Wednesday, January 28, 2009

old testament wrath


Maureen Dowd has suggested Obama should spread
no more balm from the New Testament,
but turn to God’s wrath in the One that is said
to be older, and from Sinai-sent,
containing the message that God can get mad
at the people who’re greedy and covet
the wife of their neighbor, and to the list add
their wife, ox and ass––don’t you love it,
the list of the things that Lord God says you oughtn’t
to covet? Today there are things
that, coveted, seem to be far more important,
like planes with executive wings,
and curtains and baskets and Regency chairs,
side tables; of course chandeliers,
retaining thei value far longer than shares
that are sold by these gray marketeers
to help them live up to the fabulous style
to which they are drawn like a moth
attracted to light, while they flit as agile
as a bull or Wall Street behemoth.
Sweet Jesus, who wouldn’t be seen in a limo
either dead or alive, cannot cope
like Presidents, with such a problem, but Primo
his Father sure can––well, I hope!

Writing about the profligate spending of the Wall Streeet financiers who have caused the recent economic collapse, Maureen Dowd writes, in the NYT, January 28, 2009 (“Wall Street Jet Setters”):

As President Obama spreads his New Testament balm over the capital, I’m longing for a bit of Old Testament wrath. Couldn’t he throw down his BlackBerry tablet and smash it in anger over the feckless financiers, the gods of gold and their idols — in this case not a gilt calf but an $87,000 area rug, a cache of diamond Tiffany and Cartier watches and a French-made luxury corporate jet? Now that we’re nationalizing, couldn’t we fire any obtuse bankers and auto executives who cling to perks and bonuses even as the economy is following John Thain down his antique commode? How could Citigroup be so dumb as to go ahead with plans to get a new $50 million corporate jet, the exclusive Dassault Falcon 7X seating 12, after losing $28.5 billion in the past 15 months and receiving $345 billion in government investments and guarantees?...
New York’s attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, always gratifying on the issue of clawing back money from the greedy creeps on Wall Street, on Tuesday subpoenaed Thain, the former Merrill Lynch chief executive, over $4 billion in bonuses he handed out as the failing firm was bought by Bank of America. In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC, Thain used the specious, contemptible reasoning that other executives use to rationalize why they’re keeping their bonuses as profits are plunging. “If you don’t pay your best people, you will destroy your franchise” and they’ll go elsewhere, he said. Hello? They destroyed the franchise. Let’s call their bluff. Let’s see what a great job market it is for the geniuses of capitalism who lost $15 billion in three months and helped usher in socialism. Bartiromo also asked Thain to explain, when jobs and salaries were being cut at his firm, how he could justify spending $1 million to renovate his office. As The Daily Beast and CNBC reported, big-ticket items included curtains for $28,000, a pair of chairs for $87,000, fabric for a “Roman Shade” for $11,000, Regency chairs for $24,000, six wall sconces for $2,700, a $13,000 chandelier in the private dining room and six dining chairs for $37,000, a “custom coffee table” for $16,000, an antique commode “on legs” for $35,000, and a $1,400 “parchment waste can.” Does that mean you can only throw used parchment in it or is it made of parchment? It’s psychopathic to spend a million redoing your office when the folks outside it are losing jobs, homes, pensions and savings. Thain should never rise above the level of stocking the money in A.T.M.’s again. Just think: This guy could well have been Treasury secretary if John McCain had won. Bartiromo pressed: What was wrong with the office of his predecessor, Stanley O’Neal?“Well — his office was very different — than — the — the general décor of — Merrill’s offices,” Thain replied. “It really would have been — very difficult — for — me to use it in the form that it was in.” Did it have a desk and a phone? How are these ruthless, careless ghouls who murdered the economy still walking around (not to mention that sociopathic sadist Bernie Madoff?) — and not as perps? Bring on the shackles. Let the show trials begin.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 1/28/09

1 comment:

  1. It's ok; everything's fine. The new Chinese CEO's will appreciate those fine, finishing touches of decor!
    They have a long history of art appreciation,
    among other things, and it's getting easier now to remember what parts of this country they don't own, rather than what they do.