Some good reading today in The Washington Post, which got its hands on transcripts depicting reactions from some AIG employees when their bonuses were threatened last year.
Behind closed doors, employees at AIG’s Financial Products division — the very unit whose trading had hastened the insurance giant’s collapse — were defiant, saying they were merely getting what they were due, recoiling at public accusations that they were behind their capitalizing on the company’s massive taxpayer bailout.
It’s worth reading the whole piece to get a full taste of the pomposity inherent in some of these folks, who after all, had recently contributed to the collapse of the global economy. The arrogance award, though, goes to the nameless employee who said this of taxpayers:
To be honest with you, I really hope it blows up. I think the U.S. taxpayer deserves to lose a trillion dollars over this thing for the way they have behaved.
That same guy also had some choice words for the politicians critical of AIG’s dealings:
They only care about the next election, just like we only care about the next bonus. Well, none of them cares about the country, none of us cares about the institution. They really don’t care, and I really don’t care. And frankly, if a trillion dollars gets lost, fine.
It’s unclear whether this particular angry person was aware that he had just conceded precisely how shallow he really is.