March 17th, New York, NY. Offices of AIG CEO Edward Liddy. Liddy is meeting with CFO David Herzog to discuss the distribution of $450M in bonuses promised to their executives and employees after receiving $170 billion dollars in taxpayer assistance.
Liddy: OK, what are we going to do here, Herzog? Got a hallway full of staff waiting for their share of $450 million and I don’t think it’s fair to keep them waiting much longer. Feet are probably killing them. Maybe we should send out for a couple thousand pairs of those Ugg boots, hand ’em out while they’re waiting. My wife loves ’em.
Herzog: I’ll call my assistant to order them. They come in colors?
Liddy: Oh, look, just received my 75th Twitter from Tim Geitner and it’s not even 10 am yet. Now he’s using some sort of font that only displays skull and cross bones characters.
Herzog: I’m getting the same thing from Andrew Cuomo. Everybody’s a tech geek these days. Afraid to pick up a telephone, get a voice on the other end, talk man to man…
Liddy: Speaking of tech geeks, did I tell you Bernanke actually sent me a telegram yesterday.
Herzog: A telegram? You’re kidding!
Liddy: It’s right here. Starts off, “From Benjamin Bernake to Edward Liddy Regarding $450 Million Bonus Payout. Dear Edward. Stop. “Tsk. Stop. Tsk. Stop. Sincerely, Benjamin”.
Herzog: Must’ve been mad. …Only uses Benjamin when he’s mad. You’re going to be happy to know that I’ve finally figured out the angle. Here’s how we justify the bonuses.
Liddy: You’re going to blame our $61.5 billion loss last quarter on the tainted peanut scare.
Herzog: That’s funny, but no, we’re not doing that. We’re going to tell the American people and those namby pamby Washington wags that we established a strategic plan a year ago to ensure that in the event we suffered catastrophic losses leaving AIG virtually penniless we could raise $165 billion dollars in outside capital without missing a beat. Name one other corporation who could pull that off?
Liddy: Can’t think of one, David. Not that could come up with $165 billion.
Herzog: Just AIG, Eddie, only AIG. And if the challenge of mismanaging our business and losing everything wasn’t enough, we exceeded our goal by $5 billion dollars when the federal government gave us $170 billion. We exceeded plan, Edward! Isn’t that what bonuses are all about?
Liddy: It is, David. That’s what bonuses are about, you magnificent genius! Who can fault us for successfully executing strategy?
Herzog: Sore losers. That’s the only demographic I can think of.
Liddy: I didn’t realize we were over by $5 billion. Thought it was more like 3.8 billion. You know what this means, we have to readjust the bonuses up by what, another 18%?
Herzog: Way ahead of you. Crunched the numbers early yesterday in time to make the check run last night. It’s all good.
Liddy: Get the checks ready, I’ll get the door. Do me a favor, David, don’t mention the Uggs to anybody. The press gets a hold of the fact I was thinking about buying sheepskin boots for everyone in AIG, we’ll be back on Page 1 again.
© 2009 The Monkey Bellhop and John Hartnett