The AIG CEO explains the pain of his executive staff who are too afraid to take extravagant holidays on the taxpayer dime. Get ready to rage:
“We have the ability. I know that I am telling people we are allowed to,” he said. “What I don’t know is if people (employees) are willing to. A lot of them feel hurt, embarrassed, a lot of people have lived in fear because of what I call lynch mobs with pitchforks.”
Benmosche was referring to severe criticism of the bonuses paid to some AIG staff at the financial products unit at the center of its meltdown. The verbal assaults by politicians and in the media led to several demonstrations, including a bus tour of employee homes near the unit’s Wilton, Connecticut headquarters, and threats to others.
“People think it is funny but it is not when it is your children,” he continued, his voice rising in anger. “It is not when you come home and you find people in front of your home and you had to sneak your children out in the middle of the night so that they are not attacked in a country called America.”
“It was wrong. I think that when you do that, when you incite that kind of feeling in people, it makes it difficult to come to work the next day and say ‘I’m going to work hard.'”
For the record, I never thought it was funny when people threatened their children. No, I was being dead serious when I said we should hunt their children down and abort them like a nest of prawn eggs in District 9. I’ve reread this a couple times and I’m still not sure where he apologizes for the irreparable harm caused by his staff. Surely this gentleman’s regard for his fellow man must keep him up at night when he thinks about the children of the millions of people who have lost their jobs and their homes as a result of the greedy organization he leads.
The real shame in all of this is that nobody succeeded. The fact that his employees are alive, and unscathed, is a testament to our decency as a society. Although I find myself becoming very detached from our basic societal principles. A company walks off with a hundred billion in taxpayer dollars and suddenly snatching a few bucks just doesn’t seem that bad.