Well, not really.
Guardian article, Saturday October 18 2008, by Simon Bowers:
Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year - despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.
And there you have it. $70 billion out of the $700 billion will not be used to "liquidity" nor even placed in a bank vault - it will go directly to the (very) deep pockets of the bankers and investment bankers... err, sorry, "investment bankers" (remember - investment bankers are NOT actual, real bankers - totally different animal).
Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are in line to pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted criticism. The government's cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay would be curbed.
And this is where the Guardian article is wrong.
You see, there were no conditions attached to these... loans? Gifts? Suitcases full of cash?
Let me repeat that.
While in Europe governments attached certain common sense provisions - like, for example, "lets cut the outlandish bonuses guys, or the plebes may come at night and lynch us". It's been known to happen in Europe, and when pissed off the Europeans DO take to the streets and start a few bonfires, while enjoying the spectacle of watching cops running away in fear.
But this is the USofA - sorry, the imperial Yoo Ess of Ey now.
There are no provisions nor laws attached to the gift, from us, Americans, from our kids, from our kids' kids, to you, the elite, the bankers, the investment bankers, the insurers, who manufactured this financial crisis in the first place.
There will be no marches, not even a peep, while the docile, fat and stupid population watches reruns of American Idol (Sanjaya!).
The sums that continue to be spent by Wall Street firms on payroll, payoffs and, most controversially, bonuses appear to bear no relation to the losses incurred by investors in the banks. Shares in Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have declined by more than 45% since the start of the year. Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have fallen by more than 60%. JP MorganChase fell 6.4% and Lehman Brothers has collapsed.
At one point last week the Morgan Stanley $10.7bn pay pot for the year to date was greater than the entire stock market value of the business. In effect, staff, on receiving their remuneration, could club together and buy the bank.
This needs to be repeated.
It has that certain oopmh in it, has a certain effect that makes you stop for a little bit, get up, walk around the room all the while muttering 'fuck fuck fuck' to yourself.
"At one point last week the Morgan Stanley $10.7bn pay pot for the year to date was greater than the entire stock market value of the business. In effect, staff, on receiving their remuneration, could club together and buy the bank."
Days before it collapsed into bankruptcy protection a month ago Lehman Brothers revealed $6.12bn of staff pay plans in its corporate filings. These payouts, the bank insisted, were justified despite net revenue collapsing from $14.9bn to a net outgoing of $64m.
I do not know what kind of a system we have going in America these days.
This is not communism, obviously - no relation to the Soviet Union nor Mao's China with its numerous gulags, secret police and dictatorial powers (....... yet).
It is obviously not socialism, on the European model, a la Sweden or Denmark, because taxes under that model of socialism (yes, there are many kinds of socialism, Americans, just like there are many kinds of capitalism) benefit (or are thought to) benefit the vast majority of a nation's population, and not the 1% ruling elite.
So, thinking on this further, I think we are now in the system of kleptocracy capitalism.
Lets go to dictionary.com and see what we can see:
a government or state in which those in power exploit national resources and steal; rule by a thief or thieves.
Yes, that definition fits the situation very well indeed.