Washington is furious over AIG’s plan to waste $165 million taxpayer dollars on bonuses to incompetent executives, but Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) had the best idea:
“I 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.”
I suggested hard labor on a chain gang, but hara-kari’s even better.
President Obama vows to do whatever he can to stop the bonuses, and to ensure that companies asking for government handouts never try it again.
AIG calls the bonuses “retention payments” (like they’re owed) and promises to cut them by 30% for 2009.
Hello??!! We want them cut 100% today. There’s no need to retain people who ruined the company.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo demanded a list of the people set to receive bonuses, as well as the negotiators of their contracts. AIG ignored him, so Cuomo plans to issue subpoenas.
The so-called sanctity of employer-employee contracts doesn’t justify the bonuses. The suits who run their companies into a ditch and then blithely throw thousands of people out of work with no severance, no benefits, and no notice deserve no special protection — and certainly no payoffs.
There’s hope the executives will be shamed into turning down the money, but it makes no sense to expect decency from people who earned their living screwing investors.
I say Cuomo should go for it. And gently-used, sharpened old swords should be sent to AIG in case any execs decide to do the right thing.