Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Want My Money Back!!!

You've got to hand it to Whether you support it's positions or not, lives up to it's motto, Democracy In Action.

It's no surprise that has found a way to harness the anger Americans from sea to shining sea feel for AIG, American International Group, Inc., the company deemed "too large to fail."

Have you ever thought of throwing tomatoes, or worse, at AIG's corporate office? Kris Khoury, a member of, created a game that allows you to do just that, even if they're just virtual tomatoes.

It's The Great AIG Tomato Toss!

It's not difficult to understand, of course, why Americans are angry about the government's bailout of AIG.

AIG lost $61.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008. That's the largest quarterly loss ever posted by an American company. The company actually managed to lose $465,000 a minute during the quarter!

The fourth quarter of 2008 was the fifth consecutive quarter AIG lost money. In all, American International Group, Inc. lost $99.29 billion in 2008, wiping out profit dating back to the early 1990s.

It was losses from credit default swaps that threatened to collapse the company; something which, experts say, would threaten the world financial system.

It was, notably, the Financial Products Division that was responsible for bringing down AIG.

Let us not forget that $170 billion of taxpayer money has been invested so far to save American International Group, Inc. from total collapse.

The bailout began in September, 2008 when the government loaned AIG $85 billion.

One week later AIG staged a retreat for company executives at a lavish California retreat which cost $444,000.

Taxpayers were, I think, understandably upset to find AIG personnel indulged in spa treatments, banquets and golf outings. I feel that it was a weak excuse for AIG to say the retreat was planned before the bailout.

Resentment for AIG grew when just 24 hours after news of the retreat broke the Federal Reserve agreed to loan the company another $37.8 billion.

American taxpayers received another slap in the face from AIG in mid-October when AIG executives spent $86,000 on a luxurious English hunting trip. They weren't done yet, though. A $343,000 trip to a lavish resort in Phoenix, Arizona followed in November.

American International Group, Inc. isn't a company that does anything halfway. To show the American people how grateful it is, AIG announced this month the payment of $165 million in bonuses to executives in the Financial Products Division.

Yes, that's right, the Financial Products Divison which was responsible for bringing the company to the brink of bankruptcy and playing a key role in the implosion of the American economy.

Which brings us back to

When you play The Great AIG Tomato Toss you have an opportunity to sign a petition to demand the return of the bonus money. is shooting for 400,000 signatures to deliver to Congress and more than 300,000 people have signed so far.

I join in encouraging you to check out the game, pass it on and, most importantly, sign the petition if you haven't already.


Tumblemoose said...

This is the best and most comprehensive piece I've seen on the AIG matter.

I was so angry that for the very first time in my life, I actually sent letters to both of my Senatoprs and the President!

Great job.


Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper said...

I threw a few, but when I clicked on the link to sign the petition I ended up back at the tomato throwing site.

Par for the course for this ancient English major.

Anonymous said...

Vanvogt said...

Kudos on a fine post that really sums up the whole AIG mess, truly an outrage.

I've been a supporter of MoveOn since 2000. I have thrown lots of tomatos and signed MoveOn's petition.

I recognize that the management of AIG has a kind of twisted intelligence. They have configured their business to be in a position to blackmail the United States. For in many ways they are too big to fail, look at what happened when a much smaller company - Bear Stearns was allowed to fail. That nearly brought down the world economy.

If the Federal Reserve (read American taxpayer) is going to throw another 85 billion for 80% ownership of AIG, then nationalize AIG! Throw the management out and have a good look at the books to determine the depth of the fraud, waste and abuse. Then, clean it up. When the company is once again profitable, spin it off to the private sector and repay the US taxpayer.

Global Patriot said...

It's looking at the numbers that really gets the blood to boil - with all the pain of hunger and poverty around the world it's hard to imagine that much money being wasted!

Michael A. Gonzales said...

great post...and throwing tomatoes is such fun.