The furor over the AIG bonuses reminds me of when things are bad, public sentiment swings so fast that if you are in the way, death can behold you.
Yes, $165 Million was passed out to some AIG employees. Yet the government knew about it well before and allowed the bonuses to be paid. While the public is peeved off about the bonuses, the real concern should be the government's inability to account for taxpayer money given away and any accountability to the company(ies) when it does.
But that's not the point of today's blog.
The point is if YOU were one of the AIG employees that received the bonus. Now remember, the contracts were negotiated well over a year ago and well before the company got into trouble. Like most contracts, these most likely stated that if they hit certain numbers, they would receive a bonus. There most likely was no language that the company would be off the hook if the company sought government financing.
So if this YOU and you make your number, would you expect to get your bonus? Think hard before answering.
And before you answer, think about this. Tiger Woods gets paid endorsements for many products. The endorsements are valued when he is playing golf on national TV. Now he gets surgery and can't play for a year. Should Tiger return a portion of his endorsements to the companies since the company still had to pay in full?
One final thought: The media loves to push our buttons. It sells more advertising. Perhaps someone should have thought of not giving AIG any government money in the first place and then this wouldn't have happened. How about that?