25 Mar 2009

Jake DeSantis Shrugged

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The New York Times published yesterday’s resignation letter from Jake DeSantis, executive vice president of the American International Group’s financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G.

Dear Mr. Liddy,

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down. …

The profitability of the businesses with which I was associated clearly supported my compensation. I never received any pay resulting from the credit default swaps that are now losing so much money. I did, however, like many others here, lose a significant portion of my life savings in the form of deferred compensation invested in the capital of A.I.G.-F.P. because of those losses. In this way I have personally suffered from this controversial activity — directly as well as indirectly with the rest of the taxpayers. …

But you also are aware that most of the employees of your financial products unit had nothing to do with the large losses. And I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us. I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday and from the press over our retention payments, and that you didn’t defend us against the baseless and reckless comments made by the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut. …

I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.

On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. In light of the uncertainty over the ultimate taxation and legal status of this payment, the actual amount I donate may be less — in fact, it may end up being far less if the recent House bill raising the tax on the retention payments to 90 percent stands. Once all the money is donated, you will immediately receive a list of all recipients. …

This choice is right for me. I wish others at A.I.G.-F.P. luck finding peace with their difficult decision, and only hope their judgment is not clouded by fear. …


Jake DeSantis

45 Feedbacks on "Jake DeSantis Shrugged"


what a crapuul, the national group of anti capitalist lawyers will take of him producting justice for all

knnndjjj secret code – pissing of kabool


F#c@ Jake the snake! So deserving he gets to pick what charity my tax dollar goes to?? Jerkoff Mo-Fo. Hopefully he shows up in a crime report or in the Irish comics real soon for being so impressed with himself while others actually are struggling just to keep a roof over their head and food in their families mouths and still unable to make it happen, thanks to decisions by sheltered A-Holes like Jake and the self absorbed self importance they feel about themselves as being more deserving.


screw you DeSantis!

Just One Question

Let me ask you this: Who would you think might know better what to do with his money? Jake DeSantis, financial product market specialist, or… Congress?

Are you seriously suggesting he should have poured his money back into the broken machine?

I, for one, welcome his decision. See something broken? Fix it. That’s America.

(Then again, whining about things you don’t understand has also become America. And shame on us for that.)

Moon Hunglover

This is not a case of Atlas shrugging because DeSantis didn’t keep his retention bonus, which is rightfully his! Instead, he shamefully promised to give it to those “suffering from the economic downturn” – in other words, lending the sanction of superiority to those who played no role in earning the bonus payment.

As for the outraged “taxpayers”, they’re not paying any taxes!! The people they want to lynch pay the taxes and, if the demagogues in Congress have their way, their tax rates will go up even further from their already UNFAIR AND UNJUSTLY HIGH LEVELS!!!!!

The rich must go on strike!

Hung Far Lo

This is a start but we need more resignations. All people who actually produce need to stop! Pay off your mortgages, take your savings and disappear. Let Obama and his brain trust expropriators tax nothing at 90% and come crawling back on hands and knees to beg the rich to provide once again. Pathetic!!!This is why my grandparents left China!

Howard Rork

Buh-bye, Jakie. And take all your arrested-development adolescent shruggers with you. Go set up a utopia where you all sit around in a cirle jerk selling CDFs and Patek-Phillipe watches to each other. No, we won’t be buying anything from you, and if your Blackwater Danneskjold terrorists show up in our AO, they will be shot. If they survive, they will be water-boarded, then shot again.

So have fun in South Carolina, or Costa Rica, or Nigeria, or wherever the hell other 3rd world cesspool you think is no-government paradise. The sooner you parasites GTFO, the sooner the REAL producers can get on with the business of creating useful things.

Maybe all you Rand cultists didn’t notice, but the crony capitalists in Atlas Shrugged were villains. The heroes actually made useful durable goods. Now go, raise your own kobe beef, build your own mansions, mow your own golf courses, roll your own cohibas, whatever. Just go. Go now. Before we get the guillotines out.


Jake desantis, f*** you! AIG basically went bankrupt so you shouldnt get your bonus.
The fact that it was bailed out is a completely different matter. If it hadn’t been bailed out, the whole economy would go to s***!

You worked there and you are f**** responsible. You get no bonus!

It’s your fault that you accepted $1 salary. Bonus is always an uncertain thing. You are a big boy now.
Oh, and have the degnity to kill yourself! Nobody is going to miss you.

