Marina Hyde column on bail outs

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bagkitty bagkitty's picture
Marina Hyde column on bail outs

I wanted to share this column with the babblers. Although referencing (British) bankers in particular, it could apply equally well to automotive industry CEOs. My respect for M. Hyde as a commentator is only balanced by my profound fear of ever being in the position of coming to her attention and being written about by her. Wink

remind remind's picture


Back in September, New York magazine ran a great piece in which an
anonymous Lehman Brothers trader gave his account of the days following
the bank's collapse. There was a lot of talk of "sudden onset poverty"
- I think he was going to have to let the ski chalet go - but the most
confounding vignette concerned the trader taking his eight-year-old son
to his first baseball game. Anyway, the kid tries and fails to get the
attention of Derek Jeter, the Yankees' star shortstop, who's jogging
out to the field. "Daddy, why doesn't he answer?" he asks. "And
suddenly, the trader boiled with anger," we learned. "He had done his
part, put in the 16-hour days to buy his kid the best seats in the
stadium. Lehman and the career he signed up for were disappearing in
front of his eyes. Yet the Yankees were losing, and Derek Jeter was
still going to take home his $21m, and he couldn't even bother to show
some gratitude. It was a fantasy world, out of touch." Yes. Ring any
bells? "'Those guys have the easiest job,' the trader thought, 'when
it's clear they don't care. Fuck, in my next life I want to be a
baseball player.'"

Wait. He wants to get lucky twice? If this guy
doesn't come back as a one-winged gnat, I'm personally taking it up
with the Dalai Lama.

Bankers are traditionally supposed to be
throwing themselves out of the windows by now, and even though any fall
would be broken by the vast cushion of public money we laid out for
them, I guess we still need to ask: how are they coping? Well, as I sat
in a Kensington pub the other night (this is a proper field report,
from the heart of the story), unable to hear my companion for the chap
shouting about being "locked on" for his bonus - which seemed to be
counted in a multiple to which he referred to as "mil" - I hazarded
they were pretty much scraping by.

Yet, in the manner of those
male columnists who fret about having walked past a hoodie stealing
something and having done nothing, I find myself wondering in print:
should I have intervened with Mr Locked-on? After all, I regard myself
as having in effect paid for his pint. At the very least I should have
asked him if he wanted crisps and a footrub with it.

Either way
it is clear that neither he nor any of these stubbornly tight-lipped
banking chiefs have any idea how to disport themselves in the new
climate they themselves created. Much as the police or BBC staff are
occasionally forced to go on refresher courses, surely the upper
echelons of financial services should be sent on training days to teach
them how to behave in public now they've cocked everyone's world up.

great article!

"watching the tide roll away"


 I'm with Remind, Bagkitty that was a great article, and particularly that so funny line, Wait. He wants to get lucky twice? If this guy

doesn't come back as a one-winged gnat, I'm personally taking it up with the Dalai Lama.

The whole laughing part is that these guys have made out like bandits twice, and we are going to pay for it.


Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

If you liked this article, you will probably love her article on bottled water. The "money quote" from that one is:

I look forward to the time when those people are wiped out by a highly
targeted plague. Arguably the most loathsome water he plugs is called
Bling. I think it is described as a "couture water" - I can't be sure,
the book went out of the window at that point - but the bottle is
studded with Swarovski crystals and costs £20 for 750ml. Bling is one
of those products the mere purchase of which should result in your
voting rights being withdrawn in perpetuity. You have just spent £20 on
a bottle of water: you no longer have the right to participate in
decisions that may affect society's direction.

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, damn, I love her writing.

remind remind's picture

 Omg, she is funny, and the last paragraph says it all.

But it's low level mostly because duping you doesn't need anything
fancier. He can make you pay between 240 and 10,000 times more for
something you already have on tap. Crack open a bottle of Bling and
drown your sorrows: Lex Luthor doesn't even get out of bed for schmucks
like you.

"watching the tide roll away"