Thursday, June 11, 2009

Margaret Thatcher

- Former prime minister of the United Kingdom!

- Daughter of a grocer!

- Closely allied with fellow idiot Ronald Reagan!

- Known for her arrogant dismissal of opinions contrary to her own!

- Bemoaned the changing racial composition of her country!

- Called anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela a terrorist!

- Abhorred government efforts to directly aid the poor and disadvantaged -- believing that self-interest and unfettered free markets are the answer to all of society's problems!

- Cut taxes, fought labor unions, and cut funding for education and housing!

- Actually said, "There no such thing as society" -- aloud!

- Privatized providers of public services -- giving the investor class a sweetheart deal on stock in the privatized enterprises!

- Deregulated British financial markets!

- Considered a hero by free marketeers the world over!

- Deeply disliked by less fortunate subjects of the British Crown!

- During her time in office, the gap between rich and poor Brits grew like never before!

- Thanks to the global economic crash, her economic philosophy has been revealed to be as sound as a subprime mortgage loan!

- Today suffers from dementia -- and so remains blissfully unaware of the carnage wrought by those inspired by her economic philosophy!

- Idiot!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ayn Rand

- Russian-born writer -- and inventor of Objectivism, a simplistic philosophy beloved by 15-year-old social outcasts everywhere!

- Believed self-interest to be all good -- and altruism to be evil!

- Found the idea of volunteering to help the less fortunate to be offensive!

- Elevated a rapist to hero status in her novel The Fountainhead!

- Provided a pseudo-intellectual justification for narcissism and selfishness!

- Never really addressed what would happen to those who don't "make it" in her ideal, selfish society; presumably, they would be sent somewhere where they could starve in private!

- Favorite of CEOs, bankers, and others with excessively favorable opinions of themselves!

- Current acolytes include deep thinkers like TV "journalist" John Stossel -- and Rush drummer Neil Peart!

- Mentor to former Federal Reserve chairman (and fellow idiot) Alan Greenspan!

- Admired by anti-tax, anti-regulation free marketeers like Newt Gingrich, Ronald Reagan, Tom DeLay, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh!

- Rather than "going Galt" and refusing to participate in society, her followers tend to whine about government -- while continuing to drive on government-built and -maintained highways, use government-run postal services, and enjoy government-run police and fire protection!

- Some Randians even consider Somalia to be an ideal small-government nation!

- Idiot!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stan O'Neal

- Former CEO of Merrill Lynch!

- Graduate of (wait for it...) Harvard Business School!

- Known for firing people who disagreed with him!

- Despised by Merrill's rank and file!

- Called "a mean person, a disrespectful person" who "drove out thousands of years of experience" by a former Merrill EVP!

- Bet the farm on subprime mortgage market growth!

- Acquired subprime lending junkie First Financial in 2006 -- the peak of the housing bubble!

- 2006 compensation: $48 million!

- Forecast a subprime-related loss of $3 billion for Q3 2007!

- Two weeks later, Merrill announced an actual writedown of $8 billion!

- While his bank's balance sheet was crumbling, somehow managed to squeeze in more than a few rounds of golf!

- 2007 compensation: $46 million!

- Relieved of his position after trying to sell Merrill to Wachovia -- without the approval of the Merrill board!

- Left with a $160 million golden parachute -- the biggest ever!

- In late 2008, a deeply distressed Merrill was acquired by Bank of America!

- Idiot!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Charles Prince

- Former Citigroup CEO!

- Goes by "Chuck" -- surely proof that he's just a regular guy!

- A lawyer by training, and an administrator by nature!

- Originally ran the bank in tandem with the COO, Robert Willumstad!

- When Willumstad left Citi, Prince somehow believed he could run the bank himself -- despite his lack of banking experience!

- Under Prince, Citi bet its future on rapid and ongoing growth in subprime mortgage markets -- amassing more than $40 billion in subprime investments in addition to making a mountain of residential mortgage loans of its own!

- Conducted little to no oversight or risk management of the bank's subprime investment portfolio!

- Forced to resign in November 2007 -- after Citi suffered losses and write-downs totalling more than $65 billion!

- Walked away from the mess he'd caused with a golden parachute worth $30 million!

- To date, Citi has been bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of $45 billion!

- Citi's stock price in 2006: in the 50s!

- Citi's stock price today: $3.42!

- Idiot!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Christopher Dodd

- United States Senator (D-CT)!

- Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs -- ground zero for Senate banking-oversight efforts!

- Regular recipient of massive campaign donations from the very financial institutions he's charged with regulating!

- In sum, has received $13.2 in contributions from Wall Street since 1989!

- Received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other legislator!

- Ignored warnings about dangers to Fannie and Freddie resulting from their aggressive subprime lending -- and fought efforts to regulate them more closely!

- In July 2008, said of Fannie and Freddie, "These are viable, strong institutions"!

- In September 2008, Fannie and Freddie collapsed and were taken over by the government -- at a cost to taxpayers of $200 billion!

- As a "Friend of Angelo", received sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide Financial!

- Pushed housing bailout bill that would have benefited Countrywide to the tune of $25 billion!

- Has received nearly $300,000 in contributions from AIG since 1998!

- Premier idiot Joe Cassano personally solicited contributions to Dodd from his employees!

- To date, the AIG bailout has cost taxpayers $170 billion!

- Amended the original bailout bill to allow the payment of AIG bonuses totaling $165 million -- but claimed to have no idea how the amendment got into the bill when public outcry ensued!

- Current approval rating among his constituents? A whopping 33 percent!

- Idiot!