Mark Cuban appeared on CNBC this morning to talk about the idea of the Fed and the Treasury collectively bailing out the entire economy. Ostensibly still disgusted from The Great Recession, where zero executives were held accountable and most of the Fed's TARP money went to line the pockets of executives and widen the inequality gap, Cuban had some choice words - and some good ideas - for what life should be like post-bailouts and after the coronavirus crisis ends.
Speaking to Andrew Ross Sorkin, Cuban lamented bailouts in the past that have ignored the middle class and sought to place accountability on the executives that have put their companies in such precarious positions, mostly through buybacks, that they can't weather the storm of an economic slowdown on their own.
"We already know what's going to happen," Cuban said.
"A year after this plays out, and it will, we'll look back and say why didn't we consider the workers? The everyday hourly worker. The people making minimum wage. Why didn't we reward them as well?"
"And so let's get ahead of it and whatever we do in a bailout, make sure that every worker gets compensated and is treated equally and that the executives don't get rewarded extra to stick around, because they have nowhere else to go."
"The government has taken their risk out of their equation, so let's treat all workers equally," Cuban said.
"How do we do that?" Sorkin asked.
"Two different things. Getting money into the system is a function of the Fed. And they're obviously taking those steps right now. Two, when there is a bailout, when a government comes in and offers assistance to an organization or a public company - whether its an airline or whatever it may be. There are most likely going to be steps taken by the company, and historically this is what has taken place, where they reward the executives. They reprice their options, they give them more stock, they give them warrants."
"Whatever it is that a company does for their executives, they should be required to proportionally do the same thing for everyone else that works for the company. Period, end of story."
"No buybacks. Not now, not a year from now, not 20 years from now. Not ever," Cuban concluded.
"Effectively you're spending taxpayer money to buy back stock and for me, that's just the wrong way to do that."
Even Jim Cramer weighed in on Twitter, supporting Cuban's views:
@mcuban It is very rare that i read something that i totally and unequivocally agree with. Below is one of those reads. I am so tired of the rich profiting from every cataclysm. This is the time to reset the system in favor of the working person. Right Now! https://t.co/btcvGP18Lu— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) March 18, 2020
Here's the video of Cuban's interview:
"No buybacks. Not now, not a year from now, not 20 years from now. Not ever." @mcuban on attaching terms to companies that need a government bailout during the #coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/MDzbWF2wFm— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) March 18, 2020