RUSH: Obama yesterday afternoon in Washington at the White House East Room. This is about the pay czar and his 90% reduction in salary.
OBAMA: I’ve always believed that our system of free enterprise works best when it rewards hard work. This is America. We don’t disparage wealth. We don’t begrudge anybody for doing well.
RUSH: Yes, you do. Yes, you do.
OBAMA: We believe in success. But it does offend our values when executives of big financial firms, firms that are struggling, pay themselves huge bonuses even as they continue to rely on taxpayer assistance to stay afloat. And that’s why last summer we gave Ken Feinberg and his team the task of making an independent judgment on the executive pay packages for firms that received extraordinary assistance from the federal government.
RUSH: Yeah. And they needed that assistance because the federal government put ’em in that circumstance. The federal government passed a bunch of laws that required these banks to make loans to people that would never have a chance to pay ’em back. These are mortgage loans, house loans. And that led to the banks trying to come up with a way to, ‘Okay, how do we insure ourselves here? I mean, we’ve just signed a bunch of worthless paper. The government made us do it.’ So the government made ’em do it, and now they got a bunch of worthless paper, and they come up and they write derivatives and other kind of financial products as insurance policies for what they know is bad paper and the whole house of cards came down. So now the very government that forced them into that behavior via federal policy, now has a pay czar that’s taken 90% of their salary and bonus. They’re going to limit it. They’re going to cut their salary by 90%. Then Obama went further.
OBAMA: Under these competing interests, I believe he’s taken an important step forward today in curbing the influence of executive compensation on Wall Street, while still allowing these companies to succeed and prosper. But more work needs to be done, which is why I urge the Senate to pass legislation that will give company shareholders a voice on the pay packages awarded to their executives. And I urge Congress to continue moving forward on financial reform that will help prevent the crisis we saw last fall from happening again.
RUSH: ‘More work needs to be done.’ They’re going for non-TARP firms next and then they’re going to come for the rest of us. This is all a lie. ‘I’ve always believed our system of free enterprise works best when it rewards hard work. This is America. We don’t disparage wealth.’ The hell you don’t! Everything Obama is doing is oriented around and towards getting rid of wealth! He does disparage it. And who is he to say, ‘We don’t begrudge anybody for doing well’? What a thought to even have! What a thought to have and then say, to articulate. Because it’s just the opposite: We do begrudge people doing well. ‘It offends our values when executives of big financial firms pay themselves huge bonuses even as they continue to rely on tax…’ They were forced to. Do you people remember? I’ll get it out and read it to you if you want.
The Wells Fargo banker let the cat out of the bag. He said Paulson put us all in a room at three o’clock in the afternoon and forced us to take this money. We all had to sign. We were not allowed to leave unless we signed it. They didn’t come begging for taxpayer money. They were forced into taking it; forced into taking it after being forced to invest in rotten, no-good loans; forced to do things that had they been left alone they would have never done. And now this delusional president with a five-and-a-half-minute career comes out here and says he’s going to clean the whole mess up! I am offended. This offends my sensibilities. ‘Making independent judgment on executive pay packages for firms that received extraordinary assistance.’
Hank Paulson took them into a room at three in the afternoon and forced them to all sign a piece of paper taking X-amounts of dollars called TARP.
RUSH: Here’s the story from October 15, 2008, Wall Street Journal: ‘At Moment of Truth, US Forced Big Bankers to Blink — On one side of the table sat Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, flanked by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair. On the other side sat the nation’s top bank executives, who had flown in from around the country, lined up in alphabetical order by bank, with Bank of America Corp. at one end of the table and Wells Fargo & Co. at another. It was Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Treasury headquarters. Messrs. Paulson and Bernanke had called one of the most important gatherings of bankers in American history. For an hour, the nine executives drank coffee and water and listened to the two men paint a dire portrait of the US economy and the unfolding financial crisis.
‘As the meeting neared a close, each banker was handed a term sheet detailing how the government would take stakes valued at a combined $125 billion in their banks and impose new restrictions on executive pay and dividend policies. The participants, among the nation’s best deal-makers, were in a peculiar position. They weren’t allowed to negotiate. Mr. Paulson requested that each of them sign. It was for their own good and the good of the country, he said, according to a person in the room. During the discussion the most animated response came from Wells Fargo chairman Richard Kovacevich, say people who were there. ‘Why was this necessary?’ he asked. ‘Why did the government need to buy stakes in these banks?’ Morgan Stanley chief executive John Mack whose company was among the most vulnerable quickly signed. Bank of America’s Ken Lewis acknowledged the obvious, that everybody at the table would participate. ‘Any one of us who doesn’t have a healthy fear of the unknown isn’t paying attention.’ This account is based on interviews with participants, government officials, and banking officials.’ They were forced to sign. Wall Street Journal, October 15th, 2008. The Wells Fargo guy didn’t need the money, his bank was not in trouble. He didn’t want it. They were all forced to take $125 billion, undergo new regulatory rules and executive compensation pay rules. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. So… That’s the Wall Street Journal, October of 2008. Oh, audio sound bite 33, the pay czar. This was this afternoon at George Washington University Law School. The special master for compensation, a/k/a the pay czar, Ken Feinberg, said this.
FEINBERG: In the next 60 days I must, umm, uh, uh, uh, accomplish the next objective: Designing compensation structures for these seven companies for corporate officials numbers 26 through 100.
RUSH: Whoa. Did I hear that right? ‘The next 60 days I must accomplish the next objective: Designing compensation structures for these seven companies for corporate officials numbers 26 through 100’? He’s not done. We’re a nation of risk-takers and Obama wants to take the risk out.