Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html en-gb 30 Fri 22 Aug 2014 00:07:25 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html Worldcitizen1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=99#comment206 It has already been said that the bonuses were known when the money to bail the companies out was considered. From a legal standpoint, I understand that not much can be done now. I have read almost all, if not all of the posts in here, but have yet to read any comments on the fact that most of the companies that were bailed out owed back-taxes that we, the tax payers, just paid for them.We, the tax payers, paid the back taxes of the giant corporations! Never mind the bonuses, for now. We should be enraged that we don't have a program to help with our taxes, yet the corporations just had theirs paid by us! This whole mess is an outrage to all of us in so many ways. Sun 29 Mar 2009 20:19:16 GMT+1 U13889349 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=99#comment205 What we need is intuitive law with no lawyers.and justice Sun 29 Mar 2009 16:17:53 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=98#comment204 Obama to Bankers, "Excess is out of fashion"" The president told the bankers he understood their critical role in renewed economic growth, and was committed to returning the industry to long-term health.At the same time, Obama said the executives needed to understand and acknowledge the public's anger over the financial crisis and the massive paydays that have continued long after the industry went on the public dole."Excess is out of fashion," Obama said, according to participants in the gathering."Damn right! Sat 28 Mar 2009 16:37:40 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=98#comment203 I have no doubt that the Earth ultimately will take care of itself, by its own inexorable methods. But that's the pessimistic outlook from the point of view of humankind. I'm wondering if there is any alternative.I'd say ignoring the alternatives for 30 years because it will only screw up in someone elses life time is a pretty cynical approach. And that is what all those who have waited until they see the obvious damage being done in their life times have done.I do find you who has po-poed every alternative to the "modern techno way" as luddite ,over cynical .There are other words but that will do. Sat 28 Mar 2009 15:31:08 GMT+1 Jeebers76 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=97#comment202 184 peterbo,Tell you what, hombre. Why don't we wait and see, eh? That's what the entire American population is doing, aside from the cable news networks and far right Republicans ranting as usual. My countrymen have engaged upon an experiment, one that has never been tried before. We elected a centrist half black man President, and a roughly centrist (as opposed to right) Congress and House. I have a little prediction for all of you. Do bear in mind that the last few times I made one, events proved I was right. I predicted Obama and the Democrats would overwhelmingly win, I predicted that Bush would pull as many shady stunts as possible before he left but would shun the press (accurate until recently), and I predicted that both worldwide piracy and international belligerence would increase, along with Europe eventually begging the USA to return their ships to watching the seas, as Obama begins withdrawing US presence globally. Only the final prediction hasn't yet occurred.Here's another one: In the November 2009, look for even more Democrats to take office, increasing their majority over American national government. Look for Republican leadership to disintegrate intellectually even further, and few if any original ideas to come from the GOP for the next several years. They will become ever more "the party of No".(grimly) None of these predictions please me, and I voted Democrat. I just know my fellow Americans far too well. Sat 28 Mar 2009 03:18:56 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=97#comment201 Hesiodos (#201), I have no doubt that the Earth ultimately will take care of itself, by its own inexorable methods. But that's the pessimistic outlook from the point of view of humankind. I'm wondering if there is any alternative. Fri 27 Mar 2009 21:59:32 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=96#comment200 Gary,Gaia will take care of it - No Worries.Vaya con GaiaHesiodosIn truth at first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundation of all4 the deathless ones who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus, and dim Tartarus in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth, [120] and Eros (Love), fairest among the deathless gods, who unnerves the limbs and overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all gods and all men within them. From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night; but of Night were born Aether5 and Day, [125] whom she conceived and bore from union in love with Erebus. And Earth first bore starry Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods....After them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire. ...For of all the children that were born of Earth and Heaven, [155] these were the most terrible, and they were hated by their own father from the first. And he used to hide them all away in a secret place of Earth so soon as each was born, and would not suffer them to come up into the light: and Heaven rejoiced in his evil doing. But vast Earth [160] groaned within, being straitened, and she thought a crafty and an evil wile. Forthwith she made the element of grey flint and shaped a great sickle, and told her plan to her dear sons. And she spoke, cheering them, while she was vexed in her dear heart: [165] “My children, gotten of a sinful father, if you will obey me, we should punish the vile outrage of your father; for he first thought of doing shameful things.” So she said; but fear seized them all, and none of them uttered a word. But great Cronos the wily took courage and answered his dear mother: [170] “Mother, I will undertake to do this deed, for I reverence not our father of evil name, for he first thought of doing shameful things.” So he said: and vast Earth rejoiced greatly in spirit, and set and hid him in an ambush, and put in his hands [175] a jagged sickle, and revealed to him the whole plot. And Heaven came, bringing on night and longing for love, and he lay about Earth spreading himself full upon her.7 Then the son from his ambush stretched forth his left hand and in his right took the great long sickle [180] with jagged teeth, and swiftly lopped off his own father's members and cast them away to fall behind him. And not vainly did they fall from his hand; for all the bloody drops that gushed forth Earth received,...Hesiod, "Theogony" Fri 27 Mar 2009 20:11:48 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=96#comment199 Hesiodos (#198), the document to which you linked gets to the crux of the problem right up front:"CIRCUMSTANCE: The Age of Exuberance is over, population has already overshot carrying capacity, and prodigal Homo sapiens has drawn down the world's savings deposits."We would no doubt be in better shape in many respects if the world population were, say, 10% of its current value. The problem is, what acceptable means are there to reduce the population to within the carrying capacity of the earth? Fri 27 Mar 2009 19:26:43 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=95#comment198 Hesiodos (#198), that's a good summary. Here's a short discussion of the Neolithic era in Britain:http://www.britainexpress.com/History/The_Neolithic_Era.htmI'll take civilization, myself. If the Brits hadn't learned to cultivate grain, would we have what Alistair Cooke called "the wines of Scotland" today? Fri 27 Mar 2009 18:11:10 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=95#comment197 Gary, et. al.,The gifts of the Neolithic Revolution:1. Communicable diseases (from living too long indoors)2. Lower quality diet (less variety - deficiency diseases, obesity)3. Overpopulation (a response to food "surplus")4. Stratified culture. Lords and masters, priests, warriors, leading to,5. Reduced proportion of food producers and other productive folk.6. Salinization and exhaustion of soils (overpopulation)7. Collapse and begin again somewhere else.8. Except, in a Global Economy, there's nowhere left to make a new start....Interesting TimesHesiodos Fri 27 Mar 2009 17:22:39 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=94#comment196 193 Gary Tell me if Bill Gates walked into the bar are you suggesting