City Desk

WaPo: We Need those Bonus-Receiving AIG Managers

Nice to wake up to a contrarian take on the most explosive issue of the day. This morning, the Washington Post editorial board expressed support for the $165 million in bonuses for the people who were pivotal in bringing down insurance giant-turned-government–appendage AIG. Here's the reasoning:

For better or worse, the U.S. government — i.e., all of us — now owns AIG. The firm is hemorrhaging knowledgeable employees at precisely the time when it — and therefore we — need them most. No matter how morally satisfying, taking back bonuses now, as proposed yesterday in belated outrage by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), would probably accelerate the exodus, with the likely effect that the country would lose much more money on AIG than it would otherwise.

The Post is proving unaware of one of the most central points of executive management: No one is irreplacable, except for Lawrence Taylor.

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  • Cool Disco Dan

    Are we really surprised with the wasteland journalism of the Washington Post as of late?

    Newspapers make most of their revenue from advertisers’ right? Revenue generates what, more resources, more staff, and more investigation...right? At least we think.

    I find it odd that the City Paper, with advertisers like the dentist in Foggy Bottom offering deals on teeth whitening, does a much better job at serious investigative UNBIASED journalism than the Washington Post whose advertisers range from Lord & Taylor to local Mercedes-Benz dealers.

    All of this is a little unrelated to the article abouve, but I couldn't figure out anywhere else to post my daily rant.

    Eric aren't you LL's boss? I know no one is giving raises in this recession, but at least give the boy a fruit basket from Edible Arrangements or something; he's been doing a hell of a job!

  • huh?

    It shouldn't surprise us that the same editorial board that backed the Iraq war is so clueless about AIG.

    They really think that these guys have that many options? Where are all the companies begging for AIG's employees? Show them to me. There are plenty of finance folks out of work. What makes these people so special?

  • http://Petworth Jamie

    That is about the worst-reasoned excuse I've ever heard. So we don't buy this whole contractual-obligation argument, which is of course crap, since the company wouldn't exist AT ALL without the bailout. We fall back on "we need these good people??"

    Umm... perhaps you didn't notice, but there are THOUSANDS of unemployed financial industry tools. I really doubt that anyone's going to be quitting ANY such job in a huff because they didn't get a bonus when their employer is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
    And if they do, there's a long line of qualified people, who will probably work for a lot less, and who can start on Monday.