March 25, 2009

AIG, I quit!

This is a letter sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vp of AIG’s financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of AIG. While quitting AIG Mr DeSantis delineates the disgrace of Liddy, who wants to perform a civic duty in winding down AIG, but simply lacks courage to stand against the political storm from Congress and the Attorney Generals of New York and Connecticut. Congress passed an unconstitutional, confiscatory, retrospective law against the AIG employees, convenient scapegoats lest popular rage turn against the criminals in Congress. The Attorney Generals threatened to publish the home details of AIG employees who kept what they had earned - which everyone understands is blackmail.

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.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.

Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, Nancy Pelosi, Andrew Cuomo and the rest are scum. The US President, who preens as Lincoln's successor, could have protected citizens against mob rule. He serenaded the mob instead. Liddy could have stood up for those he well knew were morally and legally in the right, but he'll have to live with his weakness. I hope when I am tested, I do the right thing. Honour does not move sideways like a crab.

You have run out of our money

This morning the UK gilt auction failed. That means there weren't enough bids to cover the amount the government wants to borrow. Actually the situation in America is worse since we'll get a centre-right government within 2 years, but the malign dunces who run your government will be in power for at least 4, maybe 6, 8, 12 years longer what with Acorn and the growth of the state-dependent electorate. The UK has better democratic accountability for its Chief Executive. Our press are not lapdogs and Gordon Brown has to hear the charges against him face to face in public. Imagine Barack Obama in this video instead of Gordon Brown:

Daniel Hannan is a journalist and blogger as well as a Member of the European Parliament. This is a strange world; the same Daniel Hannan who stripped the PM's flesh off his bones and pecked his eyes out in the clip above, this same avenging carrion crow, won't disown Obama yet for the weakest, drippiest reasons:
So, have I changed my mind? Well, I won't deny that Obama has done plenty of irritating things, ranging from the idiotic stimulus package to the way he dissed the Prime Minister (yes, I know the man's a clot, Mr President, but he's our clot; and, tired as you may have been, I suspect the Royal Marines in their Forward Operating Bases in Helmand, fighting a war that few of your allies will touch, are pretty drowsy too).

On the other hand, the US remains more popular than it has been for years, and Obama's own approval ratings, though fallen, are well above the vote he received in November.
This is a question of psychology rather than politics. It shows the power of the moralistic fallacy, the conceit that what ought to be, is. Many ultra-bright people and many ultra-dim people want Obama to be who they think he should be and it will be a bereavement as well as a defeat to admit that they were too in love with their idea of Obama to see the bleeding obvious.

Update: Daniel Hannan's reaction to the reaction to his speech to Gordon Brown.