that the median income would not LEAP. How many people are in this bar ? I suspect it could contain several hundred and still be noticed.. or is bill Gates not one of the richest people in the world.I'm with Bere in not being a math wizz so could you explain this further. Fri 27 Mar 2009 17:15:04 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=94#comment195 bere54 (#194), no offense was intended. I'm just a stickler for accuracy in the details, I suppose. Fri 27 Mar 2009 17:13:42 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=93#comment194 Ed talking of the Monsanto madness bill . I heard a couple of true blue patriots getting a little feisty last night at the thought of being told to not grow organic crops. Now one was showing off his new weapon with telescopic and folding butt.If this bill goes through that revolution will arrive quicker than if it did not. Fri 27 Mar 2009 17:00:55 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=93#comment193 193, Gary -I get my means and medians confused, but at least I knew it wasn't the average!Numeracy is obviously not my strong point, but since I just complimented your word usage on another thread, it might be considered mean of you to nitpick at me! Fri 27 Mar 2009 16:13:51 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=92#comment192 bere54 (#192), the median of a large population can't be changed much by the introduction of one anomalous sample. That's why in many situations it is more useful than the mean. Fri 27 Mar 2009 15:15:50 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=92#comment191 189, chrono -Farming income up by 42%? I think the farmers here in VT got left behind. But if that includes corporate farms, isn't that a bit like the Bill Gates walking into a bar and immediately raising the median income of all the bar inhabitants example?Oh, now I see that Ed makes that point, though without resorting to Bill Gates. Fri 27 Mar 2009 14:44:06 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=91#comment190 George Soros is having a good crisis"A hedge fund manager who predicted the global credit crunch has said the financial crisis has been 'stimulating' and the culmination of his life's work."'I'm having a very good crisis,' says Soros as hedge fund managers make billions off recession....;-) Fri 27 Mar 2009 12:41:25 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=91#comment189 Pinko,"At the bottom? Forestry, fishing, and related, down 10%. Farming (this is for Ed, especially), up 42%."I suspect that Cargill & Co Monsanto (under whatever alias), and the "farmers" of tens of thousands of acres are included in that calculation, not to mention the subsidies and growing fuel....;-("To put the bounty and the health of our land, our only commonwealth, into the hands of people who do not live on it and share its fate will always be an error. For whatever determines the fortune of the land determines also the fortune of the people. If history teaches anything, it teaches that." --Wendell Berry /berryfc.html Fri 27 Mar 2009 11:54:29 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=90#comment188 Hello all,Puffing on the fag end, again. Oh well, never mind, boldly forward into the vacuum.More good stuff here from Nate Silver re: the financial services mess and executive remuneration: "if the Obama administration is serious about regulating the banks, they might also find that this places downward pressure on pay within the industry. What seems like two fights -- on executive pay and regulation -- may really be just one." An interesting argument backed up with stats correlating gov't regulation of and pay in the financial services biz. Interesting to note that between 1997 and 2007, income in the financial sector has increased by 97% (the highest increase for all categories tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). At the bottom? Forestry, fishing, and related, down 10%. Farming (this is for Ed, especially), up 42%.Yours,Pinko Fri 27 Mar 2009 00:23:31 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=90#comment187 "The only thing on pedestal around is the one called AMERICA. and boy will it make a mess when it falls over."Obviously I made an error here. rereading it I notice that the correct spelling should have been AMERIKA.because it is those AmeriKans that seemed to raise pedestals.Except they seem to think one must hang from a pedestal, showing their basic grasp of the English language is maybe less than basic. Thu 26 Mar 2009 16:48:06 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=89#comment186 "You Americans erected that pedestal for Him"NO freaks like you did that. freaks on the right.They are the ones obsessed by God. not me and my fellow agnostic or atheist lefties.The only thing on pedestal around is the one called AMERICA. and boy will it make a mess when it falls over.And even there it is only the same people that hold that pedestal up. the rest of us are what is called realistic, but not evil. and we see that change can happen. Thu 26 Mar 2009 13:55:09 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=89#comment185 This post has been Removed Wed 25 Mar 2009 19:44:42 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=88#comment184 182. At 09:56am on 24 Mar 2009, Jeebers76 wrote: Peterbo,Your prolific and wildly paranoid posts' nature is getting difficult to tolerate. Please, stop hammering the same "the one" comments, as it never made sense to begin with. Worship is antithetical to the one thing the USA holds sacred, and that's practicality. These comments of yours have recently sounded very un-American. The country seems to have faith even now in Geithner and Obama, as they are willing to wait it out and see what the overall effect is. It's not been much more than 100 days, have you noticed? We will probably give him a year, year and a half to see what everything pans out, at most 3. If Obama fails, he won't be reelected."Good lucjh with this but this guy has discovered wikipedia and thinks he knows something.In fact he simply makes a fool of himself.his main point is that Obama is popular and as a black man and non-republican he shouldn't be.This is about as far as his political insight goes. Wed 25 Mar 2009 09:36:53 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=88#comment183 #182 Being non-American obviously precludes me from being "un-American". While I respect your nation's choice, it's somewhat difficult to connect (American) practicality with electing a president with no exec/admin/business/legislative (in terms of major legislation projects) experience, campaigning of a mere cult of personality. It's even more difficult to conncet (American) practicality with $11 trillion projected budget deficit resulting from unsustainable welfare programmes.Oh, you are irritated by "The One"? Remember "We are the ones we've been waiting for", and the sycophantic press and crowds? You Americans erected that pedestal for Him, on which NOW your gullibility is perched: a truly irritating sight for some of you, I believe. Tue 24 Mar 2009 16:56:05 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=87#comment182 182 well said176 Oh Gary why don't you get it? Tue 24 Mar 2009 14:55:08 GMT+1 Jeebers76 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=87#comment181 Peterbo,Your prolific and wildly paranoid posts' nature is getting difficult to tolerate. Please, stop hammering the same "the one" comments, as it never made sense to begin with. Worship is antithetical to the one thing the USA holds sacred, and that's practicality. These comments of yours have recently sounded very un-American. The country seems to have faith even now in Geithner and Obama, as they are willing to wait it out and see what the overall effect is. It's not been much more than 100 days, have you noticed? We will probably give him a year, year and a half to see what everything pans out, at most 3. If Obama fails, he won't be reelected.180, that's the first bit of news that gave me a smile! Let's hope more of them wise up before the USA begins thinking about repossession, eh? Cuomo is suggesting only the beginning if this sort of greed keeps up. We have much more unpleasantness in store for Wall Street; we are on a roll from booting the Republicans out of power. What makes these con artists think we won't nail them too? Think about it. As a mighty sailor once said, "I've had all I can stanz, and I can't stanz no more!" He then proceeded to eat his spinach. Tue 24 Mar 2009 09:56:17 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=86#comment180 #166Peter,Dude. The capitalized 'HIM' looks