AIG CEO Compares Anger at Wall Street Bonuses to the Lynching of Black People in the South

I’m doing God’s work.
- Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in a November 2009 interview

It’s war. It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.
- Steve Schwarzman, Chairman and co-founder of Blackstone, on potential tax changes in 2010

The uproar over bonuses was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.
- AIG CEO Robert Benmosche in a Wall Street Journal Interview this past weekend

As if you needed any more evidence of how disconnected, entitled, irrational and sociopathic the heads of financial firms in America are these days, along comes AIG’s CEO Robert Benmosche to dispel any lingering doubts. In a highly disturbing interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Benmosche compares the murder of black people in the deep south based on racial prejudice and hate to the vast majority of Americans expressing disgust with the fact that Wall Street decided to suspend capitalism when it was in their best interests in order to give themselves trillions of dollars.

He actually compares an environment where the rule of law was often completely suspended to allow the murder of a disenfranchised racial group, to widespread public anger about the suspension of the rule of law to benefit the wealthiest, most connected people in the nation.

The craziest part of his statement is that if anything, the bailout of financial oligarchs to the severe detriment of the rule of law, free markets and the best interests of the vast majority of the American public is actually what is most similar to lynchings in the south. In both cases, the rule of law was suspended to benefit the powerful over the weak. This man is a dangerous sociopath, and he is precisely the type of person you get in charge when you bail out institutions that should have died.

More from the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Benmosche on the government’s campaign against partial “bonuses” to be paid to hundreds of employees in the AIG financial-products unit as they unwound massive, ill-fated bets on mortgage bonds. He said “less than 10” employees were behind the bad trades.

“That was ignorance … of the public at large, the government and other constituencies. I’ll tell you why. [Critics referred] to bonuses as above and beyond [basic compensation]. In financial markets that’s not the case. … It is core compensation.

Core compensation would have been reset in the financial industry down to more reasonable levels had there not been bailouts. That’s capitalism you crony jackass.

“Now you have these bright young people [in the financial-products unit] who had nothing to do with [the bad bets that hurt the company.] … They understand the derivatives very well; they understand the complexity. … They’re all scared. They [had made] good livings. They probably lived beyond their means. …They aren’t going to stay there for nothing.

So let them go. Again, isn’t that capitalism? What about all of the people that lost their jobs and are on food stamps now because of those “10 people” at AIG? Moreover, how many of those 10 are in prison?

The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.

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Washington Post: “Markets Saved World” in 2012

This is a brilliant piece of propaganda.  Central Planners are trying with all their might to force people into behaviors and financial assets that are in direct contrast to their logic as well as long term financial well being.  This is the height of immorality, not to mention hubris.  In the end, there is no chance of any of this working as the reality on the ground will overwhelm all of the manipulations and lies of the corrupt oligarch class.

From the Washington Post/Bloomberg article “Almost All of Wall Street Got 2012 Wrong as Markets Saved World”:

Blankfein was more prescient. “I tend to be a little more positive than what I’m hearing from other people,” the 58-year- old CEO told Bloomberg Television in an April 25 interview at Goldman Sachs’s New York headquarters. “One of the big risks that people have to contemplate is that things go right.”

Well of course Mr. Blankfein was optimistic.  He knows he has the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve in his back pocket and they will do whatever he says with one phone call.  Furthermore, if things go wrong you just get a bailout.  Crony Capitalism 101.  That’s how the World’s 100 Richest People Got $241 Billion Richer in 2012.

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