Dealing with AIG: More Ideas
One day after [the President’s] economic advisers insisted that their hands had been tied by contracts requiring the payments, Mr. Obama ordered the Treasury Department to “pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses” and make the American taxpayers whole.
–“Obama in Effort to Undo Bonuses at AIG“; The New York Times (3/16/09)
Warren Buffett has called the ongoing financial melt-down an “economic Pearl Harbor.” Government officials, to rally support for various bailouts to date, have warned of economic collapse if their measures were rejected.
It sure seems like a national (if not global) emergency, albeit the financial kind.
And doesn’t the President have extraordinary powers in such crises, like suspension of habeas corpus?
In times of war and other crises, the Constitution contemplates that the President may arrest and indefinitely hold those who pose a threat to the country.
What AIG executives have done — and are continuing to do — arguably constitutes such a threat, on many levels (appropriating taxpayer money, destroying public confidence in government and the markets, etc.).
If there was such a thing as “economic treason” — and there should be — executives at AIG and several other companies have committed it.