Newly Discovered Concept: Self Interest

I’m not sure why anybody’s surprised at bailout recipients’ reaction:

At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.
“Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”

There’s really no way around the reality of human nature and its self interest — especially when the decision makers are acting in their capacity as employees or representatives of business entities. Add strings, and the question will become one of cost-benefit, and in this case, the government wanted to make sure that the money wasn’t refused.
That’s why I’m not sure what difference this is supposed to make:

That lack of specificity has led to calls for tighter restrictions on the next wave of disbursements, approved by the Senate last week as President-elect Barack Obama pledged to “change the way this plan is implemented and keep faith with the American taxpayer.” The incoming administration promises to create a system to track how the money is spent and place stronger limitations on executive pay.

Track it or not, the recipients will siphon as much out of the funding flood as they can. They’ll look out toward the future and leverage unplanned windfalls to increase their competitive edge when circumstances change, buying up or elbowing out smaller competitors. And if the government is so perspicacious as to know precisely how banks ought to spend the money, then there’s no need for the middle man.
Me, I say that the government should learn from my financial straits: Spending money that you don’t have doesn’t patch the floor in hard times; it digs a hole.

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pitcher
pitcher
12 years ago

Who’s the chair of the committee that created the bailout? Bahney Fwank? Why hasn’t he been impeached? Congress gave out all this money to banks but didn’t specify how it had to be used? Where is Kennedy and Langevin on this? Why aren’t they calling for heads? Reed? Whitehouse? Who screwed this up and basically gave away $700B with nothing in return? We want heads!

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

“Bahney Fwank”
For God’s sake Pitcher, either have the courage to post under your real name, or stop making fun of the way people speak.
Should we start making fun of Rhode Islanders who had a lot of fun at the potty last night? Let’s hear YOUR accent.
I swear, coming to AR sometimes has the distinct feeling of slumming.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

Barney Frank is largely responsible for the subprime fiasco.
He won’t be held accountable for that, nor for the bailout fiasco that has followed it.
The media has ignored his responsibility, and will continue to.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

Tom W,
Fine. If you think so. It has nothing to do with my comment to Pitcher.

pitcher
pitcher
12 years ago

Hey Tom, how do I know that your “name” isnt’ a pseudonym?
And “Bahney Fwank” is not an accent. If it is, please tell me which region speaks like that. Otherwise…
Eat it.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

Pitcher,
You’re new here, aren’t you? You think I made up a name like Thomas Schmeling? My identity is an open book.
When will yours be? Or will you continue to make fun of the way people talk behind your shield of anonymity? Shame on you.
Pitcher said, “Eat it”
Thank you for making my point about the level of argument here better than I ever could have.

pitcher
pitcher
12 years ago

Isn’t it great how the left could make fun of how W pronounced “nuclear” for 8 years, even though that was a legitmate accent, it was the same way that LBJ pronounced it, yet the left all used “nucular” as early proof that Bush was an idiot.
You complain about lowering the level of discussion here, yet the whole point of your posting is to call out my identity. What’s the point there? It’s a blog, people post anonymously for a variety of reasons. Who cares who I am or why I choose to post anonymously, and you still didn’t explain to me where Bahney’s “accent” comes from. Isn’t he from Mass? I don’t ever remember hearing that accent anywhere in Mass. And if the worst thing that I’ve said about him is his accent, then I think he’s doing ok, considering the litany of lowbrow things I could go after him for.

pitcher
pitcher
12 years ago

I can’t believe I’m debating this stuff with someone from the brilliant “think tank” of Rhode Island College. Yes, at least now I understand much better about where you’re coming from and I have a point of reference for your comments.
Or maybe instead of his “accent”, you’d prefer that we bring up Herb Moses and Fannie Mae? What is it with these Dems who can’t keep the pen out of the company ink?

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

Pitcher,
“The left” didn’t make fun of Bush’s speech patterns, but some people did. You’ve managed to reach their level.
You make fun of the way the guy speaks. Whether it’s an accent, a speech impediment, a lisp, or just some missing teeth that causes it, it’s childish to make fun of it.
As to the question of anonymity…. if you make substantive arguments about actual issues and do it in a respectful way, I don’t care who you are. If you make personal attacks, or make fun of people’s personal characteristics, hiding your identity is cowardly.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>>Tom W, Fine. If you think so. It has nothing to do with my comment to Pitcher.
I wasn’t responding to your comment, but to the original post regarding BF being impeached.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

TomW says, “I wasn’t responding to your comment, but to the original post regarding BF being impeached.”
OK. Understood.

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“Who screwed this up and basically gave away $700B with nothing in return? We want heads!”
Most definitely. Congressional heads. They’re the ones who control the expenditure of our tax dollars and who have handed out obscene amounts of it without the VERY OVERSIGHT AND REGULATION about which they themselves incessantly talk, lecture, harangue. They were the ones who should have said nuts to that closet socialist, Henry Paulson, no matter how many times he went on one knee to beg for a bailout.
The bailout has been a disgrace all around. This should finally have been made clear to every elected official on the federal level last week when Larry Flint asked for a bailout.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

Pitcher says,
I can’t believe I’m debating this stuff with someone from the brilliant “think tank” of Rhode Island College. Yes, at least now I understand much better about where you’re coming from and I have a point of reference for your comments.
I see you are willing to continue your ad hominem attacks from behind the veil of anonymity.
I’m extremely proud of my own qualifications and accomplishments. I’m also very proud of the institution that I serve.
If you are ready to question either to my face, or at least under your own name, I’ll be happy to continue the conversation.
Otherwise, I’m afraid it’s impossible to dignify your comments with any further response.

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