Expense Account, Mint
It is finally done. The US has now moved to the next stage of the financial crisis—this is where the brooms, antiseptic and hot water come out to clean out the goop left behind by the unadulterated greed of a handful of suits on Wall Street. Even as the news of the US Senate passing the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 comes in, I am at that part in the two-brick-sized tome, Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin, where the obnoxious Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is screaming about shareholder value, even as he scrabbles to hoodwink other sharp Wall Street types with his good-bank-bad-bank plan. The plan was to take the toxic real estate assets of Lehman and shove them into another company while keeping the “good assets” in one company. Of course, it was totally irrelevant to the bonus-grabbing Lehman top team that there weren’t that many “good assets” left in the firm and that they were not in the money any more.
Expense Account, Mint
So we have the leader of the largest economy in the world, whose currency parallels gold as a store of value and a medium of exchange—the highest mark of respect in the non-real universe of finance—whose bonds fill vaults in China and the Oil bloc, whose people consume so that the world can grow. He. Saying many, many times. I will fight!
Nope, this is not George W. Bush lifting a fist against those with weapons of mass destruction. This is US President Barack Obama, publicly livid at those who turned money into a weapon of global destruction. As he tries to push Bills (the opinion of whether these Bills go far enough is still totally split between those who say no and those who moan about curbing the natural instincts of entrepreneurship and getting over-regulated) through the Senate seeking to fix the structural problems on Wall Street that have caused such deep Main Street anguish, he finds the push-back from incumbents quick and strong. In a statement a fortnight back, he talked of an army of industry lobbyists from Wall Street descending on Capitol Hill and that “if these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have”.