Why AIG Bonus is an important issue?

I know the furor on AIG bonuses is behind us but I didn’t come across any article that really hit the mark on why it is so important to focus on it — at least to my satisfaction.

Admittedly, Mr. Blow, in his column at the New York Times   came close. On the other hand, another NYT columnist, the famous Mr. Brooks,  in his recent column minimizes the issue — he doesn’t get it.

This is not about the $165M and the pittance it is in comparison to $2T required to “fix” the banks. It is about values that 95% (I believe) of us live by: a value system that has in-built checks within the system and more importantly within us as individuals that prevents us from conducting daylight robberies at the same companies that provide us sustenance. In AIG’s case it is obviously worse — they are not just stealing from the company money they don’t deserve, they are stealing from the American Treasury and the American people. We want to be ensured that we ALL understand the world the same way. This is a very important point — otherwise the foundation for a civilized society is pulled from underneath it. It is akin to driving by making your own rules — there will be accidents and deaths galore. Secondly, and equally importantly, unless we “fix” the thinking that afflicts Wall Street, I don’t know how people like Mr. Brooks and others imagine that we can “fix” the current situation? Despite the $2T bailout.

So in ending, it is not as much about revenge or repatriation, it is about making us believe that we all have the same understanding of rights and wrongs. It is about restoring confidence in our leaders and system more so than restoring confidence in our markets. I would like my leaders to restore my confidence in the following saying: “With great power comes great responsibility,” and stop convincing me that with great power comes great opportunity to fleece the system and unsuspecting people.

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4 Responses

  1. I see it nothing more than Govt. making use of public sentiment / anger for poltical mileage. AIG comitted for those bonus to them way before they got TARP money. It was ethical for AIG keep up their promises. But, at the same time those recieving bonus should have shared morale responsibilty of AIG by refusing to accept that bonus, but then who get acknowledged for those sacrifices. It is more like systemic change needed to from grass root level to top leadership to display honest and responsible characteristics.

  2. Lets hope that these newly leaders – Aussie PM for one – USA as well – realise that with their great power there is great responsibility and that tax payers voted them into the job …. Their job is to restore confidence – and to re-invigorate the economy – now go to it guys – lets see action rather than words!

  3. that should be newly elected ! leaders woops !

  4. Plutarch,

    Among the many protesters at the G20 summit, the ones that caught my attention were the ones that demanded creation of jobs as the number one goal for the summit.

    I thought that was good, constructive input and directly helpful to all.

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