Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Since it seems as though everyone from here to Timbuktu has something to decry about the latest situation with AIG over bonus payments, I thought I would share my views on the subject today. I watch the news and, as you can see from my picture, read my dad's WSJ, so I feel just as qualified as the next dog to weigh in on the latest populist outrage.
I think the whole situation stinks, and I know a thing or two about stinky stuff. There aren't very many things that get past this nose, especially if it smells food, or occasionally other dogs' butts. The fact is I have smelled a lot of butts in my day, human and canine for that matter, but AIG makes them all smell like a rose bush.
The idea that somehow these people deserve to be paid bonuses just to unravel the mess they created in the first place is beyond absurd. And the one that really gets the fur up on my back is the comment made by AIG's CEO, that they needed to pay the bonuses to attract and retain the "the best and brightest talent." This was apparently the same talent that generated the largest quarterly loss in U.S. corporate history. That's not a performance based compensation system, that's wrecklessness bordering on financial fraud. If you ask me, these guys don't even deserve to be given Milk Bone dog biscuits. My packies give me a treat when I do something good, not when I do something bad.
The reason I am so familiar with this subject is because lately I have gotten to spend endless hours with my dad every day. He used to go to work Monday through Friday, and sometimes on the weekend, and I would be picked up by my sitter, Karen. She would take me to play with my friends, Oden and Louie, most days. My dad worked for one of those banks that took money from the governement last year, and as a show of their undying gratitude they laid him off along with 1,800 other people. My dad didn't trade CDS's, or even remotely cause the bank to lose a single penny. In fact, he worked his tail off to complete two very important projects for the company just in time to be handed a pink slip. I really love being able to hang out with dad all day and help him with his search for new employment. Now my job is to make dad happy every day and give him encouragement. I think if I'm successful he will give me lots of special treats. That's the real definition of performance based pay.
For those who are interested, you can read my dad's post on this in the Deal Book section of the NY Times.
Posted by Harry