- Written by Paul
"We are sorry for it. I am especially sorry for what's happened to shareholders" and to all Americans, Morgan Stanley chief executive John Mack told a House panel Wednesday. "Clearly, as an industry, we have accountability and we're taking responsibility. I'll take responsibility for my firm."
What the banks have done with the bailout money so far?
Citigroup's Vikram Pandit reminded the committee that he canceled an order for a $50 million jet last month because it seemed unseemly just after his company received $45 billion from the government. He said that he already had two other similar jets, but that they were starting to show their age.
New York Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman said that in "the real world,' people cannot get loans to buy luxury jet aircraft.
"It seems to me and some of us that we would all want our own jets," he said.
South Carolina Republican Rep. Gresham Barrett said his constituents "simply have not seen the luxury jets that everyone is talking about. Having a jet or two would go a long way to making their lives better."
California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman to advise the CEOs to give up the expensive aircraft, maybe give them to the South Carolina constituents.
South Carolina Republican Rep. Gresham Barrett suggested that if they all bought new jets, that it could create jobs in the luxury jet industry. The problem would be in paying with credit cards, given the high interest rates and fees being charged. Still further senators suggested some kind of ride sharing program to allow constituents from all states to enjoy the benefits of luxury jet ownership.
JP Morgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon even offered to personally deal with any credit card rate complaints, one by one. He said that disgruntled customers could call their 1-900 number (fees apply) and be put on hold until he could get around to them. There was no promise that he could raise credit limits high enough to buy any jets though.
The United States' economy, already in recession for a year, is facing its worst crisis in generations as banks struggle to absorb losses and resume lending.
Bank of America's customers credit card interest rates were raised to cover the costs of attending the meeting.