a little paranoid. Here's another tip - try to make sense. Keep your posts short. Connect thoughts. It makes it so much more enjoyable for the reader.Critic Sam Tue 24 Mar 2009 01:19:13 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=86#comment179 And is there yet balm in Gilead? Shamed: 15 Of 20 Top AIG Bonus Recipients Returned The Money"Fifteen of the largest 20 bonuses distributed by AIG, totaling about $30 million of their payments, have been returned, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.Some of the bonus recipients have refused to give back the payments, others have been unable to be contacted, and other holdouts are still deliberating while they consider the tax ramifications, Cuomo told reporters during a conference call.He added that 9 of the top 10 recipients had given back the bonuses.....only 47% of the payouts went to American employees of the embattled firm.Cuomo praised those who returned the money...Addressing those employees, Cuomo said, "You have done the right thing...what this country needs and demand. ... We're living in a new era of corporate and individual responsibility."Though he denied any implicit threat, Cuomo seemed to reveal his negotiation tactics by emphasizing that those who return the money "will no longer be on a list that would ever be revealed....""Honour among thieves?;-)Now I'm speaking sense to you, Perses you fool.It's easy to get all of Wickedness you want.She lives just down the road a piece, and it's a smooth road too.But the gods put Goodness where we have to sweatTo get at her. It's a long, uphill pullAnd rough going at first. But once you reach the topShe's as easy to have as she was hard at firstHesiod ~700 BCE Tue 24 Mar 2009 00:49:46 GMT+1 jhandtee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=85#comment178 AIG, Northern Rock,Freddie mac or any other financial institution is an aside from the central point of the current 'crisis'. All of this slight of hand, this white noise of financial nonsense helps to hide the central question that the media and the journalists (perhaps because of their usual tacit comlicity with the establishment) seem frightened to ask. No matter how many trillion dollars are owed, WHO are they owed to. We have a right to see the faceless owners of this debt and we have a right to know if these are the same people that created the rules for packaging sub prime toxic debt. Mon 23 Mar 2009 23:34:33 GMT+1 Joan Olivares http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=85#comment177 To Bere 54,The money apparently ended up in two bank accounts, one in France, the other in Germany. Are the accounts owned by the same powerful person from that cold country in the East? Mon 23 Mar 2009 20:49:09 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=85#comment176 170, Iapetus -Class action suit by millions all over the world? I like it. I was once an unwilling participant in a suit against a mutual fund because the dividends weren't all that was promised (I was perfectly happy with mine) so I know this can be done. Go for it. Mon 23 Mar 2009 17:48:03 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=84#comment175 canukqc (#157), why would anyone "suppose" that Mr. Webb is "unbiased"? He is entitled to opinions like anyone else, and this is an opinion section of the web site. It's a blog, not a news report. Figure it out. Mon 23 Mar 2009 17:47:21 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=84#comment174 JPMorgan Chase To Spend Millions on New Jets and Luxury Airport Hangar"Embattled bank JPMorgan Chase, the recipient of $25 billion in TARP funds, is going ahead with a $138 million plan to buy two new luxury corporate jets and build "the premiere corporate aircraft hangar on the eastern seaboard" to house them, ABC News has learned. The financial giant's upgrade includes nearly $120 million for two Gulfstream 650 planes and $18 million for a lavish renovation of a hangar at the Westchester Airport outside New York City."You couldn't make it up! Mon 23 Mar 2009 17:44:38 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=83#comment173 Capitalism – From the Standpoint of Its Victims"In his classic study of propaganda, the late Australian scholar Alex Carey writes that the 20th century was marked by three major developments: the rise of democracy, the rise of corporations, and the rise of propaganda to protect corporations from democracy. One of the aims of early 20th century propaganda was to exploit significant symbols: to associate capitalism and big business with liberty and freedom, and unions, state ownership with totalitarian collectivism. In his latest piece M. Shahid Alam’s looks at the final collapse of these connotations along with the general crisis of capitalism."Hesiodos Mon 23 Mar 2009 16:38:53 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=83#comment172 Stand up for your capitalism and freedoms, serfs!LOL what a contradiction.what a confused person. Mon 23 Mar 2009 16:27:56 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=82#comment171 lol ED remember back when before the collapse became so apparent. back when MA was spouting about the infallibility of the states( which they admittedly could still make happen ,if they followed the cake and drop blade solution;) and it's dominance over the equally crumbling Europe. BAck when it was only cynics and hippies that seemed to think that america could end it's march so easily.That the american car industry was indestructible because it was american. back when you had to remind people that wall street existed , because the focus was being throw onto the debate about who could be the next president. and everything was fundamentally sound, that american business was the "most honest" . How regulation of any sort was to be ridiculed.Those that caught up and are still trying to figure out that the "economic crisis " is a BIG PILE OF CRUD.Just as the war distracted from the real problems at Keyoto. we talked and waged war for 8 years as things got worse. GOOD DIVERSION INDUSTRY AND LEMMINGS Now we will do the same. ECONOMY ECONOMY TERRORIST TERRORIST ECONOMY TERRORIST ECONOMY ECONMOY ECONOMY ECONOME ECONOMY ECONOMEWell there it goes another diversion from the ECOLOGY.So as Ed says all throw out the money lenders. make them work for a living.So Ed keep up the wendling and Namaste War on all things in the states but those we need to fight. Same with the world. those same "rich" are there because in the great part they were the ones that pushed it.(just to get on topic). they pushed it for us! ha!In general that is.----------------------------------I'll put another one out thereWars are started it seems that cannot be ended. this is the ultimate (censored) action. Not for moral reasons ( that is too obvious to mention) but because these wars, if not won immediately they fester. they get bigger. the agents get more destructive and established.The war on drugs started. small time small groups of smugglers. small so now after 40 years on breeding the conditions for more war we have armed chaos in the north of mexico and well established "terrorist" groups on every continent. Most terrorist groups are involved with the drug trade. some drug trades with terrorism. but the longer the war runs the better and bigger both sides get. Just like our medical industry or more important in many ways our" house cleansing" industry does with common bugs . Our foreign policies have done to our enemies.WE breed the terrorism we get.Sorry that is an INCONVENIENT TRUTH.And a distraction that hides the big time all encompassing INCONVENIENT TRUTH of our ecology.Never to learn that we are just man. Not Gods(not that I believe etc blag blah)we can't create as easy as we destroy.The economy was destroyed because we concentrated on war not helping.Mods rambling and wavy many are but the reason I mention it here is because those at the top have stolen the world in order to get rich. and the Justin wants to sat Obama stole the money from these crooks.While having ignored the theft of the world around us. Mon 23 Mar 2009 16:23:41 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=82#comment170 Stu I'd give a really sharp two ended double bladed no handled knife. just for the the fun of it.As for those Right wing nut jobs that make STUPID comments about how others are repressing the votes of others or their desire to would put them below the right on moral grounds. Go DEMAND THE RIGHTS FOR PRISONERS TO BE ABLE TO VOTE.Get busted for POT in a national park. loose your right to vote.Be an "eco terrorist" loose your right to vote. the RIGHT