Friday, March 20, 2009

Think Before You Get Angry

Everyone is up in arms about these bonuses for AIG and wants the government to get them back!!!! Or even better, that AIG paid for their global operations and counter parties!!!! Yes, we are angry because a GLOBAL insurance carrier paid out to the people they actually do business with! Perhaps all this is misguided? Or at least not very helpful.

How do we feel about a country that reneges on established contracts because we don't like them? (At least these contracts were written, this was not the case for the 18 BILLION of bonuses for the I-banks). Or that many people are so USA focused to realize that AIG is a global company and that is exactly why we bailed them out. If the government only wanted to pay for the USA parts of the business it should have been a condition of the money. Yes, lenders can put conditions on money, and borrowers can actually decide if they don't like the conditions.

This does not mean that I think AIG is some wonderful company, or excuse greed in any way, but getting angry at the symptom and not the disease, is like wondering why you are moving so much but going nowhere on a rocking chair.

This article sums up the ridiculousness of anger well and how populist sentiment is the road to hell. Populism has it's moments, but please everyone, think for a moment about what the root cause is of an issue and spur to action on that.

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