March 16, 2009
Lack of 'talent'
AIG is in the news again. The insurance giant, who has received over $170 billion in federal aid, has promised over $1 billion in retention bonuses for its employees. $165MM of those 'bonuses' are supposed to be paid this week. AIG says it MUST pay the bonuses to retain the talent.
Exactly what 'talent' needs to be retained? The 'talent' that lost $38 billion on credit default swaps? Or is it the 'talent' that lost the other $62 billion for the company? How much 'talent' does it take to lose $100 billion, anyway? Far more 'talent' than I have, apparently.
According to AIG's CEO Edward Liddy, these bonus monies were negotiated by the former executive team, and that severe legal repercussions are likely if the bonuses aren't paid. Legal mumbo-jumbo aside, what employee looks at the big picture and says "Yeah, I earned a few extra mil for all this", as Rome burns???
I would also like to issue a little news flash for the top dogs at AIG: You could sweep through the streets of every metropolitan area of the United States, searching under bridges and around trash-can campfires and find employees of similar caliber to the 'talent' that lost you billions. They certainly couldn't lose any more than your pool of geniuses has already.
Not to belabor the point, but what brain trust is waiting in the wings, hoping to 'poach' all your money-losing 'talent' anyway? Merrill Lynch? Citi? Just where is your 'talent' going to go if you DON'T pay the bonuses?
Does a video game give you bonus time if you constantly crash your race car into the wall? Not hardly. Instead, you're greeted with a short message in big red letters...GAME OVER.
Hey, AIG - your 'talent' can go hungry for all I care. What's that you say? It's really none of my business? Considering my tax dollars are paying their 'bonus', it IS my business.
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