Where is the Bailout Money Going?

I promised to include this bit of news in an article written by Charlie Gasparino from Streetinsider.com

How they’re using OUR  (bailout) $$$:

GM spent $3.3M on lobbying in Q4 ‘08, using govt bailout money

B(ank) of A(merica) spent $4.1M

Merrill Lynch spent $1.2M on lobbying in each of last 2 quarters, same amount CEO spent decorating his office ( read more HERE)

-“John Thain spent $1.22 million of Merrill’s money to refurbish his office. Thain’s largest expense was the hiring of celebrity designer Michael Smith for $800,000. This is the same guy who is currently redesigning the White House for the Obama family for only $100,000. Thain had Merrill pay that designer $700,000 more for the redesign of only his office. Again, are you kidding me?”

Persian Area Rug =$87,000
Egyptian Silk Curtains =$28,000
Mink Guest Chairs =$87,000
Roman Shade Fabric =$11,000
Mahogany Pedestal Table =$25,000
19th Century Credenza =$68,000
Hand-Stitched Polynesian Sofa =$28,000
George IV Desk =$18,000
Wall Sconces =$2,700
6 Antique Chairs =$37,000
Private Dining Room Mirror =$5,000
Dining Room Chandelier =$13,000
Commode On Legs =$35,000
Regency Chairs =$24,000
40 yards of Fabric For Wall Panels =$5,000
Parchment Waste Can =$1,400
Additional designer Expenses =$30,000
Firing John Thain =Priceless

Finally, in addition to the above ridiculous numbers, documents show Merrill paid $230,000 for Thain’s personal driver for one year’s work, which included the driver’s $85,000 salary and bonus of $18,000, and another $128,000 in over-time pay. Drivers of top executives are often paid about half that amount.

John Thain was dismissed last week from Bank of America. Apparently, according to a press release (HERE) he was “embarrassed” about his office expenses.  He was embarrassed he got caught – he’s no different from a greasy politician which is of course the point I try to hammer home any time I write about economics+politics.  Big corporations = big government = robbing you through taxes and inflation.

Why do I mention this stuff? Because I try to protect people’s money in my day job and my articles are about ways to protect your money (and sometimes ways to protect your safety and health too!) and these government bailouts (politicians bailing out their friends and trying to buy votes too) will cost you SEVERELY in taxes and inflation.

Chris Grande

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