Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Talking in France

On France 5's Sunday show "Riposte," Maryse Dumas, one of the leaders of the major union CGT pointed out that over the past 10 years, dividends to shareholders in French public companies have grown 7 times faster than salaries. She asked why the representative of a business organization, Jerome Bedier, had just said France's problem vis-a-vis Germany was that employees just cost too much in France.

Well, because it's a traditional corporate smokescreen that distracts folks from the reality of decades of flat or falling wages for 80% of the population. Black is white, day is night, the sun rises in the west. And "we need to revalorize work" because the financial crisis came about when teachers and train conductors decided they didn't value work anymore.

If the French didn't have 4 weeks of vacation none of this crisis shit would have happened. Now give me a PhD in Econ.

The fired head of Merrill Lynch will work, as long as you give him a $40 million bonus afterwards. In the case of his demand of 0.4 of a Texas Unit for selling Merrill to Bank of America, he wanted it for dumping the company that he had helped sink as its CEO.

The article on the subject, by Louise Story and Julie Crewell, is a really nice piece of reporting on the delusional world of Wall Street America, a parallel universe in which chief executives become Sun Kings by acting like this:
[Thain] surrounded himself with former colleagues. In addition to luring his N.Y.S.E. deputies, he showered cash on former Goldman executives to bring them to Merrill. He paid $25 million to Peter S. Kraus, who ran Goldman’s investment management unit, to oversee business strategy at Merrill. He shelled out $39 million to Thomas K. Montag, who was co-head of Goldman’s global securities unit, to run Merrill’s trading operations.
What can anyone say? These executives will enter history along with Gen. Custer and Charles Ponzi, and other epic blowhards who took down legions of people with them. Back on Riposte, Maurice Szafran, from the relentlessly critical weekly Marianne, asked when Nicholas le Jogger Sarkoky would admit that his own policies had helped contribute to the crisis. Answer, in America, is never. Fr Frank preaches it right again this morning, noting the stacking of the Obama deck with foxes who ate the hens and then charged us $750 billion to scare up some new ones.

And on Riposte, Valerie Pecresse, Sarko le J's minister of higher education whose "reform" of universities has lead to nationwide university strikes, said things will be much better if university presidents have the power to "manage" the careers of the professors on their staffs.

Don't close Gitmo. As long as America still tortures a little bit, lets use Gitmo for the Corporate Inquisition.

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