Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What is wrong with a golden handshake?

Outrage this week over the executives who deserve a golden shower rather than a golden handshake. The tizzy started when it emerged that due to pre-existing conditions, the top brass at AIG were going to get a whole bunch of moolah as a bonus for doing......well you got me.

That's right kiddies, the guys running AIG, the company currently being bailed out by the American taxpayer were going to get paid obscene amounts for their incompetence. The socialists were howling at this one. Luckily it lookslike they're not going to get the money, but the reasoning behind the payments was a bit baffling.

They said it was due to a clause in a pre-existing contract and their hands were tied, and I understand that but then they came out and said something baffling. They started to argue that incentives were needed to keep talent at the company.

Hmmm, spot the flaw if you can. It seems to me that the people who ran an insurance giant into the ground aren't actually that talented, just sayin'. Is there something to the argument though?

No, of course not you dolt.

They say that to get ourselves out of this mess, they're going to need the help of the people who got them in the trouble in the first place. I can understand there perhaps are a limited number of people to run a multi-national company, but it's just ridiculous.

In no other profession is this approach taken in the face of extreme incompetence. Just imagine it now, the manager of your club has just lost fifteen games on the trot. What does the club do? They sack the hell out of him.

They sure as hell don't invite him back to try and rebuild the squad and throw a bunch of money at him. It seems though, the men with the suits and ties are somehow granted an exemption. Here in Australia, the story is much the same.

Everybody's favourite moustachioed (is that even a word?) Yank, Sol Trujilo, was given a nice little 30 million dollar handshake for advising over a company which had failed to even get on the shortlist for the new broadband network, and played bizzare power games with Stephen Conroy.

Socks, jocks and offshore-location experts Pacific Brands payed a bonus to a former CEO last year to the tune of 3.4 million dollars, a period where they would have been planning the mass sackings of Australian workers.

So you see, the problems which beset this financial world aren't just American. Everybody assumes that this whole thing was kicked of by the leveraged US companies but the problem goes deeper than that. The problem is greed on a masive scale, and that sadly, is a universal theme.

No comments: