By John W. Lillpop
Edward M. Liddy, CEO of AIG, apparently thinks that all Americans are uninformed dim wits whom could care less about how taxpayer money is handled and accounted for.
In Liddy's mind, fiduciary is just another F word to be avoided in mixed company, and especially while attempting to BS Congress on national television.
Although Liddy is justified in regarding Congressional liberals as fiduciary-challenged terrorists, the fact is that "Bonusgate" has turned into a wild fire that even liberal spin-doctors cannot contain.
As reported, in part, at iht.com, Ref. 1:
"As the lucrative bonuses paid to employees of the American International Group fueled fresh outrage at the White House and on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the embattled chief executive of A.I.G. said that he had asked some recipients to give at least half the money back.
The chief executive, Edward M. Liddy, made the announcement during his testimony on Wednesday afternoon before a congressional committee investigating the problems at the company.
'I have asked the employees of AIG Financial Products to step up and do the right thing,' Mr. Liddy told lawmakers. 'Specifically, I have asked those who received retention payments of $100,000 or more to return at least half of those payments.' "
Let's see if Liddy's presentation passes the all-important bail out smell test for common sense and credibility.
To begin with, Mr. Liddy, why did you ask your employees to return only 50 percent of the amount in excess of $100,000? Why not ask for at least 90 percent back?
If your 50 percent gambit is indicative of your negotiating skills, the complete failure of AIG suddenly makes perfect sense.
In addition, it seems obvious that doing the "right thing" would mean that every nickel of those ill-begotten bonuses should be returned. Every last nickel, plus usury!
Good heavens, Mr. Liddy, your bonus-eligible employees have managed to turn a once respectable, profitable firm into an involuntary non-profit that must feed on the public trough to survive.
Why in the hell should anyone associated with AIG be rewarded AT ALL for Arrogance, Ineptness, and Greed (AIG)?
To Congress Critters investigating this insanity, if you sign off on 50 percent of the "right thing," will you also rewrite the tax code so that the unwashed masses can satisfy IRS by paying 50 percent of taxes owed?
Can bank robbers be forgiven of all felonies if they simply return 50 percent of the stolen loot?
Can someone please order greedy mortgage lenders to drop foreclosure proceedings if the borrower comes up with 50 percent of the mortgage balance?
Will Citigroup and other credit card gangsters accept 50 percent of the "minimum amount due" in these tough times?
One last thought: Republican Senator Grassley from Iowa suggested that AIG employees should consider suicide as a means for gaining redemption in this sordid mess.
Terrific thought, with one caveat: Do the offing only AFTER all taxes have been paid in full!