Sour Grapes
Of course we're Fair and Balanced!


Dear A.I.G., I Quit!

This is not a joke. The New York Times published a letter of resignation from AIG's executive vice president of their financial products unit as an op-ed article today. It's worth a read [via today's Daily Beast Cheat Sheet].

Just for the record, from the first news of them, I've understood but never liked the big deal being made about the bonuses paid to some AIG executives. If we're going to nail the guilty, let's be sure we've got the right folks. I'm quite sure there's not a one-to-one relationship between those responsible for the mess we're in and those receiving AIG bonuses. In fact, I'm pretty sure that those who are most responsible are most of the people who have been in Congress or been President since about 1980 (i.e., I blame deregulation). Furthermore, each U.S. taxpayer has provided AIG on average with $580-1,2901 to bail them out (i.e., exluding the trillions spent for other companies' bailouts), while the total of all these bonuses comes to $1.20 per taxpayer. I've especially disliked the proposed legislation, which can't be much more than a thinly veiled ex post facto bill of attainder (both ex post facto laws�a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed�and bills of attainder�declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a trial�are forbidden by the U.S. Constitution�Article I, section 9).

1The amount depends on what figure you use: I've heard amounts ranging from $80 billion to $173 billion. This the the next calculation are also based on 2007's estimated 138 million taxpayers.

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