Posts Tagged ‘AIG’

Quitting and Whining in Public

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

by Brien Jackson

Without dwelling on it for too long, I have a couple of simpe observations to make about this AIG employee’s resignation letter that was published in the Times today:

1. The underlying assumption seems to be that, even though the company more or less imploded altogether, he still deserved bonus money because he himself didn’t actually have anything to do with it. This is a rather unusual view of the way company finances and bonus money works in most places.

2. The right-wing media’s embrace of this guy is starkly at odds with their fervent belief that unionized auto workers had to take sharp cuts in their compensation in order for their firms to receive government loans, which should put to rest any doubt about where their natural sympathies lie.

Holbrooke and AIG

Friday, March 20th, 2009

by Brien Jackson

It seemsĀ I share the more or les consensus view about the news that Richard Holbrooke served on the Board of Directors and AIG from 2001 to 2008. The story isn’t so much about Holbrooke as it is the company, and the board itself. The matter certainly doesn’t have anything to do with Holbrooke’s position in the Obama administration, as special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and so really shouldn’t be much of an issue for anyone. But then, it doesn’t really have anything to do with Holbrooke’s last government job either, or any of his more well known accomplishments for that matter. And that is, I think, the real story here. Richard Holbrooke is a pretty smart guy, who is a very well respected diplomat and foreign policy thinker. He is not, however, a financial expert, so far as anyone can tell. That he was even asked to serve on the AIG board really shows you how these corporations funtion, with executives at other firms and unrelated, but high profile, people acting as nothing more than a figurehead for the firm, detached from what’s going on with the company.

And here’s hoping that the media doesn’t use this to drag down Holbrooke. His present job is far too important to let that happen.