so, a.i.g run their business into the ground, get bailed out with taxpayer money, and then pay hundreds of millions in bonuses to the executives who ran the company into the ground.
huh, not exactly the best/smartest move on a.i.g's part. the din from all involved is overwhelming. taxpayers and politicians are livid. executives say, 'it's in our contracts!' bosses say, 'we have to pay bonuses to keep the most talented executives.' and etc.
i kind of wish obama or geithner would've written this letter to the bailed out companies: 'dear bailed out companies, let's be blunt, you screwed up. you got greedy or you got lazy or you got corrupt, and now you need taxpayer money in order to stay in business. ok, we'll give you the money. or, rather, we'll loan you the money. now get to work, and work hard and figure out what you did wrong and don't do it again and make money and pay us back. in the meantime we're going to help determine your corporate policies, because we're the ones who are paying your salaries.
1 - no bonuses. sorry, but we can't reward bad behaviour. you want bonuses? go work somewhere else or turn your company around and make some money. while you're receiving taxpayer money you don't get bonuses. ask again and you're fired.
2 - salary caps. yup, if you're receiving taxpayer money we get to decide what your salary is. again, you don't like it then go work somewhere else(i hear there's a bar on houston and avenue b that might be looking for a bartender. it would be a 5,000 % drop in pay, but it's all that's available right now). we are your bosses so we decide what you'll be paid. we don't mind you making lots of money, but not when you're being paid with taxpayer dollars. you want to make tons of money? fine, pay us back and become a private company again and determine your own salaries. in the meantime you'll have to get by with a maximum of $500,000 a year. what? you dont think that's a lot of money? perhaps you should spend a month travelling around america and talking to people who are unemployed or making minimum wage. then your $500,000 a year salary will seem princely, which it is.
3 - if you're a bank you need to loan money(which we're giving you)to small businesses and homeowners. why? because it's smart, it'll help the economy, and it's decent. you don't want to? ok, go get another job.
4 - if you're a car company you need to make decent cars that can actually compete with cars from korea and germany and japan and etc. and you need to make electric cars. you need to join the 21st century. i know, change is painful. if you don't like change then don't take taxpayer money and go back to the way you used to do things.
5 - regulation is being instituted that will keep you honest. you cheated. you hired accounting firms and asked them to screw around with the numbers. and, surprise surprise, they screwed around with the numbers. because you were paying with them. that was our fault for letting you regulate yourselves. in the future we're going to pay closer attention and pass meaningful regulation that will keep you honest, as you're clearly not capable of keeping yourselves honest.
in closing: work hard and pay us back and then you won't have to listen to us anymore and you can go back to paying yourselves whatever you think you're worth. in the meantime: we are your bosses and you are our corporate bitches. i know you're all arrogant ex-frat boys, but maybe you'll even learn something in your receivership. well, here's hoping. sincerely, us.' yup, i wish someone would send that letter to corporate america.