I wish I was “too big to fail”. That’s what all the talking heads in Washington and on Wall Street are saying about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Collectively they hold $5 Trillion in mortgages. So what is one of the possible outcomes of their problems in the next few weeks? A government bailout! Never mind that it would raise our total government debt by 50%. Never mind that both firms are leveraged to the level of criminal misconduct.
This is what we call Corporate Socialism–the privatization of profit and the socialization of risk and misconduct. Both our current President and Vice President are experts at this since their fortunes are owed completely to corporate socialism. In Bush’s case, he was hired by Richard Rainwater to run the Texas Rangers with only one key job attribute: the ability to get the state to pay for the new baseball stadium. When Bush sold out to his buddy Tom Hicks (Clear Channel) he made $14 million on his $500,000 investment.
Dick Cheney is also a case study in the use of corporate socialism for private enrichment. As we have pointed out before, while Secretary of Defense, Cheney set up Halliburton and its KBR subsidiary in the military supply outsourcing business, and then went to work as Halliburton’s CEO. For two years work he earned $30.5 million.
Cheney and Bush only have 5 1/2 months left to continue raiding the treasury to remunerate their corporate supplicants who are floundering. Who else is “too big to fail”? Will it be Chrysler, Lehmann Brothers, General Motors or any number of troubled banks like Indy Mac that failed yesterday? How will they figure out a way to further enrich their patrons like Archer, Daniels, Midland, the big Ag firm that has been the biggest beneficiary of Ethanol and other crop subsidies from administrations of both parties?
When historians make that list of the most corrupt administrations in history, surely Bush-Cheney must rank right up there with Grant and Harding in the pantheon of exploitation.