The Islamic Post Blog

President Obama Blasts Corporate Executives, Again by Khalida
March 25, 2009, 5:52 am
Filed under: Business/Economy, March Volume 2009, National

By Umm Abdul Malik
Islamic Post Staff Writer
President Obama had blistering remarks for insurance giant AIG , after hearing news of the financially troubled corporation’s intent to  bestow  $165 million dollars in bonuses to top executives – despite AIG’s  receipt of billions in government bailout funds.  “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” Obama asked, attributing its problems “to recklessness and greed.”
In January, the President blasted executive corporate spenders who, just months ago, were executive corporate beggars after reports surfaced that high-level executives of some of the very institutions heard pleading before Congress for financial aid, had lined their pockets with bonuses in excess of $18 billion dollars last year. “It is shameful…There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses – now is not that time.” He said he had directed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to “pursue every legal avenue to block these bonuses,” with hints on Capital Hill that in the best case scenario, the execs would simply refuse the money.
Mr Obama affirmed the fact that the corporate behavior contributing to the financial crash will take time to modify, but reformed it must be. “The American people understand that we have a big hole that we have to dig ourselves out of,” he said. “But they do not like the idea that people [financial firm executives] are digging a bigger hole, even as they are being asked to fill it up.” Change in the mode in which American businesses operate –and Wall Street executives in particular– is a major component of the economic reform strategy the Obama administration, along with Congress, have industriously crafted. “We expect that even as the reinvestment and recovery package moves forward — as I said, that’s only one leg of the stool, and that these other legs of the stool will be rolled out systematically in the coming weeks so that the American people will have a clear sense of a comprehensive strategy designed to put people back to work, reopen businesses and credit flowing again.”
“Part of what we’re going to need is for folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint, and show some discipline, and show some sense of responsibility,” the President has been quoted as saying. “I know the American people are eager to get moving again — they want to work. They are serious about their responsibilities; I am, too, in this White House, and I hope that the folks on Wall Street are going to be thinking in the same way.”


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