Why you should never get your news from politicians, talk show hosts and late night comedians

Over the past number of weeks I have listened to politicians righteously blathering on about the bonuses being paid to AIG staff and I have listened to talk show hosts righteously blathering on about the bonuses being paid to AIG staff and I have listened to late night comedians righteously blathering on about the bonuses being paid to AIG staff.

I have read that regardless that these “bonuses’” were legal contracts they should be arbitrarily cancelled and one commentator even felt that they should all go to jail. Then came the brilliant idea that they could pass a law taxing these specific people in an amount that would recover all of the bonus money for the government. Some officials want these employees to be publicly named so they can be “shamed” in public. Some of the employees have received death threats.

It has become a witch hunt in the truest sense of the word.

None of these blathering people, most with large research staffs, apparently ever checked on what the real situation was with these employees.

Now some of those employees are leaving AIG, tired of the harassment and vitreol being directed at them.

One didn’t go quietly, sending a letter to Edward Libby, the appointed chief executor of AIG, pointing out the injustice that has been perpetrated. It’s exposes an exercise in public hysteria, where we are fed half-truths and untruths, witness politicians deflecting the the spotlight away from themselves, politicians using the hysteria to gain personal media time and media people spreading the story, unchecked, for audience reaction.

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.

Read the whole thing. It just reconfirms the fact that you can never really trust what you read in the paper, see on TV or hear from the mouths of those who were elected, presumably to be leaders.

The truth is out there, it’s just not always easily accessible.

Thanks to Small Dead Animals for the pointer.

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