Merrill Lynch Execs: Is there a day of judgment coming....
by WashStateBlue, Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 08:05:21 AM EDT
It's hard to know where to begin with your daily rage these days, but this one really makes me want to go V for Vendetta all over these Masters of the Universe.
Of course, there is no surprise here. Clearly, these guys refused to accept that the existent corporate environment, one that had always deeply rewarded those higher-ups involved in a merger/acquisition, had changed. In the midst of a colossal storm, these big swinging dicks acted as if it was still the middle of summer on the sunniest of sunny days.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says a Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. lawyer misled the U.S. House of Representatives in a letter describing the payment of bonuses paid out to employees of the brokerage firm. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Nov. 24 letter said "incentive compensation decisions for 2008 have not yet been made," and directors would do that at the end of the year.
However, the compensation committee had voted two weeks earlier to pay $3.6 billion in bonuses to employees in December, the newspaper says, citing testimony from a Merrill director during Cuomo's investigation.
Misled? Hell, they simply outright lied to Congress. When you vote, the decision has been made.
I am daily struck by the gut feeling we are in stage-one of the apocalypse, as Gadfly described it, the Rigor Mortis stage. We are all scared of our own shadows, wondering if the truck is bearing down on us, afraid to look behind in case it is.
But, soon enough, my sense is, we will turn from zombie to angry mob.
When millions are out of work, many will start to realize this is not a temporary turn around, this is a paradigm shift. The chickens have come home to roost, all these corporate geniuses that outsourced entire sectors of the economy for the short-term boost to the bottom line are now fully revealed as the destructors of the American Empire.
One can argue, this is the natural way of things, as the Romans and Brits fell, so shall we.
But the paroxysms of a dying empire, a moribund and cancerous society do not necessarily lead to a smooth and peaceful passing.
Some may indeed rage, rage against the dying of the light?
America is inherently a violent country, we were born in revolution, and we prize a kind of everyman frontier justice. The man who runs down the burglar leaving his neighbor house is celebrated as a national hero.
Right now, we have examples of random violence, where some local yokel in a blinding frenzy kills his family, his neighbors, anyone unlucky enough to be in this path as he ends his now seemingly worthless existence in one final blaze of anger.
But, how soon before folks in a little calmer state of mind, but still in that situation where it's basically over, no future, no job, everything gone, decide its time for a little frontier justice?
My take on Bernie Madoff pleading out is, a good argument can be made that prison may be the safest place on the planet for him to live out the rest of his miserable existence.
But, Bernie is not the only potential target out there, only the most visible. For now.
So if I was one of these corporate golden gods, I might be starting to look over my shoulder, because even though they changed the rules and stacked the deck so that the traditional legal system can't touch them, there may be a day of judgment coming anyway.
Don't be surprised if one of them rounds a corner, and the rest of the wolf pack, starving, angry and in a killing mood, awaits.