- Posted March 22, 2009 by
Oak Hill, Virginia
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Sound off on AIG
"Robber Barons:" Musical commentary on AIG bonus scandal
I think it's fair to say that we are all frustrated by the economic downturn. In recent weeks, the AIG bonus scandal has caused this frustration to boil over.
In a nutshell, AIG is using taxpayer bailout money to pay $165 million in bonuses to executives of the AIG Financial Products Division, the same division that came up with the "credit default swaps" racket that basically wrecked our economy. How's that for irony? Apparently, we, the taxpayers, are now in the business of incenting Wall Street executives to lose money, not make money.
I was struggling with the most productive way to express my frustration, so I wrote a song that captures how I (and, I daresay, most ordinary Americans) feel about this situation. This song is called "Robber Barons." I wrote this song a few weeks ago after getting my 401k statement in the mail and seeing the extent to which my hard-earned savings have evaporated over the last year.
This song is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but rings true on many issues. For example, over the last 20 years, we Americans have been told to invest our retirement savings in the stock market, only to find out after the market tanked that we would have been better off keeping our money in our checking accounts. Additionally, many Americans were advised by so-called financial experts to buy houses they couldn't really afford using high-interest mortgages that put them underwater and ultimately in foreclosure.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street "masters of the universe" who put us in this boat are getting billions of dollars in taxpayer bailout payments under the theory that the economy will collapse completely if the financial services firms collapse; in essence, the people who put us in this situation are holding the economy hostage if they don't get their money.
I uploaded my song to iReport.com for your listening and viewing pleasure. I have included the lyrics in the video as subtitles. Enjoy!