The rats stay on the ship

While the ship's sinking, the Captain's canoodling with your wife with a glass of rare cognac.

While the ship's sinking, the Captain's canoodling with your wife with a glass of rare cognac.

Isn’t it a bit much for an all-powerful dictator to summon Italian chefs to sit offshore after having their brains and urine examined for the purpose of training domestic chefs in the fine art of … wait for it … pizza. North Korea, once again, has topped itself. Twisting and turning around its own logic like a mindless corkscrew, the lengths at which he goes to make a pizza (as the secret recipe of dough, tomato sauce and toppings has eluded their spies for years, I suppose) goes to show that anything is possible.

We’re not discussing miracles here, not the runty Little League team that goes up against the team coached by Ken Dickson’s dad, who made it to AAA and somehow wins in the bottom of the 9th (probably because Ken Dickson himself is a terrible fielder.)

It’s a matter of thought processes, just how is it that people reach conclusions like, “well most of my country is starving, so let’s go to the ends of the earth so that I can have some Domino’s!” Going back to an earlier post, who at AIG thought that handing out those bonuses would be a good idea? Did someone think the media wouldn’t pick up on them? That the public would reply, “those AIG guys may be getting paid a lot, but they’re a bunch of hard-working team players, so let’s give them a shot?”

Perhaps they weren’t born with fight or flight instincts, and because of that they don’t look at a problem and think about how to improve conditions nor do they run away in fear. They just circle around, waiting for the corpse of their country or their company to fall dead and then they swoop in and yank as much as they can off of the carcass. Jong-Il has been doing it for years, and AIG’s little plot will only be repeated as more and more executives realize that they’re so crippled that there’s so point in not stealing everything they can for themselves.

Just look at the case of Joseph Cassano, the ex-head of AIG’s Financial Products unit. At one point, he promised investors, “it is hard for us, without being flippant, to even see a scenario within any kind of [rhyme] or reason that would see us losing one dollar in any of those transactions.” And what happened last March, when indications started to look like his promise was about to be turned on its head?

He was fired, but beforehand he received $280 million and $34 million in bonuses. And then AIG had the brilliance to pay him $1 million a month for consulting fees. This is a guy who was fired, who helped create the mess of imaginatively invincible investments and they’re simultaneously rewarding him and pushing him aside! It’s like every industry can’t admit that one member is a slobbering cretin, lest it jeopardize the entire field. And you know what happens then? The entire thing spirals out of control and it’s the customers, the investors and the voters who have to clean up after the upper echelon’s rubbish. They swim out of the sinking ship with a chest of treasure and hail down the next boat to take them to the Bahamas.

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Filed under Business, Government, Morgan

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