In the first Congressional hearing into the financial crisis, the former CEO of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers, Richard Fuld, became the poster boy for Wall Street greed today as he defended the $484 million he received in salary, bonuses and stock options since 2000.
“Is that fair?” asked committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) who pointed out Fuld owns a mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, an ocean front estate on Jupiter Island, Florida, a ski chalet in Idaho and a Manhattan apartment.
“If you haven’t discovered your role, you’re the villain today,” said Rep. John Mica (R-FL). […]
Fuld said he has yet to understand why the federal government helped to bail out the AIG insurance company and other investment banking firms, but did not do so a few days earlier to save Lehman Brothers.
“Until the day they put me in the ground, I will wonder,” Fuld told the Congressional panel, seeming to seethe with anger.
“This is a pain that will stay with me the rest of my life.” (emphasis mine)
This is how insulated, how entitled, these people are. A rare moment when the government doesn’t plug the holes that they drilled in the ship of their business, and they get pissed. Fuld is expressing a sense of betrayal at Lehman Brothers actually being allowed to reap what they’d sown — like an abandoned child or something. Seriously, imagine him in the picture on the original article bitching about daddy leaving him behind. It doesn’t take much.
Edit 100708, 5:40pm: Then again, I guess if I were former head of a huge finance company & a congressman had just thrown in my face that the decision of bailout vs no bailout was purely a matter of pwnage-by-other-means by Goldman Sachs, I’d probably be pretty pissed too.