Blame Goldman Sachs
A pithy reminder from the D.C. Examiner, that even when we thought it was AIG, it was Goldman Sachs all along:
But let's not forget that the sturm und drang over AIG bonuses serves a serious purpose for those politicos fueling the drama – it diverts the public's attention away from other far more revealing facts like those surrounding the role of Goldman Sachs….Goldman Sachs has been everywhere in the crisis, yet has almost entirely escaped critical public attention. Goldman Sachs alumni have been in the forefront of the government's response to the crisis under both the present and former presidential administrations…..What Goldman giveth, Goldman also taketh away. While little is known about where the AIG bailout money went, we do know that Goldman Sachs received $12.9 billion of it. As one Wall Street insider recently observed to The Examiner: "This is an investment bank that earned more than $12 billion and paid its CEO $68 million in 2007. Even in 2008, this self-proclaimed home to the 'Masters of the Universe' paid out more than $10 billion in compensation and received its own $10 billion in taxpayer funding." Congress ought to stop swatting at AIG bonus gnats and take on the real masters of the bailouts.
For more infuriating details about the bold new Goldman Sachsified political economy, see Matt Taibbi's sharp and funny article in the latest Rolling Stone.