Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Are Congressmen Hypocrites Or Are Banking CEO's Spineless???

While catching glimpses of Fox News Channel today, I got the ear-wrenching opportunity to hear a snip of the House Financial Services Committee hearing on the way the banks spent the first part of the TARP money.

Part of this snip entailed an exchange between an unidentified Congressman and some unidentified banking CEO's where the Congressman was asking the banking executives to raise their hands if their banks owned or leased private jets. I think all of the them did... duh! This Congressman then went on to chastise them for running their companies into the ground, taking bailout money (which are really loans, not outright bailouts) from the taxpayers and then having the gall to fly around in these outrageously priced private jets. These CEO's... who are supposed to be strong willed, aggressive leaders sat humbly and took this chastising... much to my chagrin.

I kept hoping and praying that at least one of these CEO's would grow a pair of gonads and stand up and turn the tables on Congress. This is what is should have sounded like....

"So Mr. Congressman, you all and the current CEO and former CEO of your company have run it into the ground over the past eight years by not balancing your budget, spending recklessly and wastefully, borrowing money from any one who would lend it to you and even in the past month have proposed overspending another couple of trillion dollars in money you will have to borrow and pass on in debt to generations to come... and where has your CEO been the past couple of days? Flying around in the most expensive private jet in America... Air Force One. That's right Mr. Congressman... neither Congress nor the President, for the past eight years has balanced the budget and yet you all go around spending money like it's coming out your wazoo and personally, I think you should go blow it out your ass instead!" (And then the CEO walks out of Congress having delivered them a bit of truth that nobody else is willing to tell them!)

The next CEO could get up and add to the chastising of Congress by informing them that it was Congress that gave them the TARP money with no strings attached and that if Congress thought they were so almighty, why didn't they have the forethought to include stipulations to go with the acceptance of TARP money?

Each of the succeeding CEO's could pile on the chastising of Congress and then walk out and tell Congress to kiss their respective asses while they walked out the door.

What could Congress do? If they don't give the banks more TARP money, they'll be biting off their noses to spite their faces because Congress already preached to the people that if they didn't do this, the world would come to an end.

I'm not sure about all other Americans, but I would be far more willing to invest in the stock of a bank where the CEO isn't a dribbling coward and I'm betting that first CEO that started this Congressional chastising would see his company's stock rise dramatically as word spread of the heroism shown. Heck.. he might even take over Sully's spotlight! ;-)

Lenny Vasbinder
February 11, 2009

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