AIG And The 21st Century Witch Hunt

Do you remember the stories of the witch hunts in New England back in the 17th century?  Well some things never change, especially when anger is misplaced and instigates “mob rule”.

I wrote a piece regarding bonuses a few weeks ago. The attempt was simply to help get an understanding of what bonuses are used for, and under what circumstances. I’m assuming no one from Congress read the posting, and probably some that did still jumped on the “lynch the AIG bonus takers” band wagon.

It was with great interest that I read an article placed in the NY Times by an AIG Executive Vice President. The letter was a resignation and summed up pretty well, I thought, the real story behind the “toxic bonuses”.

The executive, Jake DeSantis, worked for AIG for eleven years and moved up the ladder from a trader to Executive Vice President. Although he worked in the now troubled Financial Products division of AIG, he had absolutely no involvement with the “Credit Default Swaps (CDS)” that caused all of the problems.

A year ago he was asked to stay and help the company dismantle the troubled division. He agreed and accepted a $1.00 salary with the promise of a lump sum payment (retention bonus) after a year.  All of the executives directly involved in the CDS contracts were fired, resigned or worked in the London office.  The rest is history!

Probably the most unfair aspect of this is that the news media gave it very little attention.  Maybe because it was printed only in the NY Times, they didn’t want to help promote a competitor.  Or maybe they wanted to keep the Populist opinion buring on; it’s better for ratings.

Read the “open letter” and maybe you will have a different opinion than our Congress and State Attorney Generals. Yes, there are angry citizens, but most of them do not know enough to point a finger. The Congress and State Attorneys do have enough information, and they still tried and sentenced these people in the court of public opinion… the news media!

This is what elected officials do to get re-elected. Whether right or wrong, if the public believes it… jump into the mob and burn them at the stake.

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