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Kai Ryssdal: It’s tough to tell exactly who listens to this program, but it’s entirely possible there are a bunch of AIG executives out there tuning in. As we now know, 15 of the top 20 recipients of those infamous bonuses have agreed to give the money back. Last week, though, it was a very different story. And if our inbox is any indication, Americans were, and probably still are, outraged.
Greg Ehrensing from Corte Madera, Calif., offered one idea for how to pay up as the contracts seem to require, but still satisfy the irate taxpayer.
GREG EHRENSING: Public shame! Cut the checks, set up a table in Times Square and announce that all the recipients can come pick up their checks in pubic on a Saturday afternoon, if they dare.
Rob Woods from Willis, Va., sees the story a different way.
ROB WOODS: I find it interesting that everyone is in a tizzy about the $165 million in bonuses that AIG handed out. Citizens, through taxes, have given them approximately $170 billion. That’s over 1,000 times as much as the bonus payments. It would be like borrowing $10 from a family member and then getting all upset over how one penny of that money was spent.
Our senior correspondent Bob Moon did a piece last week on the securitization industry, those are the folks who bundle up mortgages and other loans and sell them off by the slice. Garret Lo of San Diego, Calif., voted “no” on the question Bob’s piece posed: Whether the industry ought to rise again.
GARRET LO: Clearly, the securitization folks don’t get it. Don’t they realize that all of the over leveraging of our financial system only created a house of cards that we’re currently seeing tumble before our eyes?
It’s not all gloom and doom, even though sometimes it feels like it is. Economist Justin Wolfers did a commentary for us recently where he pondered different names for this thing that’s happening to the economy. He offered “the flump.” We asked for your ideas.
And in no particular order, we got the “Soft Depression,” the “Great Reality Check,” the “Great Come-Uppance” and a combination of Depression and Recession — the “Decession.” Keep ’em coming, no matter what they are. You can send us your suggestions — etymological or otherwise.
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