and governing authority in the Gaza territory. Does Kenny think Hamas is going to start launching rocket propelled ambulances now?

The more logical reason for barring Galloway is that he is planning to embarrass the Harper government by speaking out against our mission in Afghanistan. What's the big deal? Harper already embarrassed himself by proclaiming the war un-winnable. Does that mean we're leaving? Of course not, that would make sense. Instead we're told we need to change the definition of winning. That way when our brave soldiers continue to make their way down the 401, (appropriately called the Hi-Way of Heroes) with flags draped over their coffins, we can point to the "victory" we're achieving on the other side of the make the ultimate sacrifice of our best citizens somehow seem worthwhile. Guess what Maple Leaf fans, if Stephen Harper was running the Leafs we'd all be celebrating another winning season!

And if that's not enough to leave this blogger pulling out what's left of his hair, then we have this whole global credit crisis going on.

Companies like AIG (among many others) engaged in financial transactions which were beyond ludicrous. Not only were financial institutions providing mortgage funding based on NINJA qualifications (No Income, No Job, No Assets) they then turned around and started inventing complex schemes to have this toxic debt rated "investment grade". That allowed them to peddle these toxic "assets" to pension funds and other institutional investors. The result? The near collapse of the entire global financial system.

And what's happening to the individuals found responsible for these larcenous activities? What is the punishment for bankrupting the companies for which they work? How many years will they spend in jail for decimating the retirement plans of millions? How heavy are the fines being levied for bringing the global financial system to the brink of collapse?

Punishment? Fines? Imprisonment? Pfffffffft, they're getting bonuses in the millions of dollars. The U.S. government is currently engaged in spending of Biblical proportions to keep companies like AIG afloat. But don't you worry, those responsible aren't getting off scott free. Oh no! Not by a long shot. The U.S. Congress is enacting legislation to tax back 90% of the bonus money these crooks will be receiving. So instead of getting, say a $2.5 million bonus, instead that amount will be pared all the way down to $250,000. That'll teach them for destroying the lives of ordinary hard working people...just see how long a quarter million lasts!!!

Of course these bonuses are needed, because well...they're retention bonuses. I mean these guys who seemingly did everything in their power to wreck the world's economy, well...We sure wouldn't want them quitting now would we?

I guess I'm just out of touch. I figure that if I were to engage in transactions which threatened the very survival of the company I worked for, I don't know...I somehow think I'd probably get fired. Of course destroying one company is small potatoes, these guys were building houses of cards supporting the worldwide economy. Maybe I can get a job at AIG? I'd probably get fired for being responsible.

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