Welcome to another episode of AIG: The Outrage. People are angry! They are really, really angry! They are starting to remind me of Mr. Furious, Ben Stiller’s character in Mystery Men. Which is a pretty good film, btw. If you’ve never seen it, add it to your Netflix queue.
Anyway, being angry is so de rigueur in Washington right now that even Edward Liddy, CEO of AIG, is angry. CNN reports that Liddy is expected to tell Congress today, “We are meeting today at a high point of public anger. I share that anger.” That’s one hell of a bandwagon effect.
Public discussion is devolving into anger correctness. Mo Dowd says President Obama is not angry enough. On the other hand, Ruth Marcus of WaPo thinks Obama is way overdoing the anger. Clearly, we need an Emily Post-type arbiter of what’s appropriate, anger-wise.
David Stout reports for the New York Times that there is an outpouring of anger on the Hill today. I’d turn on CSPAN, but I’m afraid my television set would melt.
It’s not so clear to me that anything will have changed after all the public displays of anger are done and everyone goes home for a nap.
In their defense, AIG’s management team explained that they asked employees last year to go without their bonuses, and the employees said, take a hike. So AIG execs were helpless. They had to pay out those bonuses. I’m sure they are angry about it.
As for politicians, I’ve seen news stories saying the feds knew for months that bonuses would be paid, and others saying they were caught by surprise. Whatever. I just want to know what they’re going to do now, other than be really, really angry about it.