While the president and Congress try to figure out how to stop the recession, millions of American investors are refusing to put their money back into the stock market because they believe it is rigged.
Some American companies are so corrupt, so poorly run, it is staggering. And often these companies are able to hide their misdeeds from the public, so we have no idea what's going on.
Under President Bush, federal oversight on Wall Street simply did not exist. The president appointed people like SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, who had no interest in policing any financial wrongdoing.
Add Cox's apathy to the gross incompetence of Democrats like Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank and the recipe for a meltdown was complete. You had a perfect storm whereby Wall Street crooks and fools ran wild.
The best example "Talking Points" can give you is the General Electric Corporation, which we have been investigating for years, ever since GE allowed NBC News to be hijacked by dishonest far-left ideologues.
In 2001, legendary GE boss Jack Welch retired and Jeffrey Immelt took over. On his watch, GE stock has declined an astounding 75 percent, down more than 30 percent since the first of this year. In addition, Immelt continued to do business with Iran, even as that country was sending roadside bombs into Iraq, killing and maiming thousands of human beings.
Think about this: Every other American company refused to do business with the mullahs, but not Immelt. If your son or daughter or husband or wife had been killed or hurt by Iranian weapons, could you forgive the man?
But Immelt has no shame, and even though GE continues to sink, his salary does not. GE stockholders pay Immelt about $20 million a year in compensation.
A few months ago I predicted GE would hit $10 a share, and last week it almost did. But Immelt still has his job, even as millions of stockholders are getting hammered. The reason this guy has not been fired is that he has GE's board of directors in his pocket because he gives them lavish perks.
This is why Americans can no longer trust the stock market. It is not based on performance; it is based on cronyism. There are thousands of Immelts running companies right now. CEOs who are ruining their operations while the stockholders lose billions.
So while President Obama wants the taxpayers to bail out the economy, the gangsters on Wall Street are still held largely unaccountable. Yeah, the Senate passed the stimulus package Tuesday, but the public remains deeply suspicious.
By the way, guess who appointed Jeffrey Immelt as one of his economic advisers? Hi, there, President Obama. And guess which network used its power to get President Obama elected? That would be NBC News, owned by General Electric.
Does that sound like "change we can believe in"? Does that sound like transparency?
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Actress Salma Hayek has partnered up with Proctor & Gamble to provide vaccines for African children. The program is called the Pampers "One Pack, One Vaccine" campaign, and for this Ms. Hayek is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, some moron in Florida called 911 after visiting a fast food restaurant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
911 DISPATCHER: You're at Burger King?
JEAN FORTUNE, CALLED 911 TO COMPLAIN: Yes, I'm at the Burger King on Boynton Beach Boulevard.
911 DISPATCHER: What's going on there?
FORTUNE: I'm coming here to buy something. I place an order. When I get there, I'm in the window, I tell the lady I want lemonade, pink lemonade. She say, "We don't have lemonade." I say, "Why you didn't say that to me before?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
The guy's definitely a pinhead, and he has now been arrested. You can't be calling 911 with dopey stuff like that.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org