Posted in business, Economy, tagged $165 million AIG, AIG, AIG Bonus payout, AIG CEO, Ben Bernanke, Edward Liddy, management, US Sen. Russ Feingold on March 15, 2009 |
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Photo from CNN
Meet Edward Liddy, Chairman of AIG, the insurance giant that is fast becoming the poster child for the blunders in the current financial crisis.
The company remarkably announced today its intention to pay out $165 million in bonuses and compensation after taking more than $170 billion in federal bailout money. Hello?
The company recently had announced losing $62 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008. I’m not a financial guru, but I’ve written up my share of incentive-compensation plans, and this does not add up. Sure, some star performers could be meeting numbers while the overall company struggles, but portions of bonus plans should always be tied to the profit of the company. That’s just common sense management. $165 million?!
AIG is failing. I’ve lost all confidence in Liddy and his management team.
In a letter Sunday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold urged the Obama administration to explore “legal options” to prevent the millions in AIG payouts.
“I write to ask why any bonuses would be legally required, given the company’s abysmal performance,” says Feingold, D-Wisconsin.
Feingold asked whether the bonuses could be canceled or recouped from recipients, and whether the administration will sue AIG executives for breaching their duties to shareholders.
Let’s hold these executives accountable to the shareholders, which includes us taxpayers. This bonus and compensation payout is a gross breach of their duties to their shareholders.
We don’t need to over-analysis this. It’s obvious in plain sight. Liddy says that without the bonuses, AIG will lose competent talent needed to compete. Really? If they have such competent people, why did they lose $62 billion last quarter? Liddy and his management team are not competent. Their compensation structures are out-dated. We cannot allow these companies to operate business as usual. Their business outlook is obsolete. We need new thinkers and a new mindset. I often think about JAL’s CEO & President Haruka Nishimatsu and his unique perspective on executive management during these difficult economic times.
The White House officials and members of Congress reacted with outrage. Liddy has agreed to cut 2009 bonuses about 30%. I’m lost for words. Where’s the accountability to the shareholders?
Also Sunday, CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired an interview with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said the AIG bailout rankled him. “Of all the events and all of the things we’ve done in the last 18 months, the single one that makes me the angriest, that gives me the most angst, is the intervention with AIG,” he said.
Today’s announcement was just salt on the wounds for all of us. OUCH!
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Meet King County Sheriff Deputy Paul Schene, a bully and a moron with a badge. That is not a good combination.
Look, no one is making an excuse for the 15-year-old girls he arrested for driving a stolen car. They need their justice as well. But officer Schene’s reaction to the girl in jail (captured on the video below) is completely ridiculous. He and all officers of the law need to be held to a higher standard, to greater scrutiny. They are trained servants of communities after all.
Schene can’t even handle the rebellious attitude of one teenager. Do we trust him to serve and protect us? Heck no! I don’t trust his common sense judgement nor do I trust his character. Giving a person like him a badge and a weapon is not in the best interest of our community.
I’ve been completely under-impressed with the police officers in my hometown of Mercer Island since I’ve moved back from London. In London, the police officers had an amazing amount of common sense in the way they dealt with serious and non-seri0us issues. On Mercer Island, they seem to lack common sense and want to apply the letter of the law to every insignificant or significant incident in the same matter. That’s not a very smart way to police a community.
Then, seeing this video in King County (which is my county), shows me that we need common sense training for all the police forces. All I ask is that if we are going to pay people to carry a badge and a weapon to protect us, that they have above-average common sense ability. I think we should all be asking for that.
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Meet Dick and Rick Hoyt, an amazingly inspirational father and son team. Love is so powerful.
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Meet Father Time, it’s constant and relentless. My wife just had her 45th birthday and took a test which predicted that she would live to 102. That means she could potentially live another 57 years! Sheesh, our kids have moved out, we’ve already lived on three different continents, and I’ve been involved in four start up companies. What will we do for another 57 years? Well, the truth is, there’s still a lot of quality living to be had!
And quality of life is something I think about seriously. A long life without independence would not be fun. We all need to make a commitment to keeping our minds and bodies in good shape since human life expectancy continues to grow.
First, let me explain that I have enjoyed a very active life style. I played varsity basketball and baseball in high school. In college, I participated in competitive intramural sports. I’ve enjoyed skiing, running, boxing and weight-lifting at different points in my life. In any competition, I’ve pushed myself hard.
It was about when I turned 42 (I’m 47 now), that my body started to deteriorate rapidly. I first hurt my knee on a 22-mile run tuning up for the Vancouver (BC) marathon. I had surgery for to repair the meniscus, but still have a tear straight down my ACL. Then, I hurt my spine sparring with a local boxing team. Later, I aggravated it further diving for a loose ball playing basketball when an opposing player accidentally kicked my face and snapped my neck back. I had numbness in my left side for a week and the doctors found a ruptured disc in my neck.
I knew then I would have to take care of my body to maintain a reasonable quality of life into my later years. Since then, here is how I’m investing in the quality of my life moving forward.
- Think in positive terms as much as possible. Not in a “golly isn’t the world wonderful” way, but positive within a pragmatic context.
- Be open to new experiences. In fact, look for it.
- Embrace young people’s perspectives, or at least try to understand them. In the modern world, changes are occurring at a historic pace and young people are usually most in tune.
- Let people give me energy.
- Avoid people who drain energy from me. There are a few and recognizing them quickly is key.
- Find situations and people that/who make me laugh – a lot.
- Be thankful.
- Dress age-appropriate but stay current without getting into gaudy brands. Banana Republic is good.
- Learn different languages. Currently working on Spanish. Learned French late in life and grew up with English and Korean.
- Surf the web rather than watching television. Studies show much more brain activity surfing the web.
- Participate in social media
- Write regularly
- Read regularly
- Mediate. I try to mediate three times a week.
- Hot (Bickram) Yoga: Requires singular focus. Detoxifying, complete body stretch, improves balance and strengthens spine. Also burns around 1120 calories (90 minutes) at my weight.
- Weight lifting: Medium weights. Focus on lower body as that is the area that really determines an individual’s ability to maintain independence in older age. Maintain lean muscle mass despite aging.
- Walking: I try to walk as much as reasonable. I take the bus to work so I can walk. I try to eat lunch somewhere more than five blocks from the office. I try to park away from the entrance wherever I drive.
- Play golf.
- Stretch each morning.
- Make sure to get your head below your heart for a couple minutes each day.
- I know I can’t diet so I never do
- I, however, try to to eat more complex carbs than simple ones in a day
- Always enjoy what I eat and don’t stress about calories. Just make good choices more times than not.
- Never eat when feeling stressed. No quick lunch between meetings. I either have time for a proper meal or I’ll just snack until I have time.
- Never eat in the car or while walking (ok, except maybe after the bars close late at night).
- Usually try to match up green vegetables with red meat.
- Eat fish at least three times a week.
- Love colorful vegetables and look for them often.
- Eat European portions and not American portions. Never judge food by quantity.
- Eat kiwis or plumbs or other acidic fruits following any heavy meals.
- Drink tea with or after most meals. See what the Chinese eat and stay thin? Yes, tea.
- Drink liquid calories very slowly. Usually treat it as a meal, even soy lattes.
- Hydrate continuously.
- Take multi-vitamins.
These things are such a part of my lifestyle I don’t have to think much about them. Hope you have your routine as well.
Shari & John with a lot of years left
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