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Bailout fraud starts early

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It may be immoral bordering on criminal, but it's a logical conclusion in every sense.

Shareholders get a Board notice saying "we have to pay bonuses (or issue a new round of options at 3c instead of $27) otherwise we will lose all our talented executives with their years of experience and inside knowledge. Your board, whilst cognisant of the current issues and shareholder displeasure with their recent performance, unanimously agrees that this is in the best interest of the stability of the company and its shareholders".

Your average shareholder doesn't know any better to argue with the Board.

Even belligerent shareholders think "gee, if we sack this lot, how will we attract new people and give any sense of them making their high salaries?". Answer, you hire new people with the promise of sign-on bonuses, high salaries and options at 3c.

A few key executives fall on their swords (generally with nice little agreements signed between themselves and other directors) but inertia almost always wins.

There was a strong (and obviously winning) argument for the bailout, but failure would have got rid of lots of the troublemakers.

As Delbertpgh (I think) said, Banks do not and never have acted morally. They act only (for the most part) within the laws that bind them.