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Archive for March 20th, 2009

秋後算帳

There is one new Chinese trick that Americans learned today called 秋後算帳. In the old days, when farmers try to lease land from their landlord every year, landlord would use this term to mean they will determined the rent after Autumn’s harvest. More often than not they will be more than the farmer expects. But then again they have no choice. Under the eyes of contractual law, such term is unfairly favoring the landlord, as the terms are determined after the contract has been executed and forced upon the farmer by the landlord.

As a capitalist society, today marks a dark day when the congress decided to retroactively change the term of a contract already executed. It is requiring employees who work in companies that received “bailout money” to pay a 90% tax on their bonus. Of course the money has already been accepted. And if the companies know of such term I bet the majority of them who have a choice would not take the money. I bet many ate thinking how they can payback the govt right now.

The issue here is not whether these people deserve the money, but the spirit that a deal is a deal, a contract is a contract. It’s unfortunate that we the tax payer is paying for these greedy bastards who caused the crisis. But shaking investors confidence in our contractual settlement system will cost us far more than whatever money we can’t collect. Suck it up and deal with it.

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