has locked up thousands of Black people in disproportionate numbers because they allow racial profiling to carry on and they create laws like the pot laws (origionally the worry was your daughter (white and blond) would get knocked up by a black guy (reefer madness) and other drug laws mainly targeting the enforcement on Black neighbourhoods.That is a HUGE number of people that have been excluded from voing. Mon 23 Mar 2009 15:56:57 GMT+1 Iapetus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=81#comment169 #118. "Since to some libertarians over here all tax is theft, I'm afraid Mr. Webb is either in over his head or deliberately pandering (as all too often) to the fringe right. Many of us actually like tax and many many of us think AIG etc should be treated just like any other government subsidized outfit: demanding of them transparency and accountability. "Of course, if all tax is theft, then the money the government gave the banks/AGI/etc was stolen money in the first place, and not their's to give away.Anyway, there's one solution that I haven't seen anyone suggest:Why not just sue the banks/AGI/etc for the damage they caused the economy/country/world? Mon 23 Mar 2009 15:53:26 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=81#comment168 via media. this dictatorship thing he has is one that is often raised. None of them ever mentioned Ceausescu.Maybe it is too hard to spell. Mon 23 Mar 2009 14:49:20 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=80#comment167 163 164 Economic slavery .But only commies would think it unfair.------------------------------------ "The fundamental underlying problem is the companies that for 30 plus years "hate to tell you Obama has not been in for 30 years but you want to blame him? HMMM bit unfair don't you think?Oh sorry I forgot you don't do that sort of lowly thing. Mon 23 Mar 2009 14:35:56 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=80#comment166 This post has been Removed Mon 23 Mar 2009 13:48:04 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=79#comment165 160. At 04:29am on 23 Mar 2009, allmymarbles wrote: 153, peterbo."You are scared to death.""Scared to death" is not how anyone would describe me. I have been in a major earthquake, a hurricane at sea, a revolution, several coups d'etats, and have had guns pointed at me. I found all of these events interesting, and sometimes fascinating. I also learned a lot about myself. I am sorry I have never seen a volcano erupt. but I guess we can't have everything."All of your prior experiences, as listed, are irrelevant. This will be a slow contriction, and, actually, the majority of the Americans may well enjoy it. The beauty of these statist Ponzi welfare addiction schemes is the promotional "consume "free" govnt services now, pay (you or your kids/grandkids) in 20 years".By 2012, 50 per cent of you will not be paying any income tax (37 per cent currently), but will be receiving welfare cheques (oops, "tax cuts" although no tax rate will be reduced!?). $100 bn of your taxes have been allocated for the purpose. Most of the Porkulus spending will be effected in 2010 and 2012: who cares of the current state of the economy, He/Dems have to be re-elected, with your taxes. The foundations of universal, "free" health care will be laid, the mass unionization will bring in more dues, and more election donations. Then there will be an amnesty for app. 20 m illegals, who will never forget who did them that favour.So, by 2012, the electoral segment that will perpetuate HIM in office should be in place. Whoever faces Him in 2012, will be asked: "Are you goiing to repeal our welfare cheques, "free" universal healthcare, etc.?". Think Chavez. 40-45 per cent of Americans that oppose Him will simply be irrelevant. Mon 23 Mar 2009 13:16:23 GMT+1 redrobb http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=79#comment164 Well thank GOD for the liberal gun laws this wonderful country has, perhaps some of the 73 AIG may very well be buying kevlar vests. I hear there is an glut of these products availability, think they were hoping that Irag aka Iran would increase demand. Mon 23 Mar 2009 12:46:14 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=78#comment163 #163 EdNamasteI've come across articles arguing the same thing - that the downwards pressure on lower income wages has helped fuel the credit boom. In order to get by poorly paid workers have supplemented their income with debt! With the access to credit now being denied to the poorly paid whilst their wages are dwindled further we're on the cusp of an era of global extremist politics IMO. The rich want ever lower wages for the poor whilst still want them to be consumers. Another contradiction? Mon 23 Mar 2009 12:26:02 GMT+1 U13879755 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=78#comment162 Infinite Debt: The Legalised Crime Of Usury"One of the key contributing causes that led to the financial “crisis”, by Thomas Geoghegan’s reckoning, is the legalisation of usury. Related to and coupled with this, anti-labour laws and deregulation in the US resulted in people trading in their “union cards for credit cards.” Geoghegan’s eminently readable anatomy of some aspects of the financial belly-up is US-focused but relevant wider afield."Throw out the money changers!;-)ed Mon 23 Mar 2009 10:52:58 GMT+1 U13879755 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=77#comment161 MOON BUYS SUNWHITE HOUSE TO PLANT VEGETABLE GARDENBush had last one torn up, paved over.WORLD NEWS U.S. OK’s $2.1 Billion Arms Sale to IndiaTo honor Gandhi. In Africa Pope Says Condoms Won’t Solve AIDSRecommends cold showers.;-)ed Mon 23 Mar 2009 10:45:12 GMT+1 amerika_first http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=77#comment160 goes with the " messiah" and the "chosen one" and "antichrist"Not that I said anything like that, but now that was mentioned it would seem only fair game. Maybe it could explain MSNBC obvious lack of any journalistic credentials. It would explain alot, but could it explain that reasonable sane people could be stampeded in making a bad decision at a bad time. Seems to be dejavu of Adolf Hitler ability to mesermize the german peopole. Maybe a group of Jesuits should spray some holy water on that trio and see if there is any smoke?Forget about the bonuses, they are just the tip of the iceberg. The fundamental underlying problem is the companies that for 30 plus years (going back to the Carter years) that have been writing sub-prime loans are still in business and still waiting for the time whne credit starts to flow again to pick up where they left off. The stock market does not like Pelosi, Reid, Obama whether his middle name is HUSSEIN or not and Tim Turbotax, our Treasury Secretary, Third the only wealth that we have left is in paper monies and if you print enough of it will surely help us from avoiding bankrutpcy and avoiding total collapse. But then again the people voted for change, they just didn't realize that it meant that those that work and produce something will only have change left in our pockets. Where is John Galt when he is really needed>>>> Mon 23 Mar 2009 06:25:41 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=76#comment159 153, peterbo."You are scared to death.""Scared to death" is not how anyone would describe me. I have been in a major earthquake, a hurricane at sea, a revolution, several coups d'etats, and have had guns pointed at me. I found all of these events interesting, and sometimes fascinating. I also learned a lot about myself. I am sorry I have never seen a volcano erupt. but I guess we can't have everything. Mon 23 Mar 2009 04:29:15 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=76#comment158 Le Roi S'Amuse 2:Kroft to Obama: Are you punch-drunk?http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20339.htmlBut we all know that TOTUS is a compassionate, wonderful man, with a most remarkable sense of humour. It's just another teaching experience against the background of the $11 TRILLION BUDGET DEFICIT PROJECTION of the Congressional Budget Office:http://cboblog.cbo.gov/?p=216 (Director's Summary)[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator](report)Yep, Simon 21, it's not about His Race, it's about His Deficit. So $11 TRILLION are not an argument?! Indeed, why would I want a Venzuela/banana republic south of the border? Mon 23 Mar 2009 03:34:22 GMT+1 Via-Media http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=75#comment157 Oh, good, now we're serfs. I don't suppose that most Americans would be very good at it- I've images in my mind from the