Ezra writes about the AIG Mini Galts having a hissy fit if they don't get their full fat compensation packages this year (despite promising to pay them back) and Feinberg subsequently reduces them next year as he's empowered to do under the statues. He links to this article which says:
The AIG executives see Feinberg’s efforts to save a few million in retention payments, given the billions at stake, as a terrible business decision. “I just don’t understand why you would treat people this way,” one AIG executive says. “It’s economic and financial terrorism on the government’s own investment, by the government."
So do you need these guys? Their contention is that you do. The $1.1 trillion that their unit has left on the books could blow up if the guy watching it doesn't know which wire to cut. Folks I talk to say you probably don't, but it would be a problem to have them all walk out of the office on the same day (which they're threatening to do).
Who exactly are the terrorists again? The government which is asking that AIG live up to its promises or the whole AIG team which is threatening to walk out en masse and let the biggest insurance company in the world blow up (again), putting the entire financial system in jeopardy (again)? I think it's fairly obvious.
Hey, it's not just me who sees what these guys do in those terms. Here'[s a fellow who put it in pretty stark terms last spring:
“It’s almost like they’ve got — they’ve got a bomb strapped to them and they’ve got their hand on the trigger,” President Obama said on Thursday of the banks he’s chosen to bail out. “You don’t want them to blow up. But you’ve got to kind of talk [to] them, ease that finger off the trigger.”
A bad business decision it may be, but the government isn't a corporation and it has an obligation to protect the country from terrorists. And terrorists is what they are --- whining, selfish, spoiled little terrorists who can't suck it up even for one or two years until this country can get back on its feet.
This could be Obama's equivalent of Reagan and the air traffic controllers if he wants it to be. We all thought airplanes were going to fall out of the sky when he did it. And they didn't. I somehow doubt that these financial whizzes are indispensable either. Most of them are bound to be "Brownies" --- after all, the place really did fall part. And those that aren't can be replaced too. The Masters of the Universe just don't want people finding out that they aren't actually worth the ridiculous salaries they are paid. Wouldn't be prudent ...