Have fun bastard!

p.s. By the way, you may claim no tax for the $1, i think you qualify!

Jim Slinger

I cannot understand all this abuse of Jake DeSantis. We now own A.I.G. He earned us $100,000,000 dollars last year, got paid $1, was trying to make such money for us in the future, and people are glad to get rid of him. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you–Sheesh!


I can see that Jake is a slow learner! If you worked eleven years at AIG and say that you are not responsible at all for any of the problems you are in denial! Does anyone have the number for Selfish Millionaires Anonymous? If so, pass it on to Jake. He is in dire need of HELP!


Gee, for a supposedly brilliant guy, Jake DeSantis wrote a whiny, inconsistent piece of garbage.
Nobody is worth tens of millions of dollars a year. (Lots of folks, including me, have degrees in math and a whole lot more). There simply is not that much brilliance on this planet that warrants hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

As someone else said, BYE BYE JAKE


These guys don’t get it. Any of these fools can be replaced. If the head of any company is replaced it will still go on. NO one is worth more than $500K or so a year. The excess pay should go to shareholders. This fucker didn’t earn us $100 Million last year, the investors’ money did.

The Only One Here Who Is Not A Moron

Jake DeSantis is the only one with any ****s, but yet you ignorant pig f****** say that he should be gone because he simply worked for AIG? He had nothing to do with the substantial losses AIG suffered you fucking morons. I have the utmost respect for Jake DeSantis, for the love of god he is donating his bonus to charity. F*** all of you a** ****s for trying to find the dark lining in the silver cloud that is Jake DeSantis.


WOW I read this and wonder what uncle Warren Buffet would say?? BRKA just lost it’s triple a rating today. I guess he is just a corp. raider too.


Jake DeSantis, what an a$$h0le. I work 10 and 12 hours and was exstatic that this year I might make $80k. I also thank God that I may have that in light of how many people are out of work right now. After his severe beating DeSantis needs to be taken out and given a reality check. I PRAY that the days of overpaid worthless management is over. Anybody who manages a company that goes broke deserves nothing. Abolish Golden Parachutes, and overinflated bonuses. Let them live in the real world with the rest of use. Eat the rich. The time of corporate rape of the common NEEDS to come to an end. If anything positive comes of the recent economic downturn, I hope we all realize that nobody is worth that much more than anyone else.


Dear The Only One Here Who Is Not A Moron,
You’re the reason this shit happens. Ignorant people who believe what they feed you. Another Lemming willing to follow. The only reason he is willing to donate almost a quarter of a million to charity is because of the controversy, otherwise he would be lapping it up and laughing at idiots like you who believe the BS. Hell has a special place for dumbasses like you.


OOPs Sorry three quarters of a million. Thought I would point that out before anyone else.


Many of the vengeful responses to
Mr. De Santis’s letter are troubling. This is not an uncomplicated matter but one that merits careful thought and consideration.

These responses indicate a limited understanding of how a business in a competitive environment must operate today. As taxpayers, we wll not recoup monies from AIG without exerting all possible efforts.

But, more significantly, the letters demonstrate our inability as a society to have a civilized conversation about any topic today.

generic Brand of thinking

If people would actually open their eyes and shut their ears to the crap the media is feeding them, Congress and administration are feeding them, and their ill-informed friends and neighbors are feeding them, they would understand that a company like AIG has more than one department working in it.

Sure, it was irresponsible to let one or a few departments have so much power and create this credit default, but other departments shouldn’t be to blame. Outrage is a common emotion, but why are people hating on other people’s wealth? Maybe we don’t think they should earn as much as they do, but most of us have no idea WHAT they do.

If the public is so against the wealthy being paid for what they are good at, for what the market sets the price at, then why are professional athletes not on the chopping block yet? Their money comes from average Americans. MLB and NFL get government subsidies for their television rights, and they are monopolies, which aren’t even supposed to exist in 21st century America. Where’s the outrage for sports?


who are these f***** jerks who didn’t read the letters, oh yeah they work for mcdonalds on their low wages and didn’t go to college and now because someone make big bank and the company promised them pay and now went back on thier word he should suffer? go back to school you pot headed 10th grade drop outs and go eat your burger in the corner because your loserssssssss

jack the ripper

not many know the full story behind AIG. But what we do know is the decisions that have led to this country’s near demise should be considered acts of treason for the simple reason that we have been as crippled as a nation since the attacks on 9/11. People who knew what they were doing at AIG, and the other ibanks made conscious decisions to implement the foolhardy strategies that were beyond measured risk. They were led by greed. Those same people–and they are limited, identifiable, in the hundreds at most–ought to be criminally charged for treasonous acts. It was not the work of capitalism, it was the work of greedy men who claim no national loyalty, but are only loyal to themselves and their spoils.

