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I don't know... maybe it's because I don't think like a banker :-) but I don't see why going through all this complication.

In a regular (not a bank) company, things would go like this: if the company lost truckloads of money, due to bad investments that went south and that it comes to a point where the government comes and bail it out with taxpayers money, then it's very likely that the next memo to all hands will be something like this: because the company needs to conserve cash, next to no visibility on the business in the coming months, etc, etc... well, bonuses will be forgotten this year; be thankful we're not implementing a mass layoff. If there's some ethics left in the management (it happens), they will even announce a 20% pay cut for all the top management.

That's it. Done. Don't like it? Insist on your bonus no matter what? OK, see that door with "Exit" written on it? Go ahead and hit it...

I mean, what so effing complicated? The state saved the banks with taxpayers money; they have the right to control how the darn money is used.

Rather than taxing the loot afterwards, why not preventing the looting from going on in the first place? That's how many people would reason, I guess...

There is also a problem with taxing the bonuses: although we all agree that proportional taxation should be restored, this is one really, really steep uphill battle.

For years, the people have been brainwashed that taxes are baaad, they are an impediment to innovation, growth, job creation and a threat to civilization as we know it...

Anyway, those are my thoughts...

by Bernard on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 12:59:38 PM EST
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