Watching the Sunday morning news shows this morning I had to laugh - you know, one of those "I can't believe you're this stupid" laugh. All of the politicians, leaders, journalists are so outraged, so angry about the AIG fiasco. I'm angry too - but not at AIG. I'm angry at our "leaders" in Congress who wrote a bailout bill that would allow bonuses like these to be given in the first place. These Congressmen knew what they were doing when they wrote this bailout. They knew bonuses would be given with our hard earned money, our sweat, our lives. They knew that performance bonuses would be given to people to reward them for driving their company into the basement.
I suppose that Congress thinks the American people are too stupid to understand that they are the theives in this situation. Congress was aware that AIG had a contractural agreement to pay bonuses if money was available to do so. If cash was available, then the company had a legal responsibility to pay bonuses (as the agreement would have assumed that AIG had money because it performed well). You see, it didn't matter where that money came from, whether it was from real company performance or the fact that our respected "entreprenuerial" leaders on the Hill handed them several billion dollars to save their asses.
Therein is the problem: Government beaurocrats and elected folk don't have a clue to the implications of bailing out failing companies. This is no different, in many ways, to the failure of welfare to create responsible working citizens. Generally people, when given everything they need, will not strive to change their current situation. Why should they? They're being rewarded for failing. Why succeed?
It would have been disaster to let the banks, etcetera fail, but I have a sinking feeling that all the bailouts have done is to delay the inevitable company failures and to enrage the populace in the process.