Why Brandeis Matters
June 29, 2010
Louis D. Brandeis: A Life By Melvin I. Urofsky (Pantheon, 955 pp., $40) I. In 1916, Herbert Croly, the founder and editor of The New Republic, wrote to Willard Straight, the owner of the magazine, about the Supreme Court nomination of Louis Brandeis. Croly enclosed a draft editorial called “The Motive of Class Consciousness,” and also a chart prepared by a lawyer in Brandeis’s office showing the overlapping financial interests, social and business connections, and directorships of fifty-two prominent Bostonians who had signed a petition opposing Brandeis’s nomination.
Benmosche and the Future of AIG
November 25, 2009
It looks like AIG CEO Bob Benmosche has decided to stick around for a while. The Wall Street Journal reports today that he's just signed a noncompete agreement, which part of his $10.5 million compensation deal is contingent on. The piece also suggests Benmosche assured AIG's board yesterday that he's committed to staying. For those who haven't been following the story, Benmosche appeared to be on the verge of resigning two weeks ago amid frustration with restrictions on executive pay.
Who Cries For Aig's Ed Liddy?
May 22, 2009
No one, apparently. Back in March, the outgoing AIG CEO was all over the Internet thanks to the massive bonuses his notorious Financial Products unit was slated to receive. Today, after news of his looming departure broke, The Wall Street Journal buried the story on page C2 and the Times devoted half its Liddy piece to an unrelated lawsuit by AIG policyholders. It's actually a fitting coda to Liddy's tenure at the company.
Did Cuomo Know About The Aig Bonuses Last Fall?
April 06, 2009
Tom Edsall sifts through the evidence here. One intriguing piece of the picture: One of the AIG officials most concerned with the employee retention plan was William Dooley, head of AIG's financial services division (AIGFP). Dooley oversees the division that engaged in the transactions - credit default swaps -- widely viewed as the cause of the collapse of AIG. In an October 22, 2008 email obtained by the Huffington Post -- the authenticity of which was affirmed by AIG Senior VP for Communications Nicholas J.
April 01, 2009
Back in October, not long after Lehman Brothers collapsed and triggered a meltdown on Wall Street, one of the hottest e-mail forwards making the rounds among finance types was a letter by Andrew Lahde, a hedge-fund manager who had posted eye-popping 866 percent returns in 2008 by betting on increases in U.S. subprime mortgage defaults.
Some Backstory On The Aig-fper With The Times Op-ed
March 27, 2009
Among the many reactions to the resignation letter former AIG-FPer Jake DeSantis published in the Times this week was skepticism that DeSantis had nothing to do with the characters who destroyed his company. (DeSantis wrote: "I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G.
The Geithner Disaster
March 20, 2009
Being Treasury secretary is usually not a job that calls for great political skills. But with a banking crisis crippling the economy and threatening to turn a recession into a depression, Tim Geithner has been plunged into the center of politics--as both the person responsible for what the administration should do, and as the main exponent of that policy. But he has faltered in crafting an effective policy and failed miserably in putting it forward.
Best Of The Blogs: Aig Bonus Edition
March 19, 2009
The Economist: The infamous bonuses were offered because "people were weighing offers from other firms, and AIG executives feared that too many departures could lead to disaster...The much-vilified Rush Limbaugh has been pointing this out for days. Panicky Republicans and Democrats have not explained that AIG was bailed out in the first place because it was collapsing, and bringing down countless investors and homeowners in the process. If the bonuses kept AIG working, then they had a purpose. But few people with political power are really saying this.
Negotiated Bonuses...not Bonuses At All
March 18, 2009
The Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary defines "bonus" as "unsought or unexpected extra benefit." This is the definition in the 1991 edition. Well, it couldn't be further from reality today. Bonuses are now negotiated like salaries and stock options. On one corporate board on which I sit I found that senior executives were ripshit that they had gotten the lush premiums they'd received last year when they almost made the company's projected numbers. But this year, like with nearly all public firms, they didn't come close. Now, downgrades in profits and actual losses were altogether co