Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Apologize and Shut-Up

Eugene Robinson in the WaPo expresses what many of us feel:

Some financial-sector stocks perked up yesterday on reports that the Treasury was "open" to a proposal from Citigroup that the Treasury effectively take more ownership of the bank but stop short of full nationalization. It's understandable that investors would be heartened by the prospect that the money they already have in Citigroup wouldn't be completely wiped out by a government takeover. But I think my reaction is closer to that of the average citizen: What standing does Citigroup have to propose anything?

Shouldn't the executives of Citigroup, Bank of America and much of the rest of the nation's financial establishment just say they're sorry, sit down in the corner and shut up? Taxpayers have already spent hundreds of billions of dollars bailing out Wall Street, not to mention the trillions more we've put at risk in various kinds of backstop guarantees. It would be nice to hear sincere apologies and expressions of gratitude. "Have we got a deal for you" is pushing it.

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