Like many people, I am disgusted with the avarice, greed and lack of common decency and propriety which seems to infest many people that have found a home on Wall Street, although the same can be said for other potentially high risk / high reward sectors such as the Media and Entertainment world. We are now seeing, as many of us sadly suspected, that the government is simply pouring money into entities like AIG with little control over how money is spent, and that the corruption (in the moral sense, if not the legal one) which has contributed to the global financial crisis still lives on in the hearts of many.
We are currently hearing that AIG Chairman Edward Liddy is “afraid” to divulge names of bonus recipients due to alleged death threats received by them and directed at not only their own persons, but their families. Obviously, such threats are deplorable, and must be taken seriously by law enforcement; as heinous as the malfeasance and/or ineptitude of these people may be, no one should be contemplating taking the law into their own hands to punish them.
However, there perhaps is a certain Karmic justice to this all. For those twisted and pathetic souls that do not understand that their “bonuses” are unwarranted given the present circumstances, and cannot bring themselves to do the right thing in refusing them (which some I suspect will do given the public outcry, although I suspect few would have done so through their own conscience), perhaps they can contribute to the economy in another way. I have no doubt that attorneys will be making money off of lawsuits arising from this mess for years to come, and perhaps the need to provide private security for themselves and their families 24/7 will convince the thieves (for that’s what they are, in my opinion) that the ill-gotten gains simply weren’t worth it.
So long as the bonus money isn’t spent on vacation homes, luxury goods, or other rewards which should come from honest and productive work, there is some justice in the world. Hopefully, much like those Nazis that escaped earthly justice, the architects, proponents and witting participants in the fraudulent and irresponsible dealings that continue to come to light will have to look over their shoulders the remainder of their days, wondering when their butcher’s bill will come due…