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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Arrogant, Intoxicated, Greedy

I can now see why Tom Wolfe pictured these guys as Masters of the Universe.

The boys at AIG (and Citigroup, and Lehman Brothers and Bear, Stearns and the long list of failed and failing Wall Street ventures) are certainly one for the record books -- ready to replace Nero for as the system of obliviousness in the face of a raging fire storm.

They still think there is a legal obligation to pay them their tainted millions even as the world they created continues to crumble around them. And if the rest of the world has to stand in line behind them, well then that's just the way it needs to be.
"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."
It is truly hard to believe someone presiding over a company now 80 percent owned by American taxpayers as a result of the actions of the "best and the brightest" can say those words with a straight face. Even knowing they threaten to bring down what is left of the financial system they plunged into chaos.

The Masters of the Universe have built a insular little world of sycophants and luxuries based on buying and selling things few people can fathom. It was all fun and games for them until the house of cards started to fold -- largely because those tools of greed had no basis in reality.

Yet the continue to believe it is they -- and only they -- who can fix the mess. And the government? Take the trillion or so you have funneled our way to prop us up and get out of the way.

Congress. who are you anyway?
The attack by lawmakers on AIG pay has provoked renewed complaints from some financial company executives that federal involvement in business decisions is making it difficult for struggling firms to return to profitability. In particular, executives say they need to offer bonuses to keep and motivate their most valuable employees and are already seeing an exodus of talent
Rather than retain "talent," Wall Street needs to be fumigated, cleared of the arrogant, intoxicated and greedy individuals who have placed themselves above everyone.

The ultimate irony is they are now expecting enforcement of contracts made on the basis of different contracts they wrote which have proven to be not worth the paper they were written on.

The same reality should be applied to the deals they now wish to enforce by dipping their hands directly into the hands of the American people.

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Blogger tim said...

It looks like those crazy republicans in the house along with some dems ( Kucinich being the most notable ) were right to oppose this crap in September. I wish Obama just takes over these too big to fail companies and sells them off in pieces.

March 18, 2009 12:19 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I do not believe that the taxpayers are liable to pay these bonuses. After all, these are employment contracts made by and between AIG and its employees. It is immaterial to me that the compensation structure of this entity relied on paying out bonuses for retention purposes. AIG went belly-up, and therefore no longer has sufficient assets at hand to 'honor' their own employment contracts. No assets, no bonuses. End of a sordid tale.

March 18, 2009 12:30 PM  

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