scene in "The Holy Grail" where King Arthur is accosted by a serf wielding 19th Century political philosophy.Serf's up, dudes! Mon 23 Mar 2009 02:19:26 GMT+1 canukqc http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=75#comment156 If this was an op-ed in the gutter press, I could forgive the use of an emotive word like 'stealing'. But in this case, this is a supposedly unbiased BBC Editor. Yet another example of Justin Webb abusing his privileged position as a BBC journalist to spout his own opinions. Mon 23 Mar 2009 02:16:26 GMT+1 Via-Media http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=74#comment155 122/127/138/139/140/153/154/155Is the BBC offering a volume discount? Or does a certain brand of brilliance require frequent repetition to truly illuminate the Truth?Sorry, but stridently repeating the same "arguments" (for lack of a weaker word) over and over again doesn't convince anyone of anything.To seriously posit on a discussion forum such as this one that the President of the United States of America is plotting to undermine the economy, and to create chaos and instability in order to consolidate power into a dictatorship shows absolutely no understanding of politics, society, psychology, or (most importantly) history. Mon 23 Mar 2009 02:01:43 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=74#comment154 152. At 11:17pm on 22 Mar 2009, Simon21 wrote: 139. At 12:45pm on 22 Mar 2009, peterbo wrote: Needless to say, as a Canadian (85 per cent of our GDP is exported to US), I pray that He fails."Are you sure your a objection with Obama isn't about his colour, because none of your other arguements make any sense."Change that broken CD, will you? It's not the colour, it's the socialist policies, stupid. Mon 23 Mar 2009 00:40:27 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=73#comment153 Hordes of useful NYT idiots dare oppose The Annointed By The NYT One:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20325.htmlallmymarbles, hold onto your marbles, you're in an "elite" company. Mon 23 Mar 2009 00:37:03 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=73#comment152 "144. At 5:43pm on 22 Mar 2009, allmymarbles wrote: 139, peterbo."Needless to say, as a Canadian (85 per cent of our GDP is exported to US), I pray that He ( Obama) fails."Your emotion is outrunning your brain. If Obama fails, we fail and you fail. do you have a death wish?"All your marbles? I doubt it. Please go back to your own post, #133. You are scared to death. Then go to my post, # 25: AP (Pbama Associated Press) points the finger to ... Obama. Now make the logical connection: the AIG story is an Obama-Geithner-Dems in Congress fabrication, so you should be scared of ... Obama.I asked this question last year, and will repeat it again: whay should you Americans subscribe to a past-its-due-date, failed socio-econ model that Obama tries to implement just for the sake of CONTROLLING you? Model features: stagnant economy (low GDP rate of growth; high inflation; high unemployment; high personal/corporate taxation; low household/business investemnt; high proportion of unproductive population that lives on welfare; mindless multiculturalism and insane immigration policies that destroy the fabrics of society but ensure a voter segment, etc.Why would I want to have south of the border this economic/social malaise? Stand up for your capitalism and freedoms, serfs! Sun 22 Mar 2009 23:45:27 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=72#comment151 Justin you seem to be dredging up any commentator who doesn't like Obama. We have had the Wall Street Journal, Camille Paglia, who next Rush Limburgh, Gordon Liddy, Sarah Palin?Obama may be accused of a number of things, but claiming he is not an effective communicator is not one of them surely.He is facing difficult times with an electorate which seems close to panic. As far as I can tell he has been remarkably candid about prospects. Not his fault if people don't wnat to hear it, that is one of the duties of leadership.Of course he could like Bush sprout gibberish, go to his ranch and leeave it up to his VP139. At 12:45pm on 22 Mar 2009, peterbo wrote: Needless to say, as a Canadian (85 per cent of our GDP is exported to US), I pray that He fails."Isn't this rather like hoping the captain of the Titanic hits an ice berg because you object to his demeanour at dinner?If he fails then he will not be the only person paying the penalty.Are you sure your a objection with Obama isn't about his colour, because none of your other arguements make any sense. Sun 22 Mar 2009 23:17:56 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=72#comment150 Ed I think a ban on all donations for political lobbying should be a basic fundamental on any relief for the bankers. Sun 22 Mar 2009 23:07:16 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=71#comment149 Bere peterbo.?. Oh you mean MA2 the second,ah he's as canadian as me. Sun 22 Mar 2009 23:04:58 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=71#comment148 148, Joan -Yes, mentioned by me and someone else above. There's a provision in the Patriot Act about economic terrorism and if these recent and current shenanigans don't come under that I don't know what would. Perhaps there's an exception for wealthy bankers and elected officials. I wouldn't know as I, along with most others, including the elected officials who passed that Act, have not read it. Sun 22 Mar 2009 20:06:30 GMT+1 Joan Olivares http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=71#comment147 Aren't their laws against economic terrorism even if its perpetrated by tour own government? Sun 22 Mar 2009 19:20:26 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=70#comment146 144, allmymarbles -I don't read peterbo's comments anymore because they are rather obnoxious and biased and silly (he seems to have a messiah complex), so thanks for quoting that one bit, which astonishes me because every Canadian I've ever met has been mild-mannered, pleasant, and fairly well-informed, so it never occurred to me that peterbo is Canadian. Just goes to show one should never stereotype. Now I know there are Canadians (or at least one) who are just as ignorant and silly as many Americans. Sun 22 Mar 2009 19:10:18 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=70#comment145 143, Ed -Gee whiz, as if things are not depressing and discouraging enough . . . But thanks anyway for that link. Problem is, when we know that there is no end to corruption (legal or otherwise) and back-scratching, is there any reason not to just give up and wallow in apathy? Sun 22 Mar 2009 19:02:04 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=69#comment144 #143 Ed AgainRe: Firms giving Bailout money to politicians as campaign donationsThey are all at it like pigs in a trough. Off with their heads . . . Sun 22 Mar 2009 17:52:40 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=69#comment143 139, peterbo."Needless to say, as a Canadian (85 per cent of our GDP is exported to US), I pray that He ( Obama) fails."Your emotion is outrunning your brain. If Obama fails, we fail and you fail. do you have a death wish? Sun 22 Mar 2009 17:43:06 GMT+1 U13879755 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=68#comment142 And, where's the bailout money going? FIRMS GIVING BAILOUT MONEY TO POLITICIANS AS CAMPAIGN DONATIONS, Reminds me of the idea that some of our foreign aid returns as lobby funding.....Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peaceed Sun 22 Mar 2009 16:42:51 GMT+1 amerika_first http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=68#comment141 The action by the US Government to take back the bonus dollars from AIG should send a chilling warning to every amerikan citizen or foreign business in Amerika. if we can do it to them, we can also do it to you. The Constitution does not allow and actually prohibts the government from taking of personal property without just compensation. can there be anything more of personal property then cash. It is called the Taking Clause, of course they could implore the RICO clause. To say thet the administration knew nothing of this is playing fast and loose with the truth. Approximately 1 week before the bonuses were handed out, the Treasury Department was informed of the fact. The far greater concern is the tax payer monies that were send to foreign banks, especially Bank of England. Our congress should suspend the most favourite trading partner status of those countries, freeze their assets and bar their airlines from landing in the US, until those funds are returned. Sun 22 Mar 2009 15:37:10 GMT+1 north_of_49 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=67#comment140 Mr Webb, you might want to confirm your comment about stopping Dubai International from running US ports, but I believe they did not get the contract. I apologize here and now if I'm wrong. As to the rest of the comments there seems to be great deal of Oboma bashing. If his approach is wrong lets have some good alternatives. There is also a number of people who take exception of the govt running anything for the collective good. On the other hand they have little to say about the military, the post office, The FBI, CIA, or Federal disaster relief?In the Western world the political correct police have deemed only positive descriptions and comments about others it seems to be almost criminal to comment on those who not have the ordained amount of beauty, no matter how unintentional and innocent the commenter. Perhaps those who take exception and rant & rave need more to do to fill their time? One other point is despite what some may believe contracts verbal written or engraved in stone and inviolate. They can and are, ignored or abridged every day. Sun 22 Mar 2009 14:35:19 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=67#comment139 No, Obama is not about fixing ANYTHING. He's about manufactured chaos/crises, and subsequent CONTROL. Despair from another useful idiot, Liberal/Leftist Economist of the Year, aka Nobel Prize Winner for Economics, Paul Krugman:http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/21/despair-over-financial-policy/ Sun 22 Mar 2009 13:49:57 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=66#comment138 Sorry, tech error.I believe he will be re-elected after creating a segment of wefare, "free" govnt services consuming sans culottes. Think Chavez: Venezuela has the highest inflation, high unemployment, stagnant economy, prohibitive interest rates, shortages of food basics, soaring crime rate, total govnt control over media, private lives, etc, yet 60 per cent voted to make Chavez a dictator for life, because of subsidized food and low-quality, "free" medicare. You will be surprised at the number of Americans ready to forfeit their freedoms and democracy for "free", low-quality govnt services.Needless to say, as a Canadian (85 per cent of our GDP is exported to US), I pray that He fails. Sun 22 Mar 2009 12:45:13 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=66#comment137 It's highly amusing to watch some useful idiots (#133 and #136) shake in their boots like Russsian liberals after the Bolshevik takeover that they facilitated, while other useful idiots (#135) wisely suggest that The One is part of the solution as long as He distances Himself from Congress.I have news for you. Obama, the Alinskyite, like Lenin/Chavez/Castro/etc, is not about fixing an economy, or anything, for that matter. He is about CONTROL. You will see a permanent, manufactured chaos, more enemies of the public, a clampdown on freedoms, interference in business and private lives, etc. The haos and personal destabilization are engineered, so all of you kneel down, and start crying for the GOVERNMENT (i.e. HIM) to fix all your woes.I believe He might get re-elected after HE creates a segment of welfare sans culo Sun 22 Mar 2009 12:38:26 GMT+1 U9388581 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=65#comment136 Look at it this way:A squad of Marines are about to go in on a vital strategic target that will decide whether a war is won or lost.The co spots that several men have non-regulation uniform items and the q.m. passes him a note saying there are several cases of beer missing from the p/x.Do you want him to hold an immediate full kit inspection and confine everyone to barracks until the beer is found, or do you want him to win the war?YES the bonuses are totally morally wrong and due attention must be paid to the how and why and at an appropriate time regulations must be altered to prevent a re-occurrence.But A.T.M.I.T, EYES FRONT, Fight the battle in front of you and WIN THE WAR!$200 million in bonuses is about 10 minutes worth of the crisis confronting the USA, get over it, get on with it and do the mop up later.That is what a C.I.C would and will decide.ANYTHING else is distraction, this fuss is as many have stated just a gold plated opportunity for grandstanding.You have bigger fish to fry. Sun 22 Mar 2009 11:15:28 GMT+1 british-ish http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=65#comment135 133. At 7:40pm on 21 Mar 2009, allmymarbles wrote: "Taxing the bonus guys 95 per cent is a dangerous precedent. What does it mean for the rest of us? "Indeed. the problem with having a fit of pique is people don't think before they act.Yes, it is ridiculous that people who are responsible for practically bankrupting a company should be paid millions for doing it. But politicians hadn't found it so objectionable before, and it's been going on for years.But the main problem is once you give people the idea that taxing one group retrospectively and punitively is OK, then who will be the next unpopular people on the scene to be taxed at 90, 95, 100 or even 105 per cent? Academics who teach the theory of evolution, but not creationism in Oklahama? Gay couples who married in California? Whatever ethnic group is next regarded with suspicion? Why not tax politicians from the party who allowed the country to get into the mess in the first place at 150 per cent?Legislatures that gallop into passing laws simply to pander to an electoral flash-in-the-pan almost always make bad ones; and the consequences are often worse than what they were supposed to cure.No doubt these financial institutions will find a way very quickly of paying the same people the same amounts another way. Unless the US grasps the idea that the financial structures that have caused this disaster need to be regulated and watched over so it can't happen again. Sun 22 Mar 2009 10:40:28 GMT+1 DJRUSA http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=64#comment134 "wonder whether the use of the tax system to steal money legally paid to individuals might be a dangerous and unpredictable path to tread."Couldn't agree more Justin. All this smoke and mirrors is an effort to protect Chris Dodd from taking responsibility of his own actions.Pres. Obama is getting dragged down by the Democrats in Congress. THe sooner he stoppes letting them set the agenda and starts going after the Barney Franks and Chris Dodds of the world with the enthusiasm he goes after Wall Street, the better off he and the U.S. will be. Sun 22 Mar 2009 02:30:10 GMT+1 Pass Torian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=64#comment133 Someone said - sanctity of contracts. Someone said, stealing. Are we talking about the same thing? Rule ot a thumb - you cannot pay for anything when you are either bankrupt or have no money. No one should have a problem with understanding this simple thing. We all face a dilemmas in our lives from time to time due to shortage of money. As individuals we have to alter our plans because of this. How about the charge of stealing? Indeed there was a theft; the question is who is stealing from whom? AIG "high command" knew or should have known that they are incapable of providing bonuses - they were on the edge of bankruptcy! Using public funds that were intended to cut the hangman's rope were use instead to pay incompetents bonuses! I am only surprised that to appease public opinion the theft was only reversed in 90%. Remaining 10% must be a justifiable theft. Justifiable theft - hm, that is a good, new, valid entry in English dictionary. Sun 22 Mar 2009 00:40:40 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=63#comment132 I repeat. Taxing the bonus guys 95 per cent is a dangerous precedent. What does it mean for the rest of us? Can it be used as a political sledge hammer? If something like this passes, which it probably won't, it will dull our criticisms of Bush and his lust for power. Sat 21 Mar 2009 19:40:56 GMT+1 Tom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=63#comment131 It is an extremely bad precedent. I think that the majority of all boards need to look at executive compensation at EVP level and above. Boards need to tie bonuses to company performance. Boards currently are only responsible for CEO compensation. The Company itself sets compensation for below that level. Boards need to replace the CEO's if the compensation plan of the company is not inline with profitability. Even if a person has done their job, but the company lost money, Bonuses should not be paid. As AIG stands, it is not bonus, but executive pay. I do want to point out that many companies in the Financial Services sector do this already. AIG and Citi are examples of what can go terribly wrong when there is a lack of corporate oversight and just plain outright greed. Luckily enough I work for a company where our compensation committee ties profitability to bonuses. Our executive bonus packages directly correlate to the profit goals set a year earlier. Just like employees at my level. And our CEO did not take his this year in full. We were profitable but did not meet the goals set. He could have taken the full compensation anyway. His concern was perception by our clients and our stockholders and that of the public in general. His focus was on the company and ensuring that we continue to do well and that we continue to have the public reputation that we have built up over the years. Sat 21 Mar 2009 17:14:06 GMT+1 warriorJPS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=62#comment130 This post has been Removed Sat 21 Mar 2009 16:45:29 GMT+1 Dan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=62#comment129 Should 5% appear too small(tax man, Mr. Wilson)Be greatful I don't take it all.