David Gewirtz | BIO
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing
I miss hanging. Beheading is nice, too, but it's more messy. Besides, with a good hanging, you get to watch legs flail. And nothing beats legs a-flailin'.
Why, besides simply an appreciation of the art, do I miss hanging? One word: bankers. You see, we recently gave some bankers at Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney, and the like a whole lot of money. Money measured in the billions. In fact, money measured something on the order of $60 billion for those two companies alone.
Why did we give them our hard-earned taxpayer money? Simple. They screwed up. They screwed up so royally that to let them fail might take the country down with them. Now, I've screwed up royally once or twice myself, but you don't see the government rushing to hand me $60 billion.
So, anyway, you'd think the world-class screw-ups that work for these banks would be thrilled they still have a job. After all, there are a whole lot of people who don't have jobs right now - and in many cases, it's the fault of the turkeys at the banks.
Apparently, these days, the folks at Morgan Stanley and such are even more thrilled to have a job, because they're about to get $2-3 billion dollars in not-bonuses. Yep, they're at it again.
These are now called "retention awards" and, according to co-president of Morgan Stanley James Gorman, they're being given to top employees at the bank so they don't leave to go somewhere else, possibly to destroy another entire industry.
Now, let me be clear. I have nothing against people making money. I like money. I don't even begrudge corporate executives making incomprehensibly obscene amounts of money. As far as I'm concerned, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet earned every penny they've got.
But I do begrudge giving companies huge amounts of taxpayer money as a result of poor management. I marginally accept the necessity, but I don't have to like it. But what infuriates me (and most of America, frankly) is watching that taxpayer money (or one sleight-of-hand bookkeeping trick away from being that taxpayer money) being given away as "awards" to the very same managers that caused the problem.
What's worse, the "retention awards" are calculated on 2008 numbers, which apparently gives these executives even higher amounts of cash. Once again, they're playing the greed card.
This time, though, they're playing with America's money. It really is time these people wised up and stopped trying to suck the system dry for their own personal enrichment. After all, they need to live within the system and gated community or not, if the economy implodes far enough, nothing's going to protect them from the people they've wronged.
I do so miss hanging.
Editor’s note: David Gewirtz is Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Magazines, including OutlookPower Magazine. He is a leading Presidential scholar specializing in White House email. He is a member of FBI InfraGard, the Cyberterrorism Advisor for the International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals, a columnist for The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, and has been a guest commentator for the Nieman Watchdog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley extension, a recipient of the Sigma Xi Research Award in Engineering and was a candidate for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Letters.
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