On the heels of millions in AIG bonuses
We The Peopleare mad as hell!
We The People, apparently, are “mad as hell” and we aren’t going to take it any longer. Or arewe? What I’m talking about here is the latest sad development in the current economic crisisfacing us in this country—the fact that AIG, the giant insurance conglomerate that (so far) has been the recipient of some $170 billion of
money, and is now
eighty percent taxpayer owned
,will be paying certain of their executives bonuses amounting to $450 million!“We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the AIG businesses. . . if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued arbitrary adjustments by theU.S. Treasury,” is how Edward Liddy, AIG chief executive officer, justified giving the bonuses.Liddy was recruited by the Obama administration to run AIG in conjunction with the bail out. Nearly a fourth of the AIG executives who will be receiving bonuses include those in the same business unit, the so-called Financial Products division, that brought the company to the brink of bankruptcy last year, necessitating the massive “bail out” by us deep-pocketed U.S. taxpayers.Is there no end to the arrogance and insolence of some of our business “leaders”? Are we citizensreally this stupid and gullible? Is there no end to our patience in the face of such continuedoutrages? I think not!Still, there seems to be little the federal government can do, legally, to prevent AIG from payingthese executive bonuses, many of which were negotiated in 2008, before the company founditself looking over the edge of the financial cliff.About 400 AIG employees are scheduled to be included in the bonus plan, and those bonusesrange from as low as $1,000 to as much as $6.5 million. About seven of the executives from theFinancial Products division (the division that nearly bankrupted the company!) are set to receiveabout $3 million in bonuses. Now, call me dumb and naive, but is this really any way to run a business, particularly one wetaxpayers now virtually own? Can you imagine, say, a small business owner actually paying a
employee, executive or not, whose actions (or inactions) nearly bankrupted thecompany? Of course not! More likely, the offending employee would be summarily dismissed,and should be!Just because AIG is supposedly one of those companies deemed “too big to let fail,” it doesn’talter the fact that this bonus program is an extremely inflammatory move on the part of thecompany and the timing of it couldn’t be worse.President Obama and his administration are becoming increasingly concerned that the anger anddisgust fomenting among the citizenry against Wall Street, banks and “Big Business” in general,if not checked, could easily derail his agenda for economic recovery. They have good reason to