Image via WikipediaOk, I don't need to post a link to an article. The WHOLE WORLD knows about this one. There has actually been a debate for days- yes days - over this AIG bonus matter.
I need to know what "they" are thinking. But the key question is who are the "they"
First, at the risk of being controversial, who are the "they" that agreed to these contracts in the first place. It has been raised that these contracts were actually entered into after - yes, after - AIG received the first set of bailout funds. Please tell me that it is not so. Because this would mean that after that public outcry, someone actually developed and signed these contracts knowing taxpayers money would be paying for this. Do these "they" have no conscience?
Second, if the taxpayers own 80% of AIG, is that not partial nationalization? I have already spoken and written several times about why partial nationalization is such a disaster. This is exactly why. Case in point. Those in charge get to spend taxpayers money as they like. Fully nationalize and cut out this nonsense.
Third, excuse me, but these are contracts. And if they are contracts, then evidently there are obligations. The American way of capitalism is all about honoring contracts, so I get that. So where were the "they" to make these contracts null and void if government assistance is provided? That is called a "conditionality" - quite another popular feature of the American way of capitalism. Ben Bernanke, please add this to your list for regulatory reform.
Fourth, and here's where I must be missing something. Am I really to understand that derivatives traders - the same "they" who caused this massive mess not just to the AAA rated AIG, but to the entire global financial system - are the "they" who MUST get bonuses, and that these "they" actually want them? Do they live in society with the rest of us? You know, I said that Wall Street was in desperate need of PR. Strike that. All these companies need an entire machinery to explain this NEED for this type of compensation system when 1) people do not perform and 2) when people make a mess of the entire world. I am sorry but us mere mortals do not get it. Because in our world, if we mess up we get no bonus or we get fired. And in our world when those "they" make a mess of the world, we in the rest of the world lose our jobs because of those "they" and we wonder how we are going to literally survive this period. Earth to AIG: The majority of the world wonders where their next meal comes from. Where are the sanctions for making a mess? Ben Bernanke, you need this one on your list too.
AIG and its employees need to get a grip. Nothing lasts forever. We all live in this world. If your customers, clients, target market, regulators and all the people you do business with absolutely abhor you and your practices, not only will the company not last, but all your employees will become unemployable. Respectfully, these "they" are not team players.