A common conversation in the wonderful world of big business these days starts like this, “Are you getting money from the stimulus package?” And ends most commonly with the same one that the majority of little businesses are giving; no. It is almost as if we have time traveled back to an era of trickle down economics. Our money as with many other businesses will come as soon as it trickles down to us. Our share coming from all the sources it eventually finds its way too. No Calvary is going to arrive to make borrowing easier or increased costs easier to address. So tighten that belt boys, and man up, Santa Clause taint’ comin anytime soon.
Sound familiar? I should; it is something we have all heard before. First you get patted on the back assuring you that little businesses are the rock of this country, then you hear the hammer and chisel chipping away at you with yet another set of taxes or increased round of regulations that eventually will cost you more money to address. For those of us sitting here on the outside of the mega bucks fall from the Treasury Department, there certainly seems to be a world of haves and have nots.
Find yourself in an inner circle industry and you can do no wrong. Your rewards come no matter how crummy of a business you are. Detroit can build crappy cars for thirty years, but still help is on the way. Investment companies who have been tethered to the FDIC guarantee can invest in almost anything and have their investments fully backed by you and me; Joe broke. Banks have billions placed on their bottom lines, but come back with, “it’s not enough!” For those in charge of these industries, tomorrow truly never comes and yesterday, well yesterday was yesterday, move on.
It appears that the final idea of the last conservatively oriented group of Presidents Men to just buy their way out of the problems they left us with seems to have set a precedent in the Washington and with the elite business world of high finance lawyers running all the shows. And we all know with lawyers; precedent is everything.
One bright spot however is the indignation of the President and Congress to the latest rounds of insult added to injury. There seems to be quite the rumble over the AIG bonuses, ranging from a million to more than three million dollars to specific key employees, Now don’t be led to believe anyone punching a clock got them; no they all went executives who were part of AIG’s grand disapprobation of funds and under the ruse that AIG, needed these funds to keep good people. Don’t buy that; for eleven of those who got bonuses are no longer employed there! We can only be hopeful we will ever see that money come back.
When the man on the street hears that banks are using bailout money to further their own corporate greed or size, it is no wonder we look at any efforts to reward the ones who where at the helm when this all happened with disdain. In years gone by and not that long ago CEO’nistas that made a thousand times more than their workers were revered as educated men, taking the company to bigger and better places. It appears now that the vast majority of them were laughing away on their trip to the poor house. Their ultimate answer, so fire me! We can only hope someone is working on just that!