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March 17, 2009



You didn't even have to complete the first sentence in the link there, Tom, I know it's snarky, but he's Dalton and Harvard he should know better, right



You need another "o" in your "To"


To glib, or not to glib, that is the glob, I mean blog.


Hmm, I lost 'em at "hello".


I think big bonuses should be paid to journalists and bloggers who understand all this. Performance bonuses.

I'm serious. Someone's got to stop the demagoguery.


You lost me at "Matt Yglesias". Does he really represent the best the 200+ JournaList members can do?


And it's not going to be people like Dodd, Frank, Grassley, Obama, and Axelrod. They are pouring gasoline on the fire, and, heh, on themselves.

Fresh Air

Another doufus masquerading as a financial analyst. Drum doesn't even know the difference between preferred and common stock? He doesn't know the difference between pre-money and post-money valuation? Yet he presumes his three-cent "analysis" has some sort of persuasive power? Only to the clowns who subscribe to that magazine he writes for, I guess.


While I digest this one--here's more on the brilliant turbo cheat:


Has Kevin Drum ever been right about anything, ever?


I initially read that as Too Gibbs to be Convincing.

Speaking of Gibbs, he isn't convincing the WH press corp that the WH didn't know about the AIG bonuses prior to last week.

"Only Geithner knew" is the spin....

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Charlie (Colorado)

Well, I just left a comment asking if it at all worries him that he has pretty nearly every detail wrong.


are we following the Italian model (1922) or the German (1932) model or the Russian model (1918)?

Chris Dodd knew too..he wrote specific language into the bill protecting those bonuses. Owned lock, stock & barrell by Angelo Mozillo and AIG!


"are we following the Italian model (1922) or the German (1932) model or the Russian model (1918)?"

The results will be the same,whatever the model....what great company though....Mussolini (1922), Hitler (1932), Lenin (1918), Obama (2008)


Top o' the morning!

Glad to see Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Obama won't need my clan's help in re-destroying Western Civilization. They're doing a fine job all by themselves.

Jim Ryan

Zao an, daddy.

Charlie (Colorado)

Hmmm. GOP is now ahead in the "generic congressional" Rasmussen, Obama approval index at +5.


You have permission to banish them onto the ice floe, although Barney's not Irish, much like I've done with the Menendez Bros. Jose Canseco, & sadly Rick Sanchez. Also the math requirement seems to havee gone by the wayside at Harvard and Berkeley. Did they have editors or proofreaders at these fine publications, the Atlantic (Greeley's screaming I had nothing to do with this) and
well Charlie, at the Washington Monthly


Rush is tape-delayed out here, but he just said Shumer and Congress want to tax these contractually agreed bonuses at 100% of the total value of the bonus. Can somebody please tell me what was the percentage placed upon Tea by King George that so outraged our 1775-76 ancestor's that they revolted?

Charlie (Colorado)

Daddy, it's gonna be doubly interesting since it turns out Chris Dodd's executive comp clause specifically excluded bonuses including AIGs.


That's confiscation, if King George, who we know was crazy but not insane, had tried the colonist would have sent a ship with muskets to 'persuade' him against such a course of action. I think their
reinbursement for campaign financing strategy hit a snag. Great way to alienate future campaign contributors by the way.

Thomas Esmond Knox

Obama returned his unspent campaign donations, right?


Precisely the point Thomas.


I saw on the news tonight that the committee which voted out Dodd's bonus exception amendment also defeated an amendment offered by Oympia Snowe and a Dem (Ron Wildmon?) to disallow bonuses.


Snowe=Wyden amendment would have precluded bonuses, but was defeated in favor of Dodd's protect-bonuses amendment. So, did this happen in Dodd's banking committee?

hit and run

So, did this happen in Dodd's banking committee?

Well, Obama told us that http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/23/video-obama-says-banking-my-committee-not-on-it/>the banking committee was his.


Turns out neither Snowe nor Wyden are on the Banking Committee. The press release said their amendment to preclude bonuses passed by voice vote and was added to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in Feb.. Was it removed later on and replaced with Dodd's amendment? I feel like calling Dodd and the awol press something I'll regret.

Charlie (Colorado)

I feel like calling Dodd and the awol press something I'll regret.

I can't imagine anything you could call them that you should regreat.

Well, maybe "honest and objective".


Here's Dodd's story per his pals at the Atlantic:

"Sen. Chris Dodd, facing the lowest approval ratings of any Senate Democratic incumbent,is in political purgatory. But on the subject of AIG's bonuses, he doesn't deserve the bad rap. Dodd is being blamed for OKing a proviso in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act guaranteeing previously sanctioned employment contracts. He faces intense political pressure because of his long-standing friendship with bankers and lenders, which has made him a key player in the negotiations between financial institutions and the government. In a statement yesterday, Dodd called on AIG executives to voluntarily refuse their bonuses. The truth is that the codicil was added in conference by mutual agreement of House and Senate Democrats and the White House. At the time, the administration worried about both the perception and the reality of government's interfering in the decisions and internal operations of the banks. Backstopping employment contracts was controversial to critics, but to an administration that was trying to work with the banks, it was an easy call. The worry was that the banks would suffer immediate and disasterous brain drain if the govenment could abrogate (the world of the week!) employment contracts willy-nilly. Apparently, no one at the Treasury Department or the New York Federal Reserve Board bothered to check on what those contracts actually contained - therein was the sin of omission, if you can call it that. How many tens of thousands of employees does AIG have? And didn't Geithner recuse himself from dealing with AIG?

