The US taxpayers have given AIG executive failures the bailouts ($180 billion and counting!) they have needed to siphon off $165 million in “bonuses” this year.
Depending on your class loyalties, these “bonuses” allow the executives either to keep being the socially-necessary geniuses they are, or to build upon their own personal feudal empires while the rest of the country goes down in economic flames. (Typically in corporate media articles, the former reason is cited, but you may want to use logic to select the appropriate explanatory framework.)
The US government claims that since AIG promised execs they would get the big bonus presents, the promises must be honored. (Contrast this to Geoghegan’s (“Infinite Debt.” Harper’s. April 2009) discussion of how Chapter 11 formalized capital’s ability to break any and all contracts with workers.)
For next year, the US government has politely asked AIG to reduce its executive looting by 30%. As drolly as possible: What a harsh mistress the political wing of the capitalist class is. Oh, do crack that feather boa.
Furthermore, though the public now owns 80% of AIG, AIG and the federal government were not allowing the public to have information about who AIG is transferring its bailout windfall to. That changed when the NYTimes started complaining about it. Nor is AIG letting stockholders set reasonable limits on executive compensation. The US Executive is reportedly irritated that Americans are making things inconvenient by trying to hold a few capitalists a little accountable for a moment.
The grand plan seems to be no more complicated than to saddle the everyday, poor American with all the country’s bad debt repayment burden, while the capitalist class makes off with all the wealth. Honest to god, we get more and more sympathetic with the French Republican response to this class of belligerent parasites.
If you’re not getting multi-million dollar “bonuses” for just being in the right social network, and you’re sticking around the US, presumably to help pay for the bonuses, good luck roasting rat meat in the tent city, my friend.