March 20, 2009
Bonfire of the Trivialities
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 20, 2009; Page A19
A $14 trillion economy hangs by a thread composed of (a) a comically cynical, pitchfork-wielding Congress, (b) a hopelessly understaffed, stumbling Obama administration, and (c) $165 million. That's $165 million in bonus money handed out to AIG debt manipulators who may be the only ones who know how to defuse the bomb they themselves built.
For this we are going to poison the well for any further financial rescues, face the prospect of letting AIG go under (which would make the Lehman Brothers collapse look trivial) and risk a run on the entire world financial system?
And there is such a thing as law. The way to break a contract legally is Chapter 11. Short of that, a contract is a contract. The AIG bonuses were agreed to before the government takeover and are perfectly legal. Is the rule now that when public anger is kindled, Congress will summarily cancel contracts?
Posted by Muggins