So now it seems that large American corporations have to ask permission to continue with normal operations — that is, CitiGroup is asking “Mother, may I?” to the federal government with regard to paying out standard bonuses. Fascism? Socialism? Corporatism? I always enjoy getting bogged down in terminology disputes but I am not going to let that cause me to lose sight of the fact that whatever we call, it’s un-American and a Bad Idea.
The only bit of silver lining is this, which I can’t rewrite to be any better —
As far as having executives poached, I’d call that a free-market correction at this point. Citi chose to take government funds and let Obama in their boardroom. One consequence of that is that Obama apparently gets to make their compensation decisions, which puts them at a market disadvantage. That should serve as a warning to other firms looking to suck off the taxpayer teat.
Put me in the “worse is better” school for intervention in this regard.