Barney Frank: COO

Barney Frank, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and ardent liberal, made it explicit how government as a stockholder becomes government as manager. American International Group, the large insurance company, received $170 billion lately from “the government”. What did they do with it? Barney found out and he doesn’t like it. Among other things, they paid out over $100 million in bonuses. Some went to employees who were responsible for the company’s sorry condition. AIG says it is contractually bound to pay the bonuses and that if it didn’t pay, it will have to pay to fight lawsuits.

Barney knows better. He said something like, ” Now that the government is a major stockholder, it’s time to act like managers. Maybe there should be some firings.” The House Financial Services committee will thus be the managers of a very large company, in its spare time.

That’s what happens when you nationalize. You get management-by-politician. Congress makes a ditzy manager.

“Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” Frederic Bastiat.


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