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AIG bailout bonuses: the easy solution

Apparently, the wonks at AIG are contract bound to offer large bonuses to the execs that tanked the company. With bailout (Read: YOUR) money. Obama is making a show of being pissed, Congress is doing the normal congressional arm-waving. Even New York is getting involved by wasting more money looking for ways to fine their “share” of the money into state coffers.

There is a very easy solution to this whole problem. follow along with me:

  • The US government (meaning you and I) currently owns 80% of AIG
  • The annual reports of publicly traded companies are “public documents” (Meaning that anyone can read them)
  • Annual reports are required to disclose salary, benefits, and bonuses paid to executives (and the rest of their “compensation” as well)
  • Because the documents are public, ANYONE can find out who got how much. If AIG balks, a simple “freedom of information  act” filing will force them to release the info (that 80% ownership thing ya know…)

So here’s the easy solution:

Leave the bonuses in place. Let the execs take whatever they feel is appropriate (nothing forces an employee or executive to accept a bonus – it is not uncommon in troubled companies for execs to refuse to accept their bonus – at least in some of the companies I’ve worked in).

Finally (and this is the important bit) AFTER the bonuses have been paid out (and accepted, refused, reduced, whatever) publish – in a highly visible forum – the list of names, the amount the bonus was suppsed to be, and the amount the individual actually collected. Of course, including an address, phone number, and make, model and license plates of their cars of the individuals would save the pissed public the effort of having to find them….

If there isn’t a way that the government can force the decision makers to accept the responsibility for their actions, maybe the public should get involved….. Sometimes – SOMETIMES – tar and feathers are appropriate (or a good public lynching).

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2 Responses

  1. I’m not advocating lynching (nor suicide, as one dumbass republican senator suggested), but I’m not at all above public humiliation and intimidation. The names and pictures of the people who accept these bonuses SHOULD be made public: they should be plastered all over the internet and we should see them on the news channels. They should receive nasty letters (though, again, I’m stopping short of death threats), they should be heckled on the streets, they should find not a moment’s peace. If their consciences will let them sleep at night, we shouldn’t…

  2. Yep. Something to be said about those old school solutions: Tar and feathers, then run ’em out of town on a rail…

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