Can we talk for a minute? I'm sure by now you have heard about the ridiculousness that is AIG.
- 80% owned by the federal government
- 170 billion in bailouts thus far
And the latest is the hundreds of millions of dollars in 'bonus' pay that AIG, in spite of being insolvent, will pay it's employees. Their reason for paying the bonuses? It was 'promised' before the economic meltdown and is necessary to retain the 'top' talent. Secretary Geithner wrote to CEO Liddy, imploring him not to pay the bonuses, but succeeded only in compelling him to reduce the amount by 30%. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm not making it up. Oh, did I mention that these employees, the top talent who Liddy is afraid will jump ship if they don't receive their promised bonuses, these are the people who work in the AIG Financial Products subsidiary. Yeah, that's the division that nearly did AIG in. Yeah, they are getting bonuses.
Now I know this has been discussed ad nauseam, but what I want to say today is directed at our leaders in Washington. On all the Sunday talk shows, in all of the online magazines, all across the news spectrum everybody is outraged about this. 'Bipartisan Outrage' a headline screams. 'Bernanke says AIG angers him most' says another. And on and on and on. You know what my problem is? If everyone is so hot about this, tell me, how come nobody can do anything about it? I mean, am I missing something? We own 80% of AIG and we can't make him kill the bonuses? And if we can't do it by force of law, we can't compel them to change their minds? You mean to tell me that we don't have a strong enough argument for why these bonuses shouldn't be paid? The best you (Geithner, Frank, Bernanke, etc)can do is go on the news circuit and tell me how mad you are? Frankly, I don't want to hear your moral outrage and indignation. I want you to do what you were hired to do and fix it!!! When I see you on TV and you are going on and on about how outrageous this is and how angry it makes you, it doesn't make me feel as though you understand where I'm coming from. It makes me think that you are pathetic and useless. If you can't do anything about this injustice, then tell me, what am I paying you for?