Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The bailout, an owner's guide

Congratulations! If you're an American taxpayer, you're about to become the owner of a brand-new $700 billion attempted bailout of the U.S. financial system. (

Of course, that doesn't mean that you and your family get to keep your house. It just means that taxpayers get to pick up the bill for corrupt CEOs who made billions of dollars on short term gains in the sub prime market.

You know, the "guys" that "bailed" the moment the phrase, "bankruptcy is imminent," tumbled out of the mouths of their corporate attorneys...

Most of us are familiar with the horror stories about CEOs who fearlessly led their banks and stockholders into the sub prime abyss, while collecting millions of dollars through salaries, stock options and bonuses for themselves.

Don't worry, those same CEOs will be sunning themselves on the beach in Hawaii or Bora Bora while the rest of us are freezing our butts off in a tent on an abandoned city lot!

Thanks, boys!

Last week, the Department of Labor reported that U.S. payrolls plunged in September. In fact, Job losses were the worst in five years as employers cut 159,000 workers from their payrolls. (That figure does not include hundreds of thousands of 1099 employees that were let go by defunct mortgage companies).

Unemployment stayed "steady" at 6.1%, but that's still 1.4 percentage points higher than in September 2007. So far, the economy has lost 760,000 jobs in 2008.

This isn't good news for those of us who have to live in the real economy. Investors will be OK, but the average American is plunging into a recession where jobs and credit may be very hard to come by. (What will it be like to try to purchase gas without a credit card)?

Sales for for homes in August of 2008 were down 34.5% from sales in August 2007. This figure tells us that home sales have reached their lowest monthly total since 1991. The inventory of unsold new homes fell for a 16th straight month but still amounted to a 10.9 month supply at recent rates of sale.

When all is said and done, a handful of greedy CEOs left the American taxpayers to clean up their mess while they ran off to the SPA for a massage.

I sincerely hope that stockholders in banking and brokerage firms re-think cushy golden parachutes for CEOs who left them on the brink of bankruptcy. No one should be rewarded for destroying the American economy.

Money Central has posted a slide show that reveals the salient details regarding each CEO's parachute and income.

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