Tuesday, March 24, 2009


From the NY Times we get news of this AIG letter of resignation from Jake De Santis, an executive vice president at AIG ...

The letter of resignation is well written, but Jake's primary point is that he stayed AIG with the promise that he would be compensated for helping to clean up a mess that he claims he had no hand in making. Jake believes he should be compensated, as promised. He's also donating his bonus (after taxes) to charitable organizations that deal with those most affected by the financial fiasco. Good for him.

Two points here.

1. THE "I'VE HAD ENOUGH" CLAIM: Jake's mad because he was trying to do the "right thing" and now feels stigmitized by the political firestorm over the AIG bonuses paid out. While he may think his resignation tells us "I've had enough" it really tells me "I have enough, and can afford to walk away in feigned indignation over not making more."

Look, at the end of the day, most of us try and do the right thing but don't have millions of dollars stashed away after working 10-12 years. Jake can ask the UAW members who did the right thing and hope to have a job next year. He can also ask those now filing for bankruptcy, or who are losing their homes, about contracts and their life expectations. Jake needs to get over himself.

2. THE "I WORK HARD" CLAIM: Jake's rationale for leaving is all mixed up. Jake feels that he should get what he was promised because he's put in 10-14 hours a day over the past year. And just as a plumber who is "cheated after he has fixed the pipes" only to watch as "a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house" Jake believes he deserves his promised bonus for his hard work. I've said it before and I'll say it again: In the real world Bambi's mother dies. Love stinks, and doesn't really conquer much. Good and innocent people get trampled on.

Welcome to the real world Jake. Some times you get screwed.

The really interesting point here is that Jake, like my Wall Street friend from a few weeks ago, lives in an entitlement world that's been propped up by a bubble. They think whatever they do deserves a fabulous reward or special status. The last time I looked, Jake still received a nice salary for doing his job. I'm glad Jake's bubble has been popped.

I don't feel bad for Jake. He needs help. Good thing he can afford it.

- Mark

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