Things that just occurred to me, in no particular order

Grr. Arrgh. AIG.

When the AIG bonus story broke, I was right there with everyone else, cursing up a storm.

Here they are, millionaires getting government bailouts. And instead of doing something useful with this public largess, they pocket the cash.


Of course, I knew in the back of my mind that there was more to the story. I hate that. Nothing ruins a nice populist rage like common sense.

So then, I read the following letter from one of those bonus-ees.

I’ll sum up: When AIG went into the toilet, all the people that were responsible fled, leaving one helluva mess to clean up. Guys like Jake DeSantis stayed behind, in profitable divisions, and started scrubbing.

The bonuses were why they did it. Most took $1 in salary, expecting to pay the bills with the end-of-the-year bonus. Now they find themselves demonized and threatened for doing their jobs.

To his credit, he’s not keeping the bonus. He plans to donate it to some charity. Amazingly, he claims he has enough money on his own that he doesn’t need it.

But you can’t imagine a guy like this — or anybody, for that matter — to work for free.

So that makes me wonder about a lot of different things about the story. Like, why isn’t everybody just as upset that most of the bailout money is being invested internationally? That U.S. taxpayer money is being used to help other economies?

And how should the bailout money be used, after all?

I hate to think that the current anger could be generational. The older culprits escaped with the money but the middle-aged GenXers are being expected to clean up the mess and take the blame.


Comments on: "Grr. Arrgh. AIG." (4)

  1. Miss Merlene said:

    GENERATIONS?!?!?! Gernerations, Generations, generations…what they mean to the US economy.

    The companies that are sending the bailout money overseas need to be stopped. Tax the hell out of them, shout their names, advertise the misdeeds. And don’t try to tell me that there is more the story. I like my populist rage.

  2. There’s no way it’s worth working for a dollar to clean up that mess!

  3. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit that there is a generational aspect to this story. Generation X is often reviled in the media for being slackers or focused on money ahead of ideals. But most Gen X’ers are very pragmatic and hold themselves to high PERSONAL standards (although they often don’t care what other people think of them). So Gen X’ers are the right people to clean up this sort of mess.

    I have more on which generation is to blame for the crisis on my blog.

  4. Miss Merlene said:

    Back to the populist rage: I just got an email from a person I know slightly, who works for AIG in a non-screw up related department. Her take on the rage that has been manifesting itself in CT is that the population need to “get a hold of themselves and think about their actions.” Oooooh. Now, I am not pro-lynch mob mentality, but coming from an employee of the company that is currently screwing this country royally, it was a bit much. Just on a personal note, I would be looking for another company to work for. I don’t believe that I could work for this company, regardless of the “other department” aspect to this situation.

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