C'mon really - raise your hands if you were truly surprised by the massive Wall St failure. Ok, ok, for the idiots in the back with your hands up, I have a bridge for sale down in New York for a buck. I accept cash and Paypal. Thanks.
But for serious, people can't be all that surprised. It's a fundamental law of physics that whatever goes up must, eventually, come down.
And also, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Which means that if you are going to make huge risks to make huge piles of money that is great, because frankly yay capitalism. However at some point you stand to lose those piles of money. You might not, but the risk is that you might.
And when you lose it, that should be tough titties for you. Not a $700 billion dollar bailout, with CEO's walking away with millions in their pockets.
Some of those same CEO's appearing in front of the House hearing on this major economic clusterf*ck looked like they were trying to cover up the fact that they got caught jerking off in the executive washroom by the cleaning lady. Embarrassed to have been caught by the "little" person, somewhat arrogant because after all everyone else was doing it, and somewhat petulant at having to explain themselves to anyone except to other CEO's.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you the hardest working wankers on Wall Street! Now, or soon to be, appearing either before the House or in a Frontline special!
(For detailed compensation information, check out this great NYT interactive. Very interesting. Especially if you are wondering why Mr. Pandit is included on the list for only $250K.)
But you know what, this isn't anything we haven't seen before. The history of Wall Street, of most financial streets, is pocked with craters of busts previous. Wherever and whenever the chance to make money presents itself, there is going to be those who push and pull and scheme and wheedle and connive and grab until the money is more than gone.
Yep there goes history, repeating itself. The years might be different, the climate different, people different. But the plot and the characters are the same. LBO's, Enron, dot com, debt investments, it's all the same thing at the end of the day. A bunch of wildly overcompensated guys grabbed the money and ran, however this time there were also lots more ordinary people trying to get their grab at the stash, who instead wound up with Monopoly money.
If I had any money to bet, I'd bet that not one of those CEO's gets up and says "yeah, I hosed y'all. Thanks for the cash. C ya!". Nope. They will all think that they worked really hard to earn that money, and that they deserve to keep it. Personally I think that they all deserve a kick in the butt. But that's just me.
Oh and also, did you happen to hear that Iceland is trying to stave off bankruptcy? Yep. The Prime Minister Geir Haarde was on television today explaining how he had tried to reach out to friends of Iceland (namely Russia) for financial help, however having been turned down, he was now looking for new "friends" of Iceland. Yipes.
That sure can't be good.
But then again, really what I am worried about. I live within my means for the most part. I mean I am ALWAYS skint, so I can't imagine being more skint. And I am having a hard time thinking of something I have now that I would really miss if I didn't have it. Perhaps the Champagne Supernova. She might be a sh*tbox, but I love her. Still, if I had to go without a car I would survive. Well food too, but I could probably live on Ramen, after all these years and millions of packets of the stuff, I am STILL not sick of it. Um, what else... I don't want to lose my job, that is for sure. I guess if I lost my job that would worry me.
But eh, I'll cross that bridge if and when I get to it.
Until then GO SOX.