(Tanman, Mr. Heath) Sat 21 Mar 2009 16:19:20 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=61#comment128 Another day, another innocent joke. Don't worry, be happy: Le Roi s'amuse.Are Mr Webb and BBC still in the tank for The One? No doubt, otherwise the topics should've been: the budget and the $11 TRILLION projected long-term deficit; the universal healthcare utopia; the cap and trade; the card check; the illegal immigrant amnesty, etc. Sat 21 Mar 2009 16:12:16 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=61#comment127 A concise resume of the TOTUS' hocus-pocus:Steve Steckler, Chairman and founder, Infrastructure Management Group (IMG):Congress Passes Its "Law of Suspects"Two hundred sixteen years ago Robespierre "the Incorruptible" became the revolutionary leader of France. His ascension was preceded by a financial and economic crisis and facilitated by a vicious rabble called "les enrages", the enraged ones (MoveOn.org has a precedent). Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety then proceeded to terrorize any monarchist and landholder -- and any other opposition for that matter --in the name of liberty, equality and fraternity, with the particularly brutal emphasis on the second. His and les enrages's understandable resentment toward the wealthier classes was both a motivation and a vehicle for attaining power. Perhaps in that context it is more than mere sneering to wonder whether the House's passage of the Bonus Tax is just the first clause of Obama's own economic "Law of Suspects". As in revolutionary France and turn-of-the-century Russia, it is not surprising that economic turmoil brings about the most virulent forms of resentment. Indeed, modern progressivism is fueled by a sometimes healthy umbrage over what some have (school choice is my favorite) but most do not. Just read the liberal columnists of any major newspaper this morning and you will find pique-tarted apologists for Congress's blatantly unconstitutional action yesterday. Peruse the liberal political blogs and you will find the direct descendants of les enrages. Is it justified? Some of it. Is it useful and directed? Not by the length of a guillotine's rope.Business columnists and editorial boards who just two days ago joined the crude rage over the AIG retention payments are scrambling back from the precipice, frightened by the mob they have unleashed. Even the Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein pleaded "Let's Put Down The Pitchforks." But the gates to the Bastille are now agape, and the spectacle is nothing but Obama's, Pelosi's, Summers's and Frank's own making. Theirs has been a calculated strategy since before the election to sow economic ignorance among the American working class -- the real swing vote in the electorate--and exploit the cyclical resentment that coincides with any downturn. A reduction of the top marginal tax rate from 39 percent to 35 percent (nudging the combined federal, state and local income tax rate to about 50 percent) became "a giveaway to the rich", ignoring the fact that tax revenue increased thereafter and the largest numbers of its beneficiaries fix your teeth, clean your clothes and serve you dinner, and do not trade your retirement stocks. The uncontrolled anger now spills over into a thousand blogs with countless pseudonyms welcoming the end of market capitalism and the impending tax death of the bourgeoisie (petite and otherwise) who have "stolen" so much over the previous eight years.Robespierre himself was eventually consumed by his own revolution (and consequently was not elected to a second term). By fueling their election and their relatively noble agenda with now-uncontrolled envy and resentment, Obama and his Congressional leadership chose a narrow and unforgiving path to power that has worrying precedents at extremes well short of the French and Russian revolutions. It would be easy for me to just sit back and watch the turmoil and overreaching that should eventually end this administration, but I would rather have President Obama succeed. Just not to the satisfaction the enrages. Sat 21 Mar 2009 14:23:40 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=60#comment126 Dear neighbours, you're having a Copperfield for a POTUS/TOTUS. Instead of venting out anti-capitalist anger and wandering in the legal labyrinth surrounding the AIG 165 m bonuses, think of:1. HIS budget and the projected $11 TRILLION LONG-TERM DEFICIT2. HIS universal healthcare bill3. HIS cap and trade bill4. HIS card check bill5. HIS illegal immigrant amnesty plans Sat 21 Mar 2009 12:55:08 GMT+1 Jeebers76 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=60#comment125 117,"Our anger should be focused on the enablers who free wheeled this deal, not the one's with their hand out. "Actually, no. The US government handed out the dough expecting these corporations to use the money to save their companies. Instead, they handed out huge cash bonuses to the same men who ran the company into the ground. Instead of using the dough to heal themselves and the economy, they decided to get their quick bucks and screw the rest of us. THAT IS WHY THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS SO ANGRY.Didja get it? We are ticked off at the raw greed and "get rich quick at public expense" mentality. This is why the furor. Stop blaming this on Obama or even the Republicans, and start blaming the insurance companies. Me, I say we just tax the corporations who got the bailouts to the tune of the bonus amount total, NOT the individuals they gave the money to (judicial system couldn't object to that). Peer pressure ought to really tick them off something fierce. Even more fun would be to publish the names of all the companies who pulled this stunt, and if they change their corporate names, make sure that the US public knows who they used to be. This would mean their reputations would follow them around. Guess what happens next? They die out one by one. The USA is THAT angry! Sat 21 Mar 2009 05:22:21 GMT+1 rodidog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=59#comment124 #120 saintDominick I did not mean to suggest that AIG or others are on the moral high ground. My point was simply that the government could have put limitations on the bail-out money but did not. In fact, they gave them the green light to pass go and collect their bonus money. Sat 21 Mar 2009 04:02:27 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=59#comment123 Althugh we are all horrified at the giving of bonuses to those who had a hand in wrecking our economy, penalizing the recipients by taxing those bonuses sets a dangerous precedent. Does that open the door to the arbitrary punishment of citizens by stealing their money? Will this technique be used to settle scores? Will it be used to crush opposition? I have no love for these derivitive creeps, but I would rather they got away with their undeserved gains then imperil the citizenry as a whole. Sat 21 Mar 2009 02:48:56 GMT+1 U13879755 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=58#comment122 More thievery and slippery dealings;-(bae Sat 21 Mar 2009 01:01:28 GMT+1 as is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=58#comment121 The anti-capitalist mob is barking up the wrong tree. See what TOTUS has in stall for you, dear neighbours:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20289.htmlHappy $10-11 trillion deficit