Charge these men with treason for the suffering it is causing those who can no longer retire, for the teachers who cannot teach, for the children who will suffer from hunger, and for the troops who will find themselves short of supplies, weaponry, and protection.

And CHARGE them with the duty to unwind these accounts completely and thoroughly or face maximum justice for Acts of Treason. This is not about a fallen bank and/ or insurer. it is about the national safety of the united states.


Continue to see all around the country, this site included, many people suffering with “I’ve made up my mind, don’t try to confuse me with the facts” disease. Outrage without understanding is hysteria. There may indeed be reasons to be upset, even outraged with the retention contracts, but these hysterical attacks on the AIG employees is counterproductive. Our politicians (both parties) and the media (liberal and conservative) are fueling this wave of public outrage. In the mean time the masses are being distracted from other more important issues and voicing support for policy and legislative changes that they would never agree to if not for their state of hysteria. STOP IT! Last week in front of Congress Mr Liddy told us most everything that Jake DeSantis stated in his letter, but nobody wanted to listen. Just a bunch of grandstanding and pandering by our wonderful politicians. And what is all this blathering by posters saying “no one is worth a million dollars a year (or fill in the blank with a random amount). We have baseball players making 25 million a year, football players making 10 or 20 million a year. I am a lifelong Packer Fan and big time fan of Brett Favre, but do you really think he deserved the 12 million the Jets paid him last year for that lackluster performance? You really believe that the best and brightest people in business don’t deserve to make more than $500K a year??!! Please, get off your high horse. Go do a Google search on retention contracts (mis-named “bonuses”) and you will see they are by design intended to have the person leave at the end of the specific time period or when a specific goal/target is achieved and the payments are RETROACTIVE, being paid out at the end of the retention period, typically as the employee walks out the door. If the retention period is an extended period (e.g. more than a year) the contract is then often paid in stages, based on agreed upon performance/results with the final segment paid out when the employee leaves. Retention contracts are supposed to end with the employee leaving as normally their job no longer exists. In other words they are being contracted to work themselves out of a job. These are not the same as sign-on or resigning bonuses. Now for those of you that hold the position that these guys should have been shown the door on day one, or now for that matter: Where do you suggest Mr Liddy or the Fed find people with the needed skills and knowledge that would be willing to come into AIG and take a job with the assignment of eliminating their job. Sounds attractive, doesn’t it?

They are not the only ones doing it, but the Obama administration is contributing to and perpetuating the misunderstanding by the masses of this issue. The President knows, as does Timothy Geithner that these contract were put into place in early 2008, by AIG while they were in serious trouble but before they crashed and burned because they realized that they had to strategically and systematically shut down this FP division if they had any hope of saving the company. They identified the key people needed to implement that strategy and offered them retention contacts to keep these people there long enough to close out these “books of business” while minimizing or eliminating losses. When the Federal Reserve took over AIG and asked Mr Liddy to take over as interim CEO these contracts were reviewed and the conclusion arrived at by Mr Liddy’s team and the over-sight panel from the Fed was that it was in the best interest of the American taxpayer to continue these contracts and retain these people until they could complete their assignments. This decision was only to a minor degree based on the fact that they were “legal contracts”, rather based to the major degree on the assessment that if these books of business where not properly managed by people with these skill sets and knowledge, there was significant risk of 3 trillion dollars worth of financial instruments. These retention contracts could have been terminated or restructured at the time the Fed took over or anywhere along the way, but they were not. These people were told their contracts would be honored under the full knowledge of the Fed, including Mr Geithner and by continuation, President Obama. The employees fulfilled their part of the agreement and are entitled legally, ethically and morally to be paid. The President is an intelligent man and he knows perfectly well why the contracts were left standing after the Fed takeover and he is being less than honest when he tells us that he did not know about them. His “outrage” is disingenuous and seems to be based more as a reaction to polling data than any moral conviction.

