Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Finally! I've been hearing folks talk about the huge bonuses being paid to some of the AIG staff. I heard AIG claiming "they couldn't help it," because contracts had to be honored. As if they were helpless!

Through all this, I thought about the auto manufacturers who came with hat in hand, asking Congress for doles ... and they and the U.S. Congress made the deals contingent on the companies renegotiating their contracts with the unions. They did it. The auto workers swallowed deep and agreed to modify their contracts to reduce salaries and benefits.

Now ... AIG is claiming that they "can't help it" -- that they must pay these obscene bonuses to the people who destroyed the company. And I wonder: Why is it that the auto companies can renegotiate their contracts with blue-collar workers, but -- for some reason -- AIG can't renegotiate their contractual obligations with the high-paid thieves who destroyed their company???

Just this evening, I finally heard someone on the PBS Newshour ask the same question. No one answered the question to my satisfaction. But at least the question was raised.

BTW, this topic strikes me close to home. I have the vast majority of my retirement fund with VALIC ... which was purchased some years ago by AIG. I have watched its value decline month after month, as I know many of you have too. ... So I take this AIG crap pretty personally.


Blogger Ann said...

WE own AIG - or at leas 85 % of it now. I think we can say -- sorry - no bonuses for losing the company. See Rachel Maddow from last night - you can download the show free from iTunes.

3/17/2009 8:50 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

I'm sorry if I was unclear, Ann.

The auto companies forced the unions to give up salaries and benefits. Why the hell can't we force AIG to do the same thing with their overpaid, massively failed employees?

I'm agreeing with you ... in spades!

3/17/2009 8:58 PM  
Blogger Laura Toepfer said...

I also hate this "brightest and best" crap--you know, that they need to give bonuses in order to keep the brightest and the best working for them.

Speaking as a person who has never gotten a bonus, I find it more than ludicrous that a) they think they need bonuses to get the b & b; b) that they for some reason think they HAVE gotten the b & b, given the results they've posted; and c) they de-value things like, oh, integrity which would seem to belong to people who don't take bonuses when their business goes down the drain.

BOY do they not get it. What will it take?

3/17/2009 10:01 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Ditto, Laura.

We recently got the news from the legislature. For yet another year, we folks in the Archives will not get any pay raise. None. No matter what we have acheived. None to offset the health care increase. None to offset our increased cost of living.

And yet these assholes at AIG get millions??? It flat ticks me off!

3/17/2009 10:05 PM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

Ack! This is an outrage. I was once a corporate executive and in order to receive my bonus, certain criteria had to be met by me, my team, our division and our company.

I guess that is some quaint old fashioned thing.

And you are so right about the auto unions, I have been saying the same thing!

3/18/2009 6:28 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Yeah, I have similar old-fashioned notions, Fran.

3/18/2009 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know where you are coming from! The other night we got news from the family in Utah and asked about Ron's daughter in MA. Her hubby is a VP at Merril Lynch and we were concerned. (This is the daughter that won't speak to Ron anymore because he stayed with "trailer trash" me)Anyway we found out that when B of A bought out ML they gave him a 1.5 mill bonus! Once again, our hard earned "bailout" money doing its thing. Not that I have anything against hard work, but it's gonna cost how many generations to pay for this bs! Of course I did hear on NPR this morning that they are asking questions over there too. Not that I would deprive any hard working person the right to get ahead, but I hope they either just take it back or tax the hell out of it with no possible loopholes. Venting again......Sorry. ;-)

3/18/2009 10:11 AM  
Blogger Göran Koch-Swahne said...

May Lord Keynes and the other fellas raise from their graves!

3/18/2009 11:07 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Vent away, Roberta!
What a shock it must've been ... to begin with concern for him, and then realize, "Hey! That's my money you're pocketing!"

(And WTF is this about "trailer trash"?!?!! I know which one of you "married up"!)

3/18/2009 8:57 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Amen, Göran!

3/18/2009 8:58 PM  

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