Monday, March 16, 2009

HOW MY FURY WITH AIG ENDED MORE THAN A YEAR OF BLOGGING SILENCE


Damn, one minute you think blogging is Miss Thang, and the next thing you know Facebook is the new girl in school, and even that is being superseded by Twittering. During that time, friends have had babies, and the earth turned on its axis and the US elected a stellar President for the first time in 8 years, and many of your friends are in fear of being laid off from their jobs, and entire industries, as well as Wall Street in general, look like ghost towns. It's been over a year, folks.

Still, you’re sort of into epinions.com, and what is there new to say really? Then you wake up on a rainy Sunday morning and read this headline which for obvious reasons raises your blood pressure way up high when you consider the depth of the injustice: "AIG says it will try to restrain future bonuses: CEO says despite $170 billion bailout, ‘hands are tied’ and can’t cut them."—and suddenly you know exactly what you want to say! And to make matters worse you're linked to an older headlines,“$619 Million Paid to Keep A.I.G. Staff”—this one didn’t get nearly as much press back in January when it headlined right around the time of the inauguration.


Here’s more: “The American International Group, the insurance company, is giving executives and employees at least $619 million in retention pay, $150 million more than previously disclosed.

A.I.G. is spending the money to prevent about 4,200 employees from quitting, the insurer said in a document given to Representative Elijah Cummings. New York-based A.I.G. disclosed in a November regulatory filing that it was paying $469 million for at least 2,231 employees. Edward Liddy, the chief executive, is trying to dissuade employees from leaving. “ (source:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/business/16aig.html?_r=1&dbk)

The gem in that paragraph above, AIG used OUR money, the money your children and grandchildren (I’m childless) will be paying off, to KEEP the very idiots who led them down a path of financial ruin and inexplicably stupid speculation (see the experts—I’m not one, but I have been doing my homework and trying to understand). They not only “enticed” these same rotten employees to stay with taxpayer money, but now they are paying them bonuses. Un-freakin-believable. Yeah, you've got PLENTY to say.

Who here has ever been paid a bonus that exceeds $115K for royally screwing up their jobs? Who here defaulted on all their creditors, then asked the neighborhood to put their children into hawk so that you can be sure to maintain a lifestyle that NONE of those neighbors enjoys!?!?! This CANNOT be America, can we be so apathetic as to allow this?

Here’s what I wrote to AIG by using their “contact us” module on their website.: “I read this morning that you are going forward with paying outrageous, incomprehensible bonuses to the top brass in your floundering company. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES! How on earth do you sleep at night, knowing that the taxes of folks throughout this country who have endured pay cuts, lost jobs, soaring prices, plunging values of their homes, and a host of other difficulties, are PAYING FOR BONUSES which you categorically do not deserve.

The assertion that your "hands are tied" is ludicrous, you really must take most of us for fools. I certainly feel foolish for providing bailouts to you, when each day working for a non-profit I see families struggling to keep their children clothed and fed, all too often as a direct result of AIG, and other unethical financial institutions' failures.

I will always, through the rest of the days of my life, avoid any AIG product. I will encourage anyone I know to do the same, it seems likely they'll share my disgust. You surely know that the word gets out through the reproductive channels of the internet. The utter arrogance of your company executives paying themselves for not only FAILING IN AN ABJECT WAY, but BRINGING A COUNTRY OF TAXPAYERS DOWN WITH YOU, is impressive-and not in a good way!

I can only hope that there truly is such a thing as karma, and that each of you who accepts your unconscionable bonuses, will experience your comeuppance. You are a shameful lot, and will surely go down in history with a big, black blot by your contribution to the financial disaster this country is in.

Shame on you, each of you! You exemplify the utter worst of unbridled greed and absence of ethics.”


Did I mention that AIG just posted the largest one-quarter corporate LOSS IN HISTORY! I’m aware that it is not just AIG abusing this bailout, but they specifically hit a nerve.

Has anyone felt any relief? I worry about my job security every day. There is a system that is very broken when people are culpable and without recourse, but people operating under the umbrella of corporate welfare are given breaks the rest of us would never get.

I’m thinking that no one comes here anymore and I’m just preaching to the universe, but that’s OK. I had to vent. Any of you have any thoughts? Are you as incredulous as I am? Do you want your freakin’ money back? I wrote Nancy Pelosi as well.

As they say over at Margaret and Helen’s blog, thanks for playing in the garden. REALLY.


2 Comments:

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Nikki said...

oh i hear ya! loud and clear! such an excellent letter you wrote! what irks me is the divisionism of classes in this country of ours. i work retail in one of the most wealthiest areas of the midwest, and the stuff i encounter on a day-in, day-out basis BOGGLES MY MIND! how can some of these people be so out of touch with the ailments of their fellow citizens? that's just it, they don't see 'us' as 'fellow' citizens. i think they should publish the list of bonus recipients. let us all look the devils in the eye.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Pamela said...

Nik,

It's just the saddest reality. Folks who work, who actually PRODUCE SOMETHING instead of being paid atrocious sums of money for speculating and making deals without any contribution to the general welfare of this country, pay dearly when they they default, or go late on payments, or need to renegotiate? THEY ARE PENALIZED UP THE YING YANG. I remember when we paid nearly 11% interest on our home loan because we had late payments on our credit report. We paid thousands upon thousands of dollars extra each year just to have a loan. And ours was legitimate debt generated by unexpected doctor bills and tax bills ... this is what the most of America endures when we dare to F with the banks and lending institutions. Yet these very same institutions have NO culpability. Their actions continue to be self-serving and arrogant--because we reward that behavior in our country. We celebrate it on Survivor and in every form of competition. Winning is all that matters, collateral damage? Oh well, it's all "business," nothing personal.

When will the word get out to the middle-lower class that in many ways, WE PAY to keep the wealthy wealthy? I'm feeling another post coming on.

 

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