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A "face" behind the AIG bonuses

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/25/op...s.html?_r=1&em

Seems as though the public has been misled and basically outright lied to about who the bonuses went to as well as the details. I sure wasn't aware that many of those who got the bonuses had agreed to a salary of $1, nor was there any indication that this division did anything other than the credit default swap mess.
post #2 of 7
I hope this letter gets wider distribution and public attention. Bit I do have a bit of a reservation:

Quote:
And I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us. I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday
I watched most of Liddy's testimony and I don't think this characterization of his testimony is accurate. I thought that he stood up about as well as he could given the context. He didn't mention anything about working for a $1 but he did praise them, recounting their efforts at getting AIG out of this mess, and refused to turn over their names. I thought he did a good job of supporting them in front of the panel and certainly did nothing even hinting of betrayal.

I have to wonder how much of this letter is sour grapes.
post #3 of 7
This was a train wreck headed their way and I can't believe none of them saw this coming. Before AIG went to the gov asking for money the CEO should have sat down with these people and asked them to renegotiate the contracts. I don't care what they would offer, double the amount owed, as long as it gets deferred until after the taxpayers were paid back.

If AIG had gone under none of these bonues would have been paid anyways. Give them a salary. Pay them what any company that is in financial trouble would pay their employees.

I can't feel too sorry for him when I saw the amount of that bonus. I could live the rest of my life off $740,000.
post #4 of 7
He did admit that he wouldn't be hurting.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle IMO.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
He did admit that he wouldn't be hurting.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle IMO.
I think it's somewhere in the middle too, Cindy.

I thought that a couple of his points were interesting, though. What has been reported is only that it was "the division that caused AIG's downfall". Never did they say how many of the employees that got the bonuses were part of that section of the company. They just left it as an assumption that they were all in the greed and bad decision section.

No where did they say that any of these people had agreed to a salary of $1, and that the "bonuses" were really their compensation for the year. I know the amount sounds like a lot, but we also don't know how much he was making before the financial issues. It may be a drastic cut in pay - and he didn't have to give the amount he received.

You know that old adage "two wrongs don't make a right"? Well, in this case, I really think it's more like "multiple wrongs don't make one wrong right". Was AIG wrong to do the contracts the way that they did? No doubt.

Is it wrong for Congress to penalize this group of people with the tax code? Is it wrong for Congress to try to basically negate the legal contracts of AIG because they don't like the contracts now? Is it wrong for people to target the employees, even if they are executives, with death threats? Is it wrong for special interest groups like ACORN to give guided tours to disgruntled people (so they will know which houses to target) of these private citizens? Yes to all of the above!

Even if what this guy wrote isn't all black and white truth (as if the other side we've been told is!), it's still the other side of the story. There are people, families, private citizens on the other side of those bonus checks.

Congress is over-reaching with what they are attempting to do with the 90% retroactive, punative tax. Threats of violence are not acceptable in civilized society. Yes, we have a right to be angry, but our anger should be directed at the ones who got us in the middle of the AIG mess to begin with; who knowingly allowed the contracts and bonuses to be exempted in the first place and then tried to cover their butts when the poo hit the fan. Not the ones who did their jobs in the first place. The ones who didn't do their jobs of working for the people to begin with.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I think it's somewhere in the middle too, Cindy.

I thought that a couple of his points were interesting, though. What has been reported is only that it was "the division that caused AIG's downfall". Never did they say how many of the employees that got the bonuses were part of that section of the company. They just left it as an assumption that they were all in the greed and bad decision section.

No where did they say that any of these people had agreed to a salary of $1, and that the "bonuses" were really their compensation for the year. I know the amount sounds like a lot, but we also don't know how much he was making before the financial issues. It may be a drastic cut in pay - and he didn't have to give the amount he received.
You know that old adage "two wrongs don't make a right"? Well, in this case, I really think it's more like "multiple wrongs don't make one wrong right". Was AIG wrong to do the contracts the way that they did? No doubt.

Is it wrong for Congress to penalize this group of people with the tax code? Is it wrong for Congress to try to basically negate the legal contracts of AIG because they don't like the contracts now? Is it wrong for people to target the employees, even if they are executives, with death threats? Is it wrong for special interest groups like ACORN to give guided tours to disgruntled people (so they will know which houses to target) of these private citizens? Yes to all of the above!

Even if what this guy wrote isn't all black and white truth (as if the other side we've been told is!), it's still the other side of the story. There are people, families, private citizens on the other side of those bonus checks.

Congress is over-reaching with what they are attempting to do with the 90% retroactive, punative tax. Threats of violence are not acceptable in civilized society. Yes, we have a right to be angry, but our anger should be directed at the ones who got us in the middle of the AIG mess to begin with; who knowingly allowed the contracts and bonuses to be exempted in the first place and then tried to cover their butts when the poo hit the fan. Not the ones who did their jobs in the first place. The ones who didn't do their jobs of working for the people to begin with.
Your post makes a lot of sense, Heidi. We do need to direct our anger at the responsible parties. I have to say though the amount of this one bonus kind of made me crazy.
post #7 of 7
I think it needs to be considered that there are TWO parties that need to be held responsible as per Heidi's post: those that repealled regulation and made this mess possible (Congress) and those that took advantage, pushed greed to the limits, and misused that advantage to irresponsible and imprudent management of other people's money (the former AIG traders and money managers, presumably now all gone into hiding).

Some of the very people investigating this mess with intent to find those responsible and punish them are themselves responsible under party number one. Barney Frank is one good example. I don't really think he's capable of investigating himself. Therefore this investigation is in the wrong hands. It's being misused to cover the culpability of party number one.
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