Saturday, March 21, 2009
I Want My Money Back!!!
You've got to hand it to MoveOn.org. Whether you support it's positions or not, MoveOn.org lives up to it's motto, Democracy In Action.
It's no surprise that MoveOn.org 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 MoveOn.org, 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 MoveOn.org.
When you play The Great AIG Tomato Toss you have an opportunity to sign a petition to demand the return of the bonus money.
MoveOn.org is shooting for 400,000 signatures to deliver to Congress and more than 300,000 people have signed so far.
I join MoveOn.org in encouraging you to check out the game, pass it on and, most importantly, sign the petition if you haven't already.