Don't Pimp My Jet

A Treasury official anonymously passes a message from POTUS to Citigroup about a plane it purchased two years ago: Don't.

I think I saw this in a movie once. Oh, yeah: Luca Brasi is quietly dispatched by the Don to carry a message to the Tattaglias: the Corleones won't help purchase Sollozzo's used Dassault Falcon. Such a thing looks bad on the front page of the NYT used to wrap the fish sent to Sonny telling him Luca's been killed in a double cross.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) demands, because letters from Senators are not requests, details from Microsoft about the company's plans to reduce its workforce by about 3,000 over 18 months, with particular detail about the citizenship and country-of-origin of those let go. The legal bills and workhours spent pushing paper to satisfy Sen. Busybody kills trees and jobs, jobs which Congress considers its proper role to protect (an act which, amazingly, actually destroys them, a post for another time).

This is how it works when Washington decides to run businesses (or gets to decide because, in Citi's case, it's the financier). Do this, don't do that. Keep it off the front page. Fire this guy, not that guy (how would Sen. G. know the comparative skill of one programmer over another and his relative contribution? Hint: he wouldn't). MSFT didn't even take any federal bailout cash.

Anyone else wonder how this ad hoc meddling affects risk-taking? Think Luca Brasi.

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