Archive for March 17th, 2009

Executive bonuses after the bailout

More fury regarding bonuses paid to employees of AIG.  These bonuses are being paid after the US Government has already bailed out the company with billions of taxpayer dollars.  It’s like a rich parent giving money to a little bastard of a child simply because without the money, the child acts like a brat and f’s up the parent’s day.

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AIG is paying around USD 165 million to 400 employees in its financial services unit – the same unit that caused AIG to collapse in the first place.  I’m not sure what constitutes a pat on the back and “Congratulations on a job well done!” but I’d assume forcing your company to beg for money should not qualify.  But oh wait in the financial industry, it does.

The justification / reasoning is that the bonuses were in the employee contracts so the company is obligated to pay them.  Fair enough, but it’s time to re-negotiate those contracts.

What’s sad is that employees in morally-sound companies are taking huge blows –layoffs, reduction in salary increases, lower benefits, etc. while some of the chief instigators of this economic crisis are still getting rewarded.

I’d like to see some opinionated owners of large companies take a stand and refuse to do business with certain institutions.  Imagine if AIG could no longer buy software from Microsoft, Google, Sun, Oracle, IBM, etc.  AIG would die. (Yes, yes, I know this doesn’t make sense because then the company would collapse and the American taxpayer money used in the bailout would be lost… but wouldn’t it be exciting to see!)

(Written on the HP Mini 1000)

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Shinkansen – bless you!

Another day, another mode of transportation.  Riding the rails across the Japan… the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto.  I’ve been to Japan many times but never to Kyoto so am excited about seeing Japan’s 2nd most-beautiful city (as voted by Japanese citizens… I don’t know what the #1 beautiful city is).

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The bullet train experience is much nicer than an airplane.  You can get up, wander around, and there is always interesting stuff going on outside the window (see previous post about pet peeves of people in airplanes opening window shades).  One of my favorite things to do while riding the train is to get a bento from the station and some sake.  Good way to kill a couple hours.

For the next few days I’ll be on my own, which is nice.  I have overloaded on people in the past few weeks and I can’t think of a better place to be alone than the gardens of Kyoto.

Let’s see tonight will hold… perhaps a stroll around Gion (Geisha district) and some hot ramen.  Do I know how to live it up or what.

Speaking of living it up, here comes the beverage cart… it’s time for my next sake at 350 miles per hour.

(Written on the HP Mini 1000 next to a Japanese businessman who has just started snoring)

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