As Conor Clarke noted below, title VII Sec. 111 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act permits the Secretary of the Treasury to recoup any bonuses or excess compensation from corporations accepting a threshold amount of TARP money.

In conference -- Dodd was not a conferee -- the following clause was added to reconcile differences between the Senate and House bills:

iii) The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.

Dodd, the chair of the banking committee, agreed to this language because most all of the stakeholders - including the administration - wanted it. But the original bill passed by the Senate contains Dodd's compensation limits without the carve out the exemption for bonuses. So there is no evidence that Dodd bowed to pressure from his contributors or that he was the author, the force of nature, behind it. "

http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/03/dont_blame_chris_dodd_for_the_bonuses.php#comments>More B.S. from Dodd


Chris says that politics had nothing to do with it. Forget AIG is in his home state and contributed the most $$ to him.
Some mysterious people snuck that exception into Chris' amendment.

If you believe in Chris, clap your hands boys and girls.


The always amusing Glenn Greenwald, citing the always astute Jane Hamsher, says Dodd is being set up by folks at Treasury..


HEH--Time for the Administration to get another bus..there's no room under the Full of It Express.


I love Greenwald on the Dodd misdirection: 'Engineered by Obama's Treasury officials, enabled by a mindless media, and amplified by the right-wing press'. What that boy said. I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.


Dang, you beat me to it.


I regard this spineroo in the Atlantic as a classic non sequitir:
"Dodd, the chair of the banking committee, agreed to this language because most all of the stakeholders - including the administration - wanted it. But the original bill passed by the Senate contains Dodd's compensation limits without the carve out the exemption for bonuses. So there is no evidence that Dodd bowed to pressure from his contributors or that he was the author, the force of nature, behind it. "

Why wouldn't those lobbying for his big $$ contributors and in state corp AIG, get to him at the conference stage even if they hadn't hit him with this exception before the Senate? Everything was going so fast and under the radar..


Thank you, Clarice, for your great work.

Happy St. Paddy's day Senator Dodd. I hope . . . well, I don't want to blaspheme on a Saint's day.


I wouldn't be surprised, clarice, if that bill no one read but the lobbyists, is chock-a-block full of similar scandals. Republicans, Ho.


You're too kind,cc..


No CC's not Clarice,

Your work is consistently wonderful and you sincerely deserve such complements from all of us.


there's no room under the Full of It Express.

Classic Clarice! Bravo!


Thank you all--it's entirely too generous.


I agree with CC, Ann, and Daddy, Clarice. Many thanks for the info.

In fact, thank you everyone for helping me sort through this.

The Dem blame game is starting to heat up. Too bad most of the DC republicans are too looney to take advantage.

Today I heard Grassley defend his suicide remark as one he's been saying regularly since Oct.


Well, not every Rep in DC is stupid. Cantor's playing this one just right and we should all helpo him by getting the truth out about the bouses, and Geithner and Obama's role in them and what an idiotic charade their fit about the bonuses is.

In January, Reps. Joseph E. Crowley of New York and Paul E. Kanjorski of Pennsylvania wrote to the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department pressing the administration to scrutinize AIG's bonus plans and take steps against excessive payments.

"I at that point realized that we were going to have a backlash with regard to these bonuses," Kanjorski said in an AP interview. In a meeting with Liddy later that month, he said he told the AIG chief that "all hell would break loose if we didn't find a way to inform the public ... and that we should take every step to put that information out there so we wouldn't have the shock."

Kanjorski and Crowley knew and wrote a letter to the Treasury Department. Where is that letter now?

In addition to not answering phones, treasury doesn't read mail.


Fresh Air

Not to be too crazy here...

But doesn't anyone have a problem with this wide-scale demagoguery of some people doing what they were paid to do and receiving compensation in accordance with a contract?

Boehner was denouncing the bonuses earlier today. I understand the political temptation. But to do so is intellectually dishonest in the extreme. Whether they deserved the stay-puts or not, they did stay put, presumably to help unravel the mess at AIGFP. I find the rush to condemn this stuff by Republicans incredibly unseemly even if politically advantageous. It reminds of the Tories attacking Tony Blair over Iraq. It's a fundamentally unsound position to favor government abrogation of contracts, claw-backs of payments, etc.

The denouncements should be that no one took a look at this situation ahead of time, either with respect to the terms of the TARP money or the Porkulus that contains Dodd's Magical Exemption.

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