Remember A.I.G.? They're the insurance company that was in such dire straits that we had to loan them over $100 billion in taxpayer funds so they wouldn't go bankrupt. You know, because if we didn't give them that money (and forgive me if I'm not getting the technical financial terminology right), America would explode.
The good news is that A.I.G. learned its lesson. The company realized that Congress had entrusted them with huge amounts of taxpayer money and vowed that they would live up to that trust by being fiscally responsible.
No, I'm totally kidding. That would only be true if were living in an episode of "Gossip Girl" and the taxpayers were Mrs. Van der Woodsen and A.I.G. was Serena and instead of "Over $100 billion in taxpayer funds so they wouldn't go bankrupt," you insert "$300 for that really cute pair of designer jeans."
Sadly, we do not live in an episode of "Gossip Girl." Instead we live in America where, in lieu of aforementioned trustworthiness and fiscal responsibility, A.I.G. opted to do the following with the money:
1) Spend $442,000 on a "retreat," including $22,000 in spa treatments, for sales agents.
2) Pay $86,000 for executives to attend a partridge hunt at an English manor. (My favorite quote from an A.I.G. executive was: "The recession will go on till about 2011--but the shooting was great today.")
3) Lobby Congress for less regulation of mortgage originators. Let's just clarify that one, shall we? The company was using the money Congress loaned them to convince Congress to let them get themselves into another situation where we will have to bail them out with even more money. Genius.
4) Pay the executives who helped make this company fail bonuses worth millions of dollars. Seriously, if they ever need someone with no business sense at all to make their next company fail, I'll happily volunteer.
There is good news, though. I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico. Oh, and also, in the last few days, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo convinced A.I.G. to suspend payments on the bonuses and stop the outrageous company outings. Meanwhile, after some cajoling from Senators, the company announced that it will stop lobbying Congress.
Maybe now A.I.G. will stop acting like a fourteen year old who just found his mommy's credit card? Sorry, that's not really a fair analogy.
A fourteen year old would be way more fiscally responsible.
(Originally posted by me on http://www.meltingpotproject.com)