Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vulture Droppings - AIG? OMG!!!

Vulture Droppings is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It's a kind of "Random Thoughts" post in which I try to quickly summarize a particularly large event or series of events. Think of it being sort of like what a vulture leaves behind after devouring a horse. You don't get the whole horse, just highly processed leftovers.

You can't make this stuff up. Let me begin by summarizing the situation.
  1. AIG is an insurance company. That bears repeating. An insurance company.
  2. AIG followed the rest of the financial herd by getting heavily leveraged into derivatives backed by home mortgages.
  3. AIG lost their ass.
  4. AIG receive a massive amount of Federal bailout money in September ($85 billion). They were "too big to fail".
  5. AIG executives went on a retreat in early October to a resort spa. Total cost: $440,000.
  6. Roughly two weeks ago, AIG received an additional $30 billion in Federal bailout money. This, coupled with other monies received between September and February, brought the AIG net haul to $165 billion.
  7. This past week it was announced that AIG executives had been awarded $165 million in bonuses. That bears repeating. AIG executives.
Do you see a pattern here? AIG executives like to reward themselves when they're able to successfully plunder the National Treasury.

I've heard a lot of the blathering heads on talk radio (particularly Quinn and Rose out of Pittsburgh, courtesy of XM Radio) twist themselves into all kinds of pretzel shapes trying to justify the bonuses. "They were contractually obligated to pay those bonuses!", was the first stab. When that didn't hold water, they went with, "Those were retention bonuses to make sure they didn't lose the talented people they need to turn the company around!"

There's just one problem with that last argument. The people with the talent to turn the company around aren't the people who received the bonuses. The people who are in the trenches trying to stop the bleeding; those are the people who need to be retained to try to salvage the company. But they weren't the ones getting the bonuses, now were they? Nope. It was the folks with the Important Titles who got the bonuses...the self-same asshats who ran the company into the ground in the first place!

Congress and the President have been running around howling like rabid apes about this debacle. It's been laugh-out-loud funny. I mean, when lowlife snakes like Harry Reid and Little Nancy "Air Force 3" Pelosi are railing against someone else's financial irresponsibility, it's downright comical.

Speaking of comedy, nothing beats Chuck Grassly (R-Iowa), who took the grand prize with this doozy.
"I suggest, you know, obviously, maybe they ought to be removed," Grassley said. "But I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they'd follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.

"And in the case of the Japanese, they usually commit suicide before they make any apology."
Dude! That's SO awesome!

Lost in all of the bluster is the fact the many of the key legislative and executive players on the government side were recipients of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from AIG during the past election cycle, particularly Chris Dodd and His Royal Holiness, King Obama, Savior of Big Media (the BM for short), who received over $100,000 from AIG.

Can you say "hypocrisy"?

Now Reid and "Air Force 3" want to introduce legislation that would claw back the bonuses from the AIG executives. The fact that legislation of that kind is expressly prohibited by the Constitution will hinder them in no way.

In what can only be called a case of "too little, too late", AIG executives have been urged to return half of the bonus money to the company. Half? You think Harry is going to be satisfied with half? HAHAHAHAHA.

So where do I stand on all of this? I can sum it up in 4 words: What did you expect? When a proto-fascist alliance of government and business loots the Federal Treasury, you're going to get the most craven and over-the-top instances of greed and avarice imaginable. Think about it. You take a multi-billion dollar company that insures other multi-billion dollar companies and run it nose first into the ground. Then you take Federal money to save your ass. Then you give yourself a huge-ass bonus.

John Galt, where are you? It's time.