Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Class acts II

Foreword: Class acts III.

To commemorate his ideas, and to just keep old George in mind, we'll have a string of class acts to enumerate. Who else to start with than banks (see the rogue table)?

In their special report last week, the Economist covered what is needed to get the banks back in business. This report is very good and ought to be generally read.

Two types of banks are identified in one discussion: utility and casino. You see, many of us see the side of banks that is supposed to be conservative, watch our money for us, and be there when we need them.

Unfortunately, that part of the bank was seduced, by many things, into thinking that capitalism is synonymous with casino gambling. Actually, Marx got it right talking about 'fictitious' capital.

Well, we need to add another type: scavenger (as in, like the hyena, vulture, and others). Today, the WSJ reports that "Banks Use Life Insurance to Pay Bonuses" and suggests that this has been shown to be legal. Well, no matter, as it stinks to the max. Unfortunately, the article is not open to general reading, so here is another link (don't know how long it'll be there).

What this thing entails is that the bank covers an employee's life with a huge policy and collects upon death. Supposedly, the employee consents. Ah, but do they get the whole picture?

In one case (Amegy bank), a guy was fired before dying (41 years old of cancer), and the family (Irma Johnson and two young children) got nothing; did the bank laugh all the way to its own vault?

The amount of money in this pile, rank and smelling to high heaven, is just mind-boggling.

What has happened to basic human decency? This thing is definitely immoral; why is it not unethical? And, where are the law makers who ought to know better than to allow this type of thing to happen let alone become acceptable?

And, insurance companies, where is your say in the matter? You must be hurting to pay out on some of these policies in that you fell into the same casino pit as the banks.


05/17/2011 -- Golden sacks (leftmost mug), by Rolling Stone and Daily Ticker.

04/03/2011 -- Need to look at some background. Too, tranche and trash.

01/01/2011 -- The bank settled.

10/22/2010 -- We need more like Perelman in order to have a fair economy.

12/19/2009 -- Dead peasant, indeed.

08/10/2009 -- As promised, FEDaerated is here.

07/31/2009 -- Let's see, 5,000 got over $1M for services rendered. Well, that's probably a sign of being a best-and-brightest, at least to certain eyes; it's called rolling-in-the-dough.

Now, this can be used to illustrate how the game it to fill the pockets of a small set to an exorbitant amount. Does the game need to be that way? Hell no. We'll look at that some more.

06/29/2009 -- The Economist's article on a related subject may suggest the next bubble.

06/02/2009 -- Class acts III.

05/21/2009 -- Amegy is owned by Zions. Mormon and family values? Should they not have squelched this long ago by paying up?

Modified: 05/17/2011

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