Sunday, March 15, 2009

What is a Master of Disaster Worth?/

This is a link to a better video of Andy Hall playing with the actor Jack Black at the Opry last month. YouTube - Jack Black with Charlie Haden, Old Joe ClarkFor those who do not know our family, he is the dobro player in this video and recently won the IBMA award for best instrumental album of the year for Sound of the Slide Guitar.  He also plays in a group called the Infamous Stringdusters.  In the Stringduster's last album, he wrote and sings Well, Well and The Way I See You Now, and he is also the composer for the instrumental Blackrock on that album.  A picture taken of Andy singing with Dolly Parton is at the top of this post.

I  am going to go with the lot of hair look as my profile picture from around 1971 or so.   

I am sure that there will be many who will complain about the 450 million dollars in bonuses paid to the masters of disaster at AIG's Financial Products unit. AIG to pay $450 mln bonuses to financial-products staff - MarketWatch  AIG to Pay $450 Million in Bonuses -
Mr. Liddy, a former executive from Allstate who now heads AIG, argues that AIG has to dole out another 619 million in "retention" bonuses to keep its important employees from jumping ship.  Some may say please, go ahead and jump but not me.  I am also not going to say that Mr. Liddy is way over his head in dealing with the Masters of Disaster and the problems at AIG.  I am not even going to harp on the fact that AIG just reported the largest quarterly losses ever, with a good chunk of the 61.7 billion dollar loss in just one quarter coming from the Financial Products unit. AIG POSTS LARGEST EVER QUARTERLY LOSS AT $61.7B - New York Post  After all, the Master of Disaster believe that are the cream of what civilization has been striving for since Adam and Eve walked with the dinosaursMuseum Review - Creation Museum - Creation Museum - Religion -  and deserve even more to hear their new boss, Garry Pasciucco, talk about their sacrifices and patriotic zeal. A Meek Ending For Mighty Unit That Gutted AIG -  Those that are still working in this unit for mere millions feel really bad that their unit destroyed AIG (others not them)  and help to cause a worldwide financial meltdown.   No all I am going to say is just pull the plug on AIG and let them all find other work, possibly a few years of construction work at minimum wage in the south during the long hot summer would be good for their souls.  

There certainly needs to be a thorough investigation about who ended up with the taxpayer's money that has been given to the bankrupt AIG for an 80% ownership interest in a company whose shares now trade at 50 cents with a market cap of 1.35 billion.  AIG has received almost 180 billion in bailout money. UPDATE 1-Rep. Frank wants to see if AIG bonuses recoverable | Markets | Markets News | Reuters  We know that the CEO of Goldman Sachs attended one of the original meeting with Paulson, a former CEO of GS, when the bailout of AIG by the federal government was discussed and we know that GS was one of AIG counter-parties that received a few billion of taxpayer money funneled through AIG
According to the NYT, these counterparties have received 30% of the 170 billion allocated by the government to AIG.  I do not know how much GS received from the taxpayers via AIG, but I do know that I want an independent authority to look into it rather than accepting whatever GS says about it. This is just one area in need of thorough public investigation by a commission with subpoena power. 

The NYT contained one of my favorite quotes from J. K. Galbraith that the only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. How Will We Know When the Economy Hits Bottom? - John Kenneth Galbraith Quotes
It is too early to know whether the Bottom has been reached but there are some encouraging signs. 

For those who swallow hook line and sinker Bush's claim that the U.S. did not engage in torture, I would suggest reading this article. Op-Ed Contributor - Tales From Torture’s Dark World -

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