Thursday, October 16, 2008

I HATE! Selfishness

Yes, I'll admit - everyone is selfish once in a while. And once in awhile, selfishness is OK. Like alcohol, selfishness is not detrimental when used in moderation. However, it never ceases to amaze me just how selfish people can be. Let's take a example straight out of the headlines:

AIG executives spent thousands during hunting trip
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A handful of top executives from American International Group Inc. spent thousands of dollars during a recent English hunting trip, even as the New York-based insurer asked for an additional $37.8 billion loan from the Federal Reserve.

The news comes as New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday told the insurance giant to do away with golden parachutes for executives, golf outings and parties while taking government money to stay afloat.

Cuomo said he has the power under state business law to review and possibly rescind any inappropriate AIG spending as long as the Federal Reserve is propping up the huge insurer with almost $123 billion in loans announced since Sept. 16.

"This was an annual event for customers of the AIG property casualty insurance companies in the U.K. and Europe, and planned months before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's loan to AIG," company spokesman Peter Tulupman said Wednesday morning.
In a prepared statement later in the day, the company said, "We will continue to take all measures necessary to ensure that these activities cease immediately. AIG's priority is to continue focusing on actions necessary to repay the Federal Reserve loan and emerge as a vital, ongoing business."

AIG officials declined to say which AIG executives attended the trip, which reports have said racked up an $86,000 tab. News of the hunting trip surfaced just days after AIG received an additional $37.8 billion loan from the Federal Reserve, on top of a previous $85 billion emergency loan granted last month.

The company said last week it would stop "all non-essential conferences, meetings and activities that do not clearly maximize value and service given the current conditions."

Last month, and just days after the U.S. government stepped in to save AIG with a $85 billion taxpayer-funded loan, the company picked up a $440,000 tab for a week-long retreat at a posh California resort for top-performing insurance agents.

Lawmakers investigating AIG's meltdown said they were enraged that executives of AIG's main U.S. life insurance subsidiary spent a lavish amount on the retreat, complete with spa treatments, banquets and golf outings. Last week, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino called the event "despicable."

At that time, AIG issued a statement saying that the "business event" was planned months before the Sept. 16 bailout and that it was held for top-producing independent life insurance agents, not AIG employees. Of the 100 attendees, only 10 worked for the AIG unit hosting the event, it said.

The insurer said Chief Executive Edward Liddy sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson "clarifying the circumstances" of the event. In the letter, Liddy assured Paulson that AIG is "reevaluating the costs of all aspects of our operations in light of the new circumstances in which we are all operating."

The insurer then said it canceled a future California retreat that was to be held later this month.

Regarding the recent hunting trip, "We regret that this event was not canceled," Tulupman said Wednesday.

This has to be a joke, right? The government just spent $123 billion to bail AIG out - a bail out needed because executives at AIG, clouded by greed and selfishness, fucked up and gave mortgages to people who couldn't afford them in order to boost their business, never even thinking that a financial crisis of this magnitude could have them tumbling from atop their ivory towers.

After receiving the first of two loans from the Federal government, AIG executives went on a retreat to a fancy-schmancy California resort and racked up a $440,000 bill. This was just DAYS after AIG received it's first loan (for $85 billion) to help it stay afloat. What on earth would possess anyone to assume that after almost tanking completely, the company could afford to send it's executives on a completely unnecessary retreat? I know what the company was thinking; it was thinking that it could have the American taxpayers foot the bill for the trip and still escape seemingly unscathed from the current financial crisis. How incredibly infuriating!!!!!! The greed and selfishness of AIG executives can be directly attributed to helping destroy the American economy, and then, they have the audacity to keep this trip on the books! Unbe-fucking-lievable.

And on top of that, the company later was the recipient of yet another billion-dollar-loan ($37.9 billion to be exact) and executives go on another taxpayer funded extravaganza -this time it was a hunting expedition in England. AIG big wigs flew on a private get and hunted in the English countryside. Total price tag: $86,000.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't AIG be concentrating on cutting costs and repaying the nearly $123 billion it owes to the Federal government? That seems logical to me, but I guess I have a different opinion than money-grubbing insurance executives who continue to prove themselves to be greedy, selfish, and bottom-feeding by constantly taking advantage of the American people.

How hard would it have been to simply cancel these trips? AIG's spokesperson has said that the company regrets that these trips were not cancelled. Well, that's easy to say, but it's also just as easy to do. I think it would have been understood that keeping the company afloat was just a little bit more important than hunting quail in the English countryside. And obviously, hindsight is 20 / 20. Do you think AIG thought about cancelling said trips beforehand? You betcha. And do you think AIG went ahead with said trips because it thought it could get away with going ahead with them anyway? You betcha. I don't accept the 'these trips were planned way in advance' excuse for a second.

The economy is in crisis ASSHOLES, do you fucking part, and by do your part, I mean, you fucked it all up in the first place; the least you could do is put off your $86,000 hunting trip until all those people who's homes have been foreclosed on (because YOU gave them mortgages they couldn't possibly afford) have somewhere to live again.

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