Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Little punk staffer

Thus spake the Krugman:
Menzie Chinn wonders what constitutes a punk staffer, after John Boehner told bankers, “Don’t let those little punk staffers take advantage of you and stand up for yourselves”.

What Menzie doesn’t understand is that this is how bankers think of anyone who stands in the way of their God-given right to have whatever they want. Consider this memorable passage from William Cohan’s House of Cards, recounting Jimmy Cayne’s reaction to Tim Geithner’s reluctance to bail out Bear Stearns:

“The audacity of that [punk] in front of the American people announcing he was deciding whether or not a firm of this stature and this whatever was good enough to get a loan,” he said. “Like he was the determining factor, and it’s like a flea on his back, floating down underneath the Golden Gate Bridge …, saying, ‘Raise the bridge.’ This guy thinks he’s … He’s got nothing, except maybe a boyfriend. I’m not a good enemy. I’m a very bad enemy. But certain things really—that bothered me plenty. It’s just that for some clerk to make a decision based on what, your own personal feeling about whether or not they’re a good credit? Who … asked you? You’re not an elected officer. You’re a clerk. Believe me, you’re a clerk. I want to open up on this …, that’s all I can tell you.”