Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poor, Poor Jack

If you haven't seen it, read Jake DeSantis' resignation letter from AGI published in the New York Times.

I somehow I don't feel moved by his whiny ass, self-aggrandizing arguments.

First he claims that he wasn't responsible for what these other guys did, nor did he get compensated from credit default swaps, so he shouldn't have to give up his money. OK,well THIS guy obviously never played team sports. When the team loses, everyone looses be they a bench sitter or a full on participant.

Then he argues that contracts made between him and AIG are being broken. OK. I'll cede that point to him. I fess up to a double standard. If labor has a contract and management fails to abide by it, then I say it's wrong. I should apply the same standard here. AIG should have renegotiated its contracts with its employees like the automakers have done and are currently doing. However, AIG is something of a special case. You take billions from the US government, consider your contract renegotiated. You agree to take a $1 a year salary, consider your contract renegotiated. Oh, but I see, that was OK because he was going to get a bonus. So it wasn't the loss of the bottle that makes him cry, it's the removal of his pacifier. What does that tell you about Wall Street?

How does he think workers feel when they are told they can keep their jobs, but the have to take wage and hourly cuts? They don't have any bonuses to make up the difference.

Then he claims that he stayed with AIG rather than take another position out of loyalty to the company and . . . and this one makes me barf in my mouth . . . "civic duty". Spare me. Civic duty would have required that he pay all his taxes, served on jury duty when called, and maybe even volunteered at a community event. I could be wrong, but I doubt he did any of those things. Civic duty is taking less money to work in government, serving in the armed forces, or go teaching in a poor school. There is no civic duty involved in keeping a multimillion dollar a year job for a large Wall Street firm. Besides, if he is so great, someone will hire him. Then again, publishing this in the NYT probably means retirement is the best option.

Finally, he doesn't understand how work and skill should be valued. He seems to think he is entitled to huge sums of money because he worked so much. Well, I work hard and I am dedicated. That doesn't entitle me to anything. My boyfriend works 12 hours days and over weekends and he doesn't get million dollar bonuses. He doesn't even take OT for any of it. So do a lot of very skilled people who are a lot less well paid and much more critical to society –medical personnel, utility workers, soldiers, social workers, lawyers, teachers, and firemen all come to mind. People who are working 3 jobs to support families don't get paid $700+K bonuses after taxes. So what the guy is really saying is that it "I did it for the money.", which isn't the same thing as saying I did it out of loyality and civic duty.

So do I feel sorry for Mr. DeSantis? Not in the least. Since he likes to work so hard, let him go work in an inner city school for awhile. Then maybe he'll quit his whining.


Dr. Strangelove said...

What a curious compensation system: $1 salary with $1,000,000 bonus (very approximate pre-tax figure) at the end of the year. I understand that Mr. DeSantis feels betrayed by his company: AIG repeatedly dangled before him the promise of a vast sum which they had no right to offer. They should just have offered him a decent, reduced salary.

Or better yet, Mr. DeSantis should have insisted on it. It is obvious from the repeated "reassurances" he mentions that everyone involved realized back in October that the payment of these bonuses would provoke outrage. Would you work for free for the mere promise of a million dollars from a company that could go under at any moment, staying afloat only by virtue of a highly politically unpopular government life preserver?

Mr. DeSantis implies he turned down job offers from other employers during the past few months. Lucky guy, getting job offers in an economy like this! He says he lost a significant portion of his life savings because he had money invested in AIG. Lucky guy, still retaining a significant portion of his (no doubt considerable) life savings when lots of other folks have lost what little they had. Sorry, dude. You've done really well and you can afford to give away three-quarters of a million dollars and you are still rich! And besides, you made your choices to stay.

The gulf of understanding between Mr. DeSantis and the rest of us becomes manifest when he writes blithely that, "The profitability of the businesses with which I was associated clearly supported my compensation."

You see, that's the problem, Mr. DeSantis. The "profit" of your "business" was largely the imagination of your accountants--a financial house of cards with no real value behind it. And even if you believe your particular line of financial work produced tangible value, the rest of us just think that kind of job should not be so highly compensated, period. We think teachers and firemen deserve higher salaries than bankers, and it is galling that--instead of paying the money to people who do real work--our government is (albeit indirectly) forking the money over to you.

Like USWest says, if you want respect, go be a teacher in the inner city for a while.

cyregray said...

Dude, F him and his F-bonuses. This whole nonsense is such obvious distraction.

I can't believe people are taking this seriously... so we get literally bombarded by this AIG nonsense, as if this is more then the tip of the iceberg, for over a week and then this letter just happens to appear.

Is it just me or is this too perfect? Now people will be debating AIG bonus, government taxation, etc - all the while the real culprits of this financial debacle get off without the slightest scrutiny.

So lame.

Anonymous said...

It is true and Jake agreed, that folks in his profession are overpaid, he did admit that. The thing is, everything he and AIG did was legal, made legal by the politicians. A commodities trader by definition, to me,works in a pool of sewage. Jake said he ran a profitable unit, but it is these traders who speculated in the commodities markets that drove the price of oil and food to all time highs because there was no where else to put the money, it falsely inflated everything...that to me, is his real crime...but it was his job...."create shareholder value" or lose your 2 million dollar a year gig. I guess if any of us where in his position and endoctrinated to the system, would we have done any different? And that is the rub...we have created a financial system that is run by pathological is not unlike the movie Good Fellas...those mobsters knew of no other way of life, noting to compare it to, so where do you attach blame...where do you put your anger...for me, it goes to the core. AIG lobbyist, the politicians and finally, the electorate...people voted this stuff in...and it is, and I hate to say it, but 'stupid' has overtaken the country by design..witness all of the education cuts over the last 30 years.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Mr. DeSantis should have limited his email message to five simple words, "Thank you, taxpayers of America!"