Friday, April 03, 2009

Obama Gets His Rahm On

Friggin' amazing.

Arrayed around a long mahogany table in the White House state dining room last week, the CEOs of the most powerful financial institutions in the world offered several explanations for paying high salaries to their employees — and, by extension, to themselves.

...Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.” “My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

Kinda smell a threat there?

That's hardly all. He also told them that they will remain in his captivity until HE decides they can leave.

Dimon [JPMorganChase CEO and a big-time Democrat supporter] also insisted that he’d like to give the government’s TARP money back as soon as practical, and asked the president to “streamline” that process. But Obama didn’t like that idea — arguing that the system still needs government capital.

The president offered an analogy: “This is like a patient who’s on antibiotics,” he said. “Maybe the patient starts feeling better after a couple of days, but you don’t stop taking the medicine until you’ve finished the bottle.” Returning the money too early, the president argued could send a bad signal.

Those are the tactics of the Mob, whether they are used in the White House or on the corner in Chicago.

I don't know if MorganChase is or is not positioned to return the $25Bn. Nor do I care--that's Dimon's problem.

Nor do I make the case that bankers are over- or under-paid. That's the Banks' problem (and that of their Boards.)

But what I can argue is that these tactics are going to change the "Lightworker" meme.

"Darkworker" would be a lot closer.

IN ANOTHER THREAD on the topic, the very first comment:

In about two years, somebody is going to whisper the following in Obama's ear while he's staring out the window of the Oval Office, watching D.C. burn to the ground:

"Your Secret Service Detail is the only thing standing between you and a lamppost, you Mussolini-wannabe dickface. I quit."

Methinks the "pitchfork" crowd might go either way--but watch the ones with torches...

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