and (hyper)inflation. Bash on! Sat 21 Mar 2009 00:57:32 GMT+1 Orville Eastland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=57#comment120 Hey, I opposed the bailout back when Bush was in office. I don't support it now.As for Obama and Dodd, they are just paying back their contributors. It's not illegal- it's just wrong. (In fairness, Bush did the same...)Sad to say, contract breaking is rather common in the USA.Why in nobody suggesting a maximum wage of, say $5 million per year in salary and benefits (including actors, athletes and CEOs) and $1 million in bonuses? We have a minimum wage, why not a maximum? (Further, this would save corporations millions...)As for the class war- Ca ira! Ca ira! Sat 21 Mar 2009 00:54:39 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=57#comment119 Ref 117, Rod"Our anger should be focused on the enablers who free wheeled this deal, not the one's with their hand out."Except for those instances when the payments were not contractual obligations but "retention bonuses" that amount to nothing less than extorsion by employees in critical positions who demanded additional compensation to remain in their jobs. The Mafia was pretty good at that sort of thing... Sat 21 Mar 2009 00:36:01 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=57#comment118 This post has been Removed Fri 20 Mar 2009 23:19:37 GMT+1 smileytm303 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=56#comment117 Since to some libertarians over here all tax is theft, I'm afraid Mr. Webb is either in over his head or deliberately pandering (as all too often) to the fringe right. Many of us actually like tax and many many of us think AIG etc should be treated just like any other government subsidized outfit: demanding of them transparency and accountability. And as a Constitutional lawyer (slightly snidely put in the post), Obama would know that of course the government can restrain corporations from doing wrong. Fri 20 Mar 2009 22:31:29 GMT+1 rodidog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=56#comment116 106. dceilar,Guillotine the rich! There's only one winner in Class War!Using your language of "let them eat cake" and "Guillotine the rich" I will assume you refer to the French revolution as an example of what your populist uprising should aspire to. The one that evolved into total anarchy with innocent people, along with the rich and famous, finding their way to the guillotine. If you don't know, some of those architects of the class war found their own world view, however briefly, confined to the inside of a wicker basket in the end as well. The final result was an imperial throne replacing the Royal one.I for one would rather honor the contracts AIG made or let any dispute be handled by a court of law. The lesson learned is simple. Don't expect someone you give money to not to spend it any way they wish if you don't add some boundaries. In the case of AIG and others, not only were there no boundaries, there was an amendment expressly allowing them to hand out bonuses codified into law. How can we blame someone for doing what we gave them permission to do in the first place? Our anger should be focused on the enablers who free wheeled this deal, not the one's with their hand out. Fri 20 Mar 2009 22:07:17 GMT+1 MrCynical http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=55#comment115 Justin, taxation is not theft, whatever the neocons in Amerca might be telling you. Fri 20 Mar 2009 21:15:03 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=55#comment114 108, Clare -Under the forfeiture laws, the property used for illegal drug activity can be seized without any due process EVEN IF the property in question does not belong to the actual person charged with the crime. Hence the examples of the grandmother's house and the friend's car. The grandmother was not involved in any illegal activity, was unaware of any illegal activity, was not charged with any illegal activity, yet she had to forfeit her house. The property involved in cases like this does not belong to the law breaker, but to an innocent party. When the government seizes your property because someone else used it to commit a crime, without your knowledge or permission, this hardly comes under any sort of due process. In this same news report there was another incident mentioned where a woman's car (titled in her name only) was seized because her husband used it to pick up a prostitute.If this law has been changed, I would like to know about it. Otherwise, perhaps you haven't got far enough in your studies to be aware it. Fri 20 Mar 2009 21:07:53 GMT+1 U13879755 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=54#comment113 AIG Sues its majority owner!"While the American International Group comes under fire from Congress over executive bonuses, it is quietly fighting the federal government for the return of $306 million in tax payments, some related to deals that were conducted through offshore tax havens.A.I.G. sued the government last month in a bid to force it to return the payments, which stemmed in large part from its use of aggressive tax deals, some involving entities controlled by the company’s financial products unit in the Cayman Islands, Ireland, the Dutch Antilles and other offshore havens."Interesting times, indeed.;-)bae Fri 20 Mar 2009 20:34:34 GMT+1 U13879755 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=54#comment112 Mine's bigger than yours! Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peacebae Fri 20 Mar 2009 20:27:08 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=53#comment111 Clare_Lane (#107), by "former constitutional law professor" do you mean Obama? The plan to stick it to those receiving large bonuses originated in the Congress, not the administration. It's not yet clear whether Obama will sign it if it passes, but the support in the House was overwhelming.By the way, I expect any attorney good enough to get a teaching position in law school could teach the constitutional law course. Both Clintons taught constitutional law. That doesn't make any of them constitutional scholars. Fri 20 Mar 2009 20:03:16 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=53#comment110 I have not seen the contracts signed by the corporations that have received public funds to attract the "best and brightest" but I have no reason to believe that they were any different from labor contracts signed by corporations worldwide. The problem I have with the latest legislation has nothing to do with my opinion of the morons that contributed to the mess we are in, and there is no doubt in my mind they are excessive and unworthy, my concern involves the precedent our government is setting by ignoring the terms and legality of contracts at a time when we should be encouraging domestic and foreign investment to help us overcome our economic problems. Fri 20 Mar 2009 19:52:56 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=52#comment109 The real story so far this week is not the AIG bonus money.The real story is here. Fri 20 Mar 2009 19:52:48 GMT+1 U13879755 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=52#comment108 Gary, (& any others interested)The Law as it is seen by the BBC BloglodytesPart 1 of a series of three postingsPart 2Part 3;-)bae Fri 20 Mar 2009 18:36:31 GMT+1 Clare_Lane http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/stealing_money_legally.html?page=51#comment107 52 and 76-The Due Process clause protects persons from having their property or liberty seized WITHOUT due process of law. When someone breaks the law, like the marijuana users in your example, their property is being seized WITHIN the proper process of the law. A due process claim is best if someone believes that the statute which caused the seizure is unconstitutional. That is where this tax issue comes in. The constitution states that no State can intervene in private contracts. Also, the equal protection clause protects individuals from being unfairly targeted by the state. Therefore, a statute has now been put into place that directly targets individuals who received these bonuses, taxes them and takes away their property but it will only be "without due process of law" if the statute is found unconstitutional. Whether the statute is unconstitutional is something that will have to be decided by the courts if one of these guys will sue the government for unfairly taking away their income. I am a law student and our semester brief and moot court is over substantive due process so hopefully I explained this in a manner you guys can understand. Fri 20 Mar 2009 18:27:07 GMT+1