the rules around here

So, to recap: when it’s the UAW employees’ contract, concessions and givebacks are necessary to keep the thing running. In contrast, when it’s AIG execs’ contracts, we’re suddenly “a nation of laws” and negating their seven-digit bonuses sets “a dangerous precedent”.

Unfortunately, the populist approach, however good it may feel, gets us nowhere. The bonuses make up a tiny percentage of the total TARP and bailout money. Combine that with the fact that you and I are now AIG stockholders, it’s in our interest to make sure the only folks who can undo this mess are incentivized to do so. 

The thing I can’t get out of my head, though, is justifying exec pay with the “that’s the only way we can attract the top talent” line. That’s just tired. In fact, here’s an offer, corporate America: I’d be happy to run your company into the ground at half the price your current CEO, COO, or CFO is charging. When it comes to breaking stuff, I’m talented as shit. Any takers?


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