The New York Times has published the resignation letter
of one of the executives at the A.I.G. financial products division (the division responsible for the credit default swap fiasco). However, this executive wasn't involved in the fiasco, and makes excellent points on the political nonsense that is this scapegoating of executive bonuses:
I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.
It doesn't have to be said that the large debate over $163 million in bonuses is a giant red herring to the $170 billion the government has pumped into A.I.G. (and, indirectly, Goldman Sachs and even foreign financial institutions). Nevertheless, even this executive (briefly) admits that perhaps compensation is a little over-the-top:
So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.
What gets my goat the most about this debate, though, is the woe-is-me stories you get out of these executives: spending 10, 12, 14 hours
[per day, at work], oh my! I don't know about you but I've put in a fair share of 10, 12, and 14 hour days in my time, but I've never been compensated for 1% of the profit that my work was partially responsible for producing. Gak, I would be a rich man if I were.