Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AIG Death Threats & More Tales of Woe: Liddy Piggies @ Market

I'm gonna bet that American International Group's CEO Edward Liddy is telling the truth when he says AIG has been receiving death threats against its executives (see video below). He's latched onto those threats as one of the reasons AIG should not hand over the company's list of bonus recipients.

It's a lame excuse but no surprise that Liddy would want to find a way to not be held accountable in a civil suit should some lunatic gun down an AIG executive and his family. Accountablity is not AIG's strength.

The company continues to hide behind legal concerns such as breach of contract and fear of potential lawsuits, desperately attempting to cover its huge ass. It didn't want to turn over the list of its banking counterparties at first either.

When I first heard that NY Atty General Andrew Cuomo wanted AIG to turn over the list of bonus recipients, my thought was "Good luck with that." Lawyers waiving injunctions about privacy violations could keep that tied up forever if AIG wants to push it that far, despite government assertions that the American taxpayers own 80% of AIG.

Members of Congress have joined Cuomo in asking for the list. As you can see in the video above, Liddy said he wants assurance that the names of the bonus recipients will remain confidential, particularly names of those who won't to give back at least "half" of the bonus money as Liddy says he's requested.

Per HuffPo, House Finance Committee Chair, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.,, said "no" to guaranteeing confidentiality. Maybe this means if AIG were to turn over the list, some of its executives would give back the money so they didn't have to worry about crazy people with guns.

I'm sure if you were counting on a $1 million bonus in your paycheck but you didn't get it, you'd seethe with rage, but let's ask the many Americans who no longer have homes due to the foreclosure about rage. It's hard for me to sympathize with AIG executives losing the money to pay for their summer homes when millions of Americans have lost the only homes they've ever known.

If you read comments on my first post about AIG, you'll see that we the people are angry. Sure it's a few comments, but I think they reflect the outrage of the nation. Feel free to add your own.

"Those Liddy Piggies" comes from my comparison on an earlier post of AIG to a fat sow and its executives and banking counterparties to suckling pigs. AIG is a big corporation and we are told if it fails it will bring down the global economy. Is this what happens under deregulation, the self-control switch goes off as greed kicks in? Sorry to sows and piglets for comparing AIG to them because the sow and her little piggies are only doing what comes naturally.


le0pard13 said...

Yes, this is exactly what happens when you turn off the light, leave the door unlocked and swung open to a pack of greedy thieves who care only about themselves. This crap about how the market is a self-regulating entity and is best left alone is just that--crap. The only thing that matters is human nature. If someone can cheat the system for their own profit, a portion of the population will cheat that system. That's why we regulate to keep people above board and remove those from the game that don't play well with others.

Those in Congress that bought into that (these past years) happily wrote off regulation and oversight. In this case, it's like the old Bill Cosby skit, Tonsils, where the doctor describes the problem (paraphrasing):

"Your tonsils guard your throat...anything bad that comes into your mouth, they fight it your case, your tonsils have lost the war. As a matter of fact, your tonsils have gone as far as to join the other side..."

Hopefully, Congress will complete what they started and re-institute that oversight. I agree with you and others. But I also like Fazal Majid's comment to Philip Greenspun's post:

...Regarding the specific issue here, the employees in question should all be terminated with cause for fraud, and the whole UK division of AIG be wound down and the bonuses unpaid. Let them sue in a US court if they dare. Once they set foot on US soil, they can then be arrested for fraud and sent to cool their heels in federal prison. That’s how the government unwound the UBS money laundering operations, by arresting one of their Swiss executives when he came to the US.

My apologies for the long comment--I guess I'm a little steamed.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

"...if it (AIG) fails it will bring down the global economy..."

So AIG is the cornerstone that supports the weight of the financial world? Pardon me, but that is not reassuring news! That's fucking Nightmare on Elmstreet!

Let's ask folks who've lost their job and/or their home, "Which would you prefer happening:
1. AIG execs going to jail and the company being dismantled through bankruptcy OR
2. Giving the company billions of taxpayer dollars that they irresponsibly spend and waste.

In Texas, they use to have a saying for thieves (rustlers), "Somebody get a rope!"

I don't advocate injuring these clowns, but I do consider what they've done is criminal; they need to be prosecuted.