Home Rule

F-ck you jake


Actually, he is worth it. If he wasn’t, he’d be fired, and I’d get his job. He invents, creates, builds…he’s trustworthy, creative and he serves his clients. That’s why he’s worth every nickel that he’s paid.

If you don’t think so, try stepping into the pressurized hell he lives in 70 hours a week.

What I can’t figure out is why more of the wives of these guys don’t tell them to bail on the Frank, Dodd and Obamanomics.

There’s a reason the US and UK can’t sell their bonds. People don’t trust the governments that are selling them.

God bless Jake. Go man.


Very thoughtful commentary, Home Rule


Good, INTELLIGENT WELL THOUGHT OUT post indianapackfan!


Seems to me the SEC and the US government is really to blame for this whole mess, they let OTC derivatives go unregulated for a decade they knew the $ value at risk.


i actually know a couple of these aig guys- i think they pretty much knew they were playing in a high risk high return area, and without government regulation and oversight, they just kept pushing and pushing because the money was there. most of them are intelligent guys, but motivated by big money. theres their side of the story, pretty much told by desantis, and then theres the cuomo side, pretty much known by most of us.
one thing that seems pretty clear to me is that the state and federal governments did know about these payments early on, and probably could have prepared us for what was coming. and aig did itself no favor by calling the payment bonuses, as opposed to deferred compensation, or delayed compensation, if thats the correct term. the sums involved are whats so appalling. as for generating wealth, i dont know where the 100 million desantis claims to have made went- is it real or is it madoff money.
i dont think i got any. i have a doctorate and the guy made in one payment what ill make in 5 years if im lucky, and im fortunate and grateful to be employed. the real positive of this whole mess is that the government is going to have to be more accountable in its dealings with the bailouts, and this probably marks the beginning of the end for george david type compensation packages and golden parachutes. personally, i dont mind a little redistribution of wealth, and mr desantis and his buddies are a good place to start, even if it means the end of a few friendships.


Mr. DeSantis,

I agree with your point that we should have the freedom to spend our income as we wish, as long as it is legal in our great country, the United States. I, unlike you, would not have turned in my resignation. With your longevity in the company, you clearly have had some great income years with the firm. Why not stick through the not-so-great years? AIG was dysfunctional long before this mess occurred and you knew it. You must have coped with it. Furthermore, if you clearly could justify the value you brought to the company, then, you also know you could have kept your income without losing any sleep or feeling any pressure. I have some dear friends and family that are physicians and I’ve seen them work faithfully, competently, for years around the clock only to have their incomes diminish to 12% – 25 / 30% of your annual income. They did not ‘quit’ on their patients when insurance carriers, the government or hospital administrators whittled away their incomes. Talk about dysfunctional: skilled surgeons making less than business executives!!! What a priority of values, eh? I have a personal bias that business executives with income potential as large as yours, are long over due for a ‘market correction.’ Regardless of how many great things I’ve accomplished in my career, I haven’t networked my way into a ‘job’ where an extremely small percentage of the population can make an income equivalent to the combined annual income of 32 families of 4 in NY, NY, (2008 -HUD 30% of median income of $23,050, http://www.hud.gov) In closing, I offer you to exchange your financial position with my financial position until we reach the pearly gates of heaven. Just write to the NY Times and let them know you’ll take me up on my offer.

Rude Head...

An Aussie Battlers point of view…Mr DeSantis’s letter was real and it was good…but it wasn’t Real Good…But who am I to talk…Australia was originally populated by a bunch of convicts…And my family tree shows that my great, great, great, great, great Grandmother stole a loaf of bread and her punishment was to be shipped to Australia…Does this mean we will be seeing you, your family and the rest of your AIG mates soon Mr. DeSantis???


Screw him and his self-righteous crap. HOW CAN HE DARE TAKE SUCH A TONE! He is, as was appropriately mentioned, a parasite. He does not need the piddly million dollar bonus after the tens to hundreds of millions he has made already. I think it is fair to ask our culture to adjust and reassess the amount we fund / finance our lawyers and our business class. Why do I say this? Well, let me be self-righteous. I work as a physician and service the poor and the indigent. I make in 5 years what he is “giving away” to charity. And of that, I am forced to give about 60% of this to malpractice insurance and other fees of the medical profession. I work a hell of a lot more hours than Mr. Desantis, I guarantee. And when I am self-righteous about helping people, I can say so sincerely.

