What. The. Fuck.
If you haven't already heard, it's come to light that AIG, a close-to-bankrupt insurance company who has just been bailed out by the $700 billion mistake, spent more than $400,000 on a retreat to a Saint Regis resort at the end of September. The week-long getaway included spa treatments ($23,000+), golf (almost $7,000) and almost $140,000 on rooms alone. You can find a copy of the invoice at The Smoking Gun.
In an online statement, AIG says that:
"The event, mischaracterized as an "Executive Retreat," was held by one of AIG's insurance subsidiaries for independent life insurance agents, not for AIG employees. These agents were top business producers for the company, and of the more than 100 attendees, only 10 were employees of the AIG subsidiary who were there to represent their company. No AIG executives from headquarters attended. The meeting was planned months before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's loan to AIG.
In his letter, Mr. Liddy assured Secretary Paulson that AIG now faces very different challenges, and 'that we owe our employees and the American public new standards and approaches.' Mr. Liddy assured Secretary of the Treasury Paulson that AIG is 'reevaluating the costs of all aspects of our operations in light of the new circumstances in which we are all operating.'
Mr. Liddy concluded, that 'AIG is focused on doing what is necessary to address our capital structure, repay the Fed credit facility and emerge as a healthy global insurer. In the meantime, our insurance businesses continue to operate normally and satisfy the needs of our policy holders.'"
If this is considered normal operating costs, then I'm pretty sure that AIG's executives need to not only be fired faster than Evil Knievel out of a mother fucking cannon, but they need to start writing some personal checks for this shit. It's soooo shocking that your company is going bankrupt and somehow convinced our fucked up government to bail out your sorry asses. Did you really think that spending a half million dollars on some agent incentive retreat was a good idea in this economy?!
I don't know if there was a single moment that caused the nation we live in today. Was it 9/11? Was it Inauguration Day 2001? Or was it more a slow demise of ethics and a quick rise in corporate greed? Probably D: all of the above.
Mr. Bee and I were talking the other day and I just don't know how much more of it I can take. Living so close to the Canadian border sure gets tempting sometimes. It definitely would take a lot, though. I get a deep pit in my stomach when I think that there's even a possibility that the McCain/Palin ticket could win the presidency. I told Mr. Bee that if we must live under a Republican regime for the next four years AND if it looks as if ANOTHER (or the same, I suppose) Republican president after that, I would really, really seriously consider moving to Vancouver.
I usually try to see the bright side of life. But it's hard to see any light at the end of the current tunnel the U.S., nay, the world, is in. Since when did the upper echelon of politics, corporations, the world get to escape all accountability?
Song title: American Idiot by Green Day