ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For Those Who Did Not See Today's NY Times: More on AIG

The Times today posted this letter of resignation from an AIG executive.  He makes the case in defense of at least some of those executives.  I have yet to see how this letter is received in the blogosphere.  I do not expect a backlash against AIG bashing.

I just want to highlight what is for me the money shot:

I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.
That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.
On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes.

To me, there is a tremendous tension, even cognitive dissonance, between the first sentence and the second.  On the whole, the main point of the letter is that its author has done nothing wrong, and yet his willingness to donate his bonus (in the face of government threats to take it from him) is presented as a recognition that not all of his earnings are earned.  

This is certainly a very rich text.

[Jeremy Telman]

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This is really nothing more than theater. They should've all been fired before the March 16th payout:

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 25, 2009 9:12:33 AM

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