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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The CEO Toaster Compensation Plan

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL)
United State Senate

Dear Sen. Martinez,

Your statement about the difficulty of limiting CEO compensation in the Authorization To Use Financial Force (AUFF) is absolutely on target. I mean take another look at it. Who could argue with reasoning as tight as this:

While it is very appealing to think about executive compensation as being a part of this, one of the drawbacks to that is perhaps that we would have fewer entities participate in what is essentially a voluntary act.

It's a shame Our Leader couldn't articulate the problem as simply as you do. His spokesman tries to say the same thing but gets tied up by the fact that he doesn't really want to come straight out and say it:
You have to remember, these are not all weak or troubled firms that own mortgage-backed securities. A lot of them are very successful banks and investment houses that have done very well, have been responsible, are holding performing assets that have value. They were not necessarily irresponsible players, and so you have to be careful about how you deal with them.
I guess I can't blame him for trying to finesse it. After all, it's hard to claim this is an emergency if healthy companies will be getting the money too.

And God knows, CEOs deserve the millions of dollars they earn in bonuses as their companies sink into bankruptcy. McCain economics advisor Carly Fiorina will certainly vouch for that. Her $45 million golden parachute allows her to campaign for the Senator full time while HP picks up the pieces of her ruinous leadership.

But, the average American isn't please with the idea of giving companies billions of dollars to "bail them out" while the CEO's are taking tens of millions of dollars in bonuses. They aren't going to go for it.

And it's not going to be easy to find a way to entice healthy bankers to take our handout while forgoing their golden parachutes, but that's what we're going to need to do if we want to get the AUFF passed.

I think the solution is toasters. Remember back when banks would give out toasters as an incentive to get new depositors? We should offer the same to Wall Street CEOs: "Accept our cash and we'll give you a toaster."

But they'll have to be good toasters, not the simple two-slicers you'll find in the average American home. CEOs will want something better. We should consider turning to Halliburton or some other proven friend to build it. I'm sure they could come up with a great toaster, one that'll toast 4 pieces of bread or 6 Toaster Strudels at a time. And I bet they could do it for under $150,000 per unit.

Heterosexually yours, 

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

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