AIG CEO Says Outrage Over Wall Street Bonuses ‘Was Just As Wrong’ As Lynchings In The Deep South
BY REBECCA LEBER ON SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 AT 2:09 PM
n an interview with the Wall Street Journal, AIG CEO Bob Benmosche came out with the worst analogy for the 2009 financial crisis. Benmosche compared public outrage over AIG’s bonuses to the Deep South lynching African-Americans. “It was just as bad and just as wrong,” he said, because employees were used to a certain way of living:
“Now you have these bright young people [in the financial-products unit]who had nothing to do with [the bad bets that hurt the company.]… They understand the derivatives very well; they understand the complexity. …They’re all scared. They [had made]good livings. They probably lived beyond their means. …They aren’t going to stay there for nothing.
The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago].And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.