It is time we look to the bloodsuckers of our society. It’s time the business class, the political class and the lawyers STOP sucking our blood and propagandizing. It really is time to riot in the streets for a fair and responsible system.

Stop your whining. Consider yourself lucky that no one is going to sue you or your company for malpractice for destroying countless lives

Lazarus Long

Jake really brought out the trolls. For a site that gets few comments the response to this piece is off the charts. Must have been push back day at the DNC and the White House.


This “Letter” shows just what is so wrong in the financial world. It is just plain entitlement, pure and simple. I say entitlement because you want the company to pay you for something your own company has no money to pay.
Once the government stepped in and pumped billions of dollars into AIG, the company was BANKRUPTED, NO MONEY…Contracts cannot be paid. You may feel you deserve the money, you may feel you earned the money, you may feel your hard work should be rewarded, BUT AIG HAS NO MONEY TO PAY. The government dollars are not intended to pay you your “BONUS,” but pay the CDS contracts AIG made. The fact that AIG controls the money the government put in does not mean that now you should be paid your bonus.
A nonsupported company would just tell you they are sorry, but no money for the contracted bonuses. Don’t like it, take the company to court. Happens all the time. This government intervention to keep a bankrupt company alive is the new twist our country has never seen.
As soon as AIG started taking taxpayer dollars, no money avaialable for bonuses, no matter what management kept saying, a smarter person would have seen it. NO MONEY = NO BONUS…

Robin L

Boo Hoo Mr. Desantis.
I am so sorry you worked 10-12-14 hour days. Like the rest of us haven’t. When I did my medical residency – I worked between 80-110 hours per week. I barely slept and was asked to make important decisions affecting the health and possibly lives of sick patients. You know how much money I made? About $36,000 per year. So I am just SO sorry that you feel like you deserved your $750,000 BONUS for working 12 hour days. Sorry you couldn’t hit the golf course whenever you wanted. Your profession is SO overpaid for what you do – and has been for years – and now you are just realizing that? I’m not even sure you have realized that. You just feel victimized. Since you are feeling so high and mighty -that you actually got yourself educated and are entitled to all that money – why don’t you put all your brains and work ethic toward a slightly more honorable cause and help society – instead of just thinking about your own personal wealth and what society owes you.


This chain seems to have morphed to a bunch of whining doctors complaining about someone in the financial sector whining. Are you doctors really trying to tell us that the people at the top of you profession are not making millions per year? Come on.

Let’s try to stick to the facts. AIG is not in bankruptcy, though that may happen, especially if this hysterical stampede continues. The money “pumped into” AIG is at this point a loan, not a grant. Therefore these contracts were paid with AIG money, not “our” money. Those loans have to be paid back by AIG with interest if they survive, which is what our government assured us would happen if they got involved. The only way the taxpayer will be on the hook is if AIG goes belly up. So just keep calling for defaulting on agreements, driving necessary people out the door and fostering hysterical fear throughout the whole company and your worst fears will indeed come true. That is called shooting yourself in the foot. Good luck with that tactic.

Dr G Ledgerwood in England

I, too, was lucky to attend MIT and had support to do so. Unlike Mr de Santis, I spent my career since (40 years) in a range of not for profit, charitable and educational agencies in 3 countries working to achieve social improvement and economic development. Often I was successful in substantial ways, but only occasionally earned sums that reflected my financial contribution to employers and clients. Can Mr de Santis say that his MIT education was as well invested? He has many years now to give back some of what he has taken. He’s clearly talented and let’s suppose that we have yet to see his greatest contributions to society. I, for one, look forward to hearing more from him, not as a financial manipulator but as a builder of the next generation of social enterprises.

Hung Far Lo

Up with the Rich! They make money buy making things people want to buy. There is no force involved! No one made anyone “trust” AIG, so if you just give your money to someone and don’t pay attention to what they do with it (and can’t even understand what they’re doing with it) then expect to lose it!

Dick Kneeknocker

Good point Hung Far!

Dean Witter

Some of you don’t get it. You wonder where all the wealth evaporated in the meltdown, and then defend people like Jake DeSantis. Well, the wealth that evaporated went to pay the bankers and traders like him. Wall Street pays off the top, so they get their six and seven figure salaries whether they do well for their shareholders and clients or not. Then, if they do well, they also get a six or seven figure bonus. Sometimes, as with retention, they get it even if they don’t do well. This is the scam. It’s a heads I win, tails you lose proposition, that people wouldn’t stand for in any other industry.


