Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Resignation letter

Strangely, some AIG employees are getting tired of being unfairly demonized. Here is an excerpt from the resignation letter of one such employee:
I think your initial decision to honor the contracts was both ethical and financially astute, but it seems to have been politically unwise. It’s now apparent that you either misunderstood the agreements that you had made — tacit or otherwise — with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, various members of Congress and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of New York, or were not strong enough to withstand the shifting political winds.

You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press.
I just don't see how bashing some of the most productive members of our economy provides the road to recovery. And it isn't just AIG, it seems to be the basis for the Obama Administration's entire approach. Taxes are raised on the wealthy (i.e. those who produce the most). Renters and responsible homeowners are being tapped to bailout the irresponsible. Companies that succeed are taxed to fund auto and financial companies that fail.

When you punish success and subsidize failure don't be surprised if they results aren't what you intend them to be.

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