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Outstanding Smackdown: Matt Taibbi to Mr. De Santis of AIG

Sarah's picture

Four days ago an AIG officer resigned, publicly, in a letter that I'd describe as primarily a "pity me, I'm a victim" whine. Matt Taibbi has even less sympathy for poor beleaguered Jake (who, it should be noted, quit his job as a political protest; I suggest this means he wasn't worried about survival, as are many of his fellow 600,000-plus Americans newly unemployed) than I do.

DeSantis has a few major points. They include: 1) I had nothing to do with my boss Joe Cassano's toxic credit default swaps portfolio, and only a handful of people in our unit did; 2) I didn't even know anything about them; 3) I could have left AIG for a better job several times last year; 4) but I didn't, staying out of a sense of duty to my poor, beleaguered firm, only to find out in the end that; 5) I would be betrayed by AIG senior management, who promised we would be rewarded for staying, but then went back on their word when they folded in highly cowardly fashion in the face of an angry and stupid populist mob.

I have a few responses to those points. They are 1) Bullshit; 2) bullshit; 3) bullshit, plus of course; 4) bullshit. Lastly, there is 5) Boo-Fucking-Hoo. You dog.

Taibbi does the math on DeSantis' division of AIG and finds that, over the past several years, the company had about $9 million in compensation recorded apiece per employee. So, yeah, Jake's not apt to be down at the workforce office Wednesday morning in a panic, eh? Especially when, as Taibbi points out, it was a year ago or a little more that the smell of Enron began to be noticeable around AIG's financial products division.

So, um, Jake? How come you didn't bail like the guys you say did the wrong?

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Realist's picture
Submitted by Realist on

I thought this one from BusinessWeek was one of the better non-obscene takedowns I read.

But Matt appears to miss the fact that Jake did indeed get his bonus. He wasn't cheated out of anything, unlike many of his clients. His decision to give it to charity was entirely his - no one forced him to do anything.

Which is a lot of the reason I have a tough time working up much sympathy for the Jakester. Someone who can just give away - GIVE AWAY - as much money as (if not more than) I'll make my entire life doesn't need my sympathy. And this is after admittedly spending a year working for a dollar! What kind of resources must it require to be able to do something like that?

No, I'm pretty sure Jake wasn't spending his nights sleeping in his car in the AIG parking lot.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

I thought I read that Andrew Cuomo had gotten all but one of the 14 AIGFP execs who got million-plus bonuses to give them back.

Guess we know which one didn't give it back.