Had I been an exec at AIG I wouuld not have given the money to charity. I would have spent every last dime of it hiring the best private security force that money can buy to protect my family from the delusional, crazed, nothing-to-lose masses who seem to have independantly decided that I apparantly have lost my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness just for having happenned to have worked at the wrong place at the wrong time. Whether I was “entitled” to the bonus or not, I would have no problem “stealing” all that money from the taxpayer if the safety of my loved ones were at stake. Some of you posters seem to me to be so off your rockers that I have lost any confidence that even returning the money would be enough to satiate your anger over not having been born with the blessing of ambition or the ability to look on the internet to see which careers pay better before you picked your major.

an average jane doe

Mr DeSantis,
You are angry that you were promised this money and are now being asked to return it. I understand, I’d be pissed too. However, there is such a thing called “extenuating circumstances”..so get over it.
Taxpayer money given to support a failing company should NOT be used to pay ANY employee bonuses, irregardless of whether you/they were involved in the credit default swaps. To argue that AIG employees should receive bonuses for strictly contractual reasons is semantics. It may be legal, but it is immoral and unethical and you know it! To argue that these bonuses are needed to “retain the best and brightest minds” is the height of arrogance. Millions of Americans work long hours and deserve bonuses but wont see an extra dime in this current economic downturn. Most of us are just grateful we still have jobs. You say you are angry for being vilified in the press/media….well, sorry, but this is the only tool we have left. If our government (or the recipients of these ill-gotten gains) would take the necessary corrective action to right this wrong, then we would not need to pursue a “name ’em and shame ’em” agenda.

Sick and Tired or the Entitlerati

Like a child complaining that he only got 50 Christmas presents this year, instead of the 100 last year.

If you ask me his kind will be the first up against the wall….

Rodney Horton

Open letter to Jake (DeOstrich) DeSantis:
Re: Resignation Letter (a masterpiece)

Dear Jake,
Congratulations on a fine career. I hope, and expect it will continue. Your hands are clean.

On the other hand, it would have been nice to have received a “heads up.” Perhaps a hand pointing towards the villains and wild shouts of “unclean, unclean, unclean…….” ala Zero Mostel in “Forum”.

As a “Vice” president to president Joe Cassano who raked $17,500. from the pot every hour, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year you undoubtedly did your “dear ol’ Tech” best with your good ol’ slide rule. Had you availed yourself of the calculator in the “Accessories” folder of most personal computers, things could have, perhaps should have, added up differently. (The US President gets a nominal $200. per hour. The US Vice President gets $110. per hour. The $742,006.40 you received March 16 is nominally $371 per hour.)

It is unclear how much better H. Greenberg did than Mr. Cassano. The total hourly cost of management (paid, raked, or skimmed) must have been phenomenal. (But worth every cent, of course.)

Misfeasance, malfeasance, collusion, complicity, aiding, abetting, etc. are to be avoided. One must not be in any way involved in – or responsible for such happenings. They are “unclean”.

Yes, contracts should be kept. The baying hounds (dogs) of the financial committees have been derelict. It is their tradition.

Oh, Thanks again for doing your duty/duties. And keep those hands washed.


Rodney Horton ’54


Lots of love/hate for Jake. I have to ask the haters about the plumber/electrician analogy: would you really be okay if you were told to return last month’s salary because some jerk in a different department brought down your organization?

I do regret using the word “salary”–Jake is referring to his bonus. When did bonuses become guaranteed by contract? If I had a guaranteed bonus, I would walk into work, push my desk clutter onto the floor, and nap on my desk. I sure wouldn’t worry whether the company might tank.

But no, f*** that, that’s still my fault for working with AIG. No one should do business, investing or consumer, with a company that guarantees bonuses.

Stacie Skelley

Some clarifications are in order: Risktakers sign employment contracts that take less salary but more bonus if they meet goals. Guaranteed bonus = based on meeting or exceeding established dept and/or company goals. Bonus Pool = accrued throughout the year to pay the “guaranteed bonus’s”. The dept’s that made money get bonus; dept’s that lost money fire people; companies that fold don’t pay bonus’ at all. Do we or don’t we want AIG to be able to make money to pay us (taxpayers) back? Now decide whether Jake (or other AIG employees in dept’s that make money to pay us back) should get a bonus.


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