Tuesday, November 11, 2008

AIG- (again)

Ok, I know you're getting tired of reading about this, as much as I'm getting tired of writing about this. But you know what? They keep getting more money, so until we stop them, I guess I'll keep writing about it. Despite the money AIG already received, they still are leading the insurance industry in losses, globally approaching $1 trillion. Yesterday, Treasury agreed to renegotiate loans and gifts to AIG, to the tune of $152 billion.

Taxpayers are ``keeping the zombie alive,'' said Robert Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist at hedge fund Cumberland Advisors and former director of research at the Atlanta Fed. ``We keep getting deeper and deeper into these holes.''

Now, think about all you know about how AIG has behaved since they got the first batch of cash. Do you think they were smart? Do you think they cancelled any high-profile resort vacations that they may have been sponsoring? When they got caught with the first luxury spa excursion, do you think that they cancelled the next one? When they said that they would stop "all non-essential conferences, meetings and activities that do not clearly maximize value and service given the current conditions", did you believe them? Do you think they cancelled the next luxury spa vacation? If you think that, you're wrong.

Even as the company was pleading the federal government for another $40 billion dollars in loans, AIG sent top executives to a secret gathering at a luxury resort in Phoenix last week.

At least they're trying not to rub in in our faces:

"AIG made significant efforts to disguise the conference, making sure there were no AIG logos or signs anywhere on the property," KNXV reported.

A hotel employee told KNXV reporter Josh Bernstein, "We can't even say the word [AIG]."

A company spokesperson, Nick Ashooh, confirmed AIG instructed the hotel to make sure there were no AIG signs or mention of the company by staff.

"We're trying to avoid confrontation, keep our profile low," said Ashooh. "Some of our employees have been harassed."

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