This is from Maureen Dowd's column this morning:
Companies that have gotten bailouts continue to make a mockery of taxpayers.
Until it came to light Tuesday, Wells Fargo, which received $25 billion in federal funds, was blithely planning a series of “employee recognition outings” to Las Vegas luxury hotels this month.
As ABC reported, Bank of America took its $45 billion in bailout funds and sponsored a five-day carnival outside the Super Bowl stadium, and Morgan Stanley took its $10 billion in bailout money and held a three-day conference at the Breakers in Palm Beach. (Morgan Stanley had also still planned to send top employees to Monte Carlo and the Bahamas, events just canceled.)
The New York Post revealed that Sandy Weill, former chief executive of Citigroup, took a company jet to fly his family for a Christmas holiday to a $12,000-a-night luxury resort in San José del Cabo, Mexico. No matter that the company just got a $50 billion federal bailout and laid off 53,000 worldwide.The interior of the 18-seat jet, as described by The Post, is posh, with a full bar, fine-wine selection, $13,000 carpets, Baccarat crystal glasses, Cristofle sterling silver flatware and — my personal favorite — pillows made from Hermès scarves.
I continue to wonder what fosters such arrogance and self-regard. Kings and queens are born into responsibility, public exposure, accountability and notice. They perform, or, in the past, "Off with their heads." Perhaps a head that though it has not performed its duty, needs to rest on a Hermes scarf while in flight, needs a good slash of the ax to bring it down to life as food for mushrooms, maggots, and worms.