In some bizarre statements. CEO of AIG Robert Benmosche compared the harsh criticism of gigantic bonuses given to financial executives to the lynching of blacks in the South during the last century.
Even though this has been news for several days, it begs some analysis.
The men and women, who were part of the amoral and possibly illegal shenanigans that crashed the economy, still received large bonuses with money the government lent them. Since no one could link such rewards to performance, the term that was commonly used was “retention bonuses.”
Hey, these guys just bundled toxic derivatives together with mortgages guaranteed to default, poured them into various aggregate pension plans and toppled the fiduciary interests of the country.
The previous AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg filed a lawsuit against the federal government in regards the bailout that saved his company. He was upset with the high interest rate tied to repayment.
Congressman Elijah Cummings, who is an African American legislator representing a district in central Maryland, is the son of sharecroppers. He is disgusted at the comparison between legitimate criticisms in lieu of needed prosecution to one of the most shameful periods in American history.
Cummings wants Benmoshe to resign.
Here’s another idea: Let’s put some of these executives on trial. If they are found guilty of massive fraud, let’s set new criminal guidelines that put them at risk of being sentenced to hang. Maybe that will get some results.
Just thinking out loud.
Listen to Benmosche’s comments in the video below.