From the Inbox: Boo to Citi Bailout
With more people able to view our stories w/o first having to register or log in, that will enable more opportunities for folks to comment on our stories, which then fuels one of my favorite parts of this job: Reader response.
No surprise, there were lots of comments on last week's big news about the U.S. government bailing out Citi.
The Citi rescue seemed inevitable, and I expected banking/security leaders to just shrug their shoulders and move on. Boy, was I wrong!
Well, I say 'no surprise,' but in fact I was a bit taken aback by the level of emotional response to this story. As an observer, the Citi rescue seemed inevitable - how could we let a bank of that size fail? - and I expected banking/security leaders to just shrug their shoulders and move on. Boy, was I wrong!
A reader from Florida writes: "We have the bad loan issues the same as Citigroup. The difference is that we as a community bank would do more to stimulate the local economy than any of these big banks. Unfortunately, we cannot get the government to help us through these uncertain times. Seems all the government help is going to the 'big dogs.' The ones who have been in Washington padding pockets."
Another reader goes straight for the banking leaders who got their institutions into trouble: "I want someone to go after all the compensation that has been paid to all Directors, CEOs, CFO, Officers and managers of these banks, insurance companies, etc. that the Govt has been bailing out, to reclaim all the monies these individuals have been paid to do a pathetic job at best.
"They should all be terminated first, instead of the lower-paid employees who are getting the ax. I wish I could be paid millions of dollars a year, screw up big time and walk away with continuing to rec. a very hefty salary."
"Let them fail," says another reader. "Senior management and the Board need to be held accountable and punished for their poor management and direction. The non-executives and staff should be the ones benefitting from the bailouts, although that hardly seems the case."
Then there's my favorite response which makes an interesting dessert analogy: "There is no reason to expect that throwing money at the 'bailout' industries, be they large financial institutions or the American Auto Industry -- will achieve anything more than trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. That is: It doesn't work too well to begin with, and the results are even messier."
Like I said: strong feelings.
So, what are your thoughts on the bailouts, market conditions, the President-elect's choice for Treasury secretary, fraud threats, the regulatory climate ...?
Whatever's on your mind re: banking and security, I'd love to hear it. There's a New Year close ahead, and it's going to require some new ideas and voices. Let's hear yours.