CEOs Who Beg for a Handout: “You’re Fired!”
Senator Christopher Dodd has come up with a common sense solution to the Detroit grovelings. It’s so sensible, in fact (coming from the government???) that you can’t help but wonder “OK, what’s the catch?!?!”
Dodd said the head of General Motors should step down, and he indicated that his firing could be one of the requirements if Detroit wants a handout. Dodd said: “I think you have got to consider new leadership.”
When he was asked if this should be one of the conditions for a bailout, he said: “I think it is going to have to be part of it.”
When I first saw that article, I was simultaneously thinking “YAAAAYY!!!” and “It’s about fuckin’ time!” It’s an excellent idea, but were they waiting for? Why haven’t we been doing this all along???
If you’re one of those peons who works for a living, it’s called “Payment On Performance.” It’s time for people in boardrooms and ivory towers to get familiar with that strange new concept. This should have been the standard procedure — set in concrete, immutable — since the savings and loan bailout of the 1980s.
Or at least since 1991 (I think that was the year) when the Detroit CEOs went to Japan to beg for a better trade deal. “Please buy our huge gas guzzlers that are too big for your narrow streets and the steering wheel is on the wrong side. Pleeeeeaase!?!?!?!”
It turned out that the more successful Japanese CEOs were receiving much smaller salaries than their American counterparts. We also learned that in Japan — during that period at least — it was considered dishonorable and shameful for a company to lay off workers. When it happened, it was done as a last resort, accompanied by shame and embarrassment.
Let’s hope the soon-to-be-toast CEO of General Motors becomes the prototype for the new standard procedure. When a powerful “too big to fail” company begs for a handout from the government:
1. The CEO and all senior executives are fired. And no Golden Parachute.
2. The new replacement executives will be on a greatly reduced salary until the company’s turnaround goals (clearly stated in the bailout agreement) have been reached.
3. In order to receive this taxpayer-funded gift basket, the company must agree — in writing — to submit to any and all government regulations that would have prevented this current crisis from occurring in the first place.
And now, in a related story: We’re all familiar with certain standard lies and fibs that are so common, they’ve become clichés. Punchlines.
“He was dead when I got there.”
“Your check is in the mail.”
“Your flight will be taking off shortly.”
And now this: “Taxpayers will get money back from the Wall Street bailout.”
cross-posted at Bring It On!"