Saturday, March 14, 2009

AIG Bonuses - Can ANYONE defend this?

"Despite being bailed out with more than $170 billion from the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, AIG is preparing to pay about $100 million in bonuses to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year."

Huh? April Fools day is two weeks away - so that's not it. This story absolutely boggles my mind and boils my blood. I'm on fucking BAJUNGI tilt.

Look, I worked on Wall Street for nine years. I'm sympathetic to the fact that bonuses will still be paid to some employees at firms who are receiving government funds. It's not the ideal situation, and one could certainly argue that even if you worked for a division of these firms that did make money, you should be screwed anyway because if we, the taxpayers, hadn't bailed out your firm, your company would go bankrupt and no one would get bonuses. However, this is one case where the "we still need to reward talent" argument can still POTENTIALLY be made.

In AIG's case, however, that argument is null and void, yet their CEO, Edward Liddy, is still clinging to it when justifying payments to the very guys who blew up our financial system with incompetent and irresponsible behavior!

"Mr. Liddy defended the need to continue paying bonuses if A.I.G. was going to unwind the rest of its disastrous mortgage-related business at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. “We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses — which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” he wrote Mr. Geithner."

So, just so I have Liddy's view straight: the guys in AIG's financial products division, which played the key role in AIG losing NINETY NINE BILLION DOLLARS last year - are the best and brightest talent? FUCK YOU EDWARD LIDDY! And don't give me any bullshit about contractual obligations (which they mention in the article). If we didn't give AIG over a hundred and fifty billion dollars (does it seem like a real number when I actually write the words out like that?) in protection, they wouldn't be able to pay any bonuses.

I can't even think of a relevant analogy to Edward Liddy calling the guys in AIG's financial destruction division the best and the brightest. I guess it's like if you were having work done in your home, and the workers took a giant crap right in the middle of the floor, and you decided to pay them MORE money to clean it up, because no one else was qualified to clean it up.

Maybe I should be mad at Barney Frank again, for not imposing sensible conditions when we dished out the money in the first place.

In yet another unrelated example of why more government involvement is bad, the New Jersey Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling wants to take away your right to wax your pubes. Thanks to The Bracelet for alerting me to this potentially disastrous law change that could result in all sorts of dangerous black market Brazillian bikini waxings, or worse, gigundous hairy beevs.



Anonymous said...

This is sick. Why in the world are we helping these companies that keep sending millions to people who do not know how to run a company? Furthermore, I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg--there are so many ways these funds are hurting 'average Joes' but benefiting those in high places. Look what Enterprise rent-a-car did to get bailout funds:

Anonymous said...

Libby justifies this by saying that AIG is contractually obligated to pay the bonuses. Uh, so? Let the employees sue you for non payment. Let these idiots walk if they don't like it. Screw them. They're fucking crooks in my opinion. Yeah, thats right, you asshole AIG numbskulls if you're reading this. Get cancer and die, fuckwads.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but does anyone actually know what these bonuses are about (besides that the bonuses took less then 0.1% of the bailout)? Part of the bonus is withheld salary from last year, and it's not all for the executives that messed it up, but most of it goes for the "normal" people - analyst, technicians and so on. Just wanted to clarify this.

Take care,