I think all the focus on the bailout about not providing a golden parachute is annoying and minor and ultimately irrelevant. I understand and share the anger, but let's take a quick look at something bothering me. I'm somewhat estimating amounts, but I think it's accurate. If we can limit these golden parachutes to executives at the firms we assist/takeover/bailout/whatever it we will be doing, let's say the total savings to "owners" of the organizations, I'm thinking stockholders, is seemingly substantial. Let's say 100 firms and we save $100,000,000/firm in executive pay. That sounds good, and over 100 firms is $1,000,000,000 (1 billion)! That is a lot of money.
It also happens to be 1/700 of the total estimated cost, or .14% of the amount the treasury asked for and received. So we got some sort of limit on this for a very small number of people who are already extremely wealthy and paying very low taxes and we considered it a win? Do you think those people learned anything? If that can't go to jail for fraud or incompetence, this is better than nothing maybe but I don't consider a win. Even saving an average of $1B/firm is only 1.4% of the total bailout amount.
For me, I'm still confused where the number $700 billion came from, nor does anything I read explain where it came from (help me if I missed something) or if it is even enough.
Here is how I would have come up with a number. Base premise: I need a very large number in the hundreds of billions, and the more the better. However, if it is overly excessive the media (damn liberal media!) and everyone else is going to round it up to $1 trillion, which won't fly publicly. Therefore, I need a high hundreds of billions amount that won't round up to 1 trillion. 800 is a little too high and rounds up. 700 billion is closer to 500 billion than a trillion, 750 billion might be discussed as "three quarters of a trillion dollars...". And here we are. I made that up, but it wouldn't surprise me.