Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Too Big to Fail

Every time I hear or see another report of AIG (and others) being too big to fail, I think of Tony Mandarich.

Maybe only a Packer fan would remember Mandarich. But Tony was a Michigan State Spartan in the late 80s that was deemed the greatest offensive lineman ever. Ever. The Packers took the “Incredible Bulk” with the second overall pick (behind Troy Aikman). Most scouts, fans, and especially the Packers coaches knew that Mandarich was too big to fail.

Drafted in 1989, the Packers cut Tony Mandarich after three embarrassingly lousy seasons.

Mandarich was too big to fail so the Packers dumped millions of dollars on him. After three years, all they were out were millions of dollars. It appears that Mandarich could fail but the Packers survived and went on to win a Super Bowl a couple years after the Hulk was cut loose.

Is AIG too big to fail? Are any of the other banks, insurers, car makers, etc… too big to fail? After a $787 billion stimulus and $700 billion in bailouts with more to come, plenty has been shelled out by the taxpayers to grease the skids. AIG reportedly lost over $60 billion in the 4th quarter and so the bailout geniuses are sending another $30 billion to prop them up.

I guess my question is: while Mandarich was being propped up by the Packers, who was the tackle that actually started in his place? And what was he paid? If and when AIG does fail, who are the more brilliant financial leaders whose companies are going to fill AIG’s void? Same with car companies.

What is the government (with our tax dollars) doing to help the rest of the team weather this economic storm? The government is in charge of the Social Security Administration and that obviously isn’t too big to fail. And why isn’t anyone thinking that the middle class is too big to fail?

Barry Sanders and Derrick Thomas are just a couple of the players taken after Mandarich in the 1989 NFL draft. Those investments paid dividends. And throughout their All-Star careers, they didn’t need bailed out.

Top Ten things the "experts" thought were "too big to fail"

10. Howard Dean

9. The Roman Empire

8. Prevailing wage bill

7. Al Gore drinking New Coke while listening to his 8-track in a DeLorean with Thomas Dewey

6. Gigli

5. Communism (including Olympic hockey)

4. Governor Lightfoot

3. The Titanic

2. The British (circa 1776)

1. Obama


Anonymous said...

And they said Barry Sanders was too small to succeed....

Anonymous said...

Wow! Way to bust out "Gigli"!

That's awesome

Anonymous said...

What is the link to Tony Mandarich's website?