Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Edward Liddy-- Longtime Corporate Criminal Spins One In Today's Post


Edward Liddy-- best & the brightest? Or a vicious, dangerous predator?

I know President Obama's Stimulus Package favors "shovel ready" construction jobs but he would be doing the capital, and anyone interested in politics anywhere in the country, a great service if he offered the Washington Post a small stipend to hire a fact checker since, apparently, they can no longer afford one on their own. Either that or they just don't care. This morning many of us woke up to find a column penned by Satan himself-- or, more likely, by one of his p.r. firms, Our Mission at AIG: Repairs, and Repayment.

Edward M. Liddy is a contemptible career corporate criminal and we should all, collectively, hold President Obama to his campaign promise to fire him (following the exposure of the $440,000 corporate executive retreat at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California, a celebration of the first AIG bailout-- 84 billion taxpayer dollars which included $23,000 in spa treatments and $150,000 worth of chow. Then Senator Obama: "The Treasury should demand that money back and those executives should be fired.")

In today's Post Liddy, a maxed out donor to John McCain, says he understands our "palpable wave of anger." His company has beefed up its security forces with armed guards in case the palpable becomes the bloody. "The anger," he writes, "is understandable, and I share it. I have been fortunate in more than three decades in business to see firsthand the wealth creation that well-managed American companies bring to their employees and their communities. I have seen the good side of capitalism."

Yes, the good side of capitalism! For Liddy the good old days were when he, as CFO, and his pal Don Rumsfeld-- yes that Don Rumsfeld-- took pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle-- maker of Metamucil, NutraSweet and Celebrex into the bigtime by engineering a sale of the company to Monsanto. Following the standard predatory capitalist script Liddy and Rummy fired 60% of the company's employees-- the people, unlike themselves, who had build Searle's value over decades-- to make it a more attractive purchase to cost-conscious Monsanto. In return Liddy and Rummy became very, very wealthy men. Rummy moved on to opening torture chambers all over the world and Liddy went to work as president, CEO and Chairman of Allstate where his best known accomplishment was denying homeowners in Katrina-struck New Orleans insurance coverage. In the eyes of the Bush Regime that made him the perfect candidate to take over the job that had been held Hank Greenberg (from 1968 'til 2005 when he was fired in a complex financial scandal). An RNC donor, Liddy was just what the Bush Regime thought would be perfect in June of 2008 as the financial world was collapsing.

Yesterday Tim Geithner-- forever the Wall Street shill-- sent a letter to the congressional leaders defending Liddy. “I know," he wrote, "that much of the public ire has fallen on Mr. Liddy, which is understandable, since it is his name on the door. But it also is unjustified. Mr. Liddy was put in place as the CEO of AIG last year at the request of the U.S. government to help rehabilitate the company and repay taxpayer funds. He inherited a difficult situation, including these AIGFP retention contracts, which were entered prior to his or the government’s involvement in AIG. As long as he is there, we will work with him on measures to wind down AIG in an orderly way and protect the American taxpayer.”

One of Liddy's first acts after Bush got him his current job, was to give Goldman Sachs a fat cut of the bailout money the Treasury gave AIG-- in fact, the fattest cut of all. And why not? Liddy was of the Goldman Sachs Board of Directors. He needs to be fact-checked, not just by the Washington Post but by the U.S. Department of Justice. Today he's been hauled before the House Financial Services Committee. You think we'll be covering that? Paul Hodes (D-NH) summed up AIG right from the beginning pointing out that to American taxpayers AIG "stands for arrogance, incompetence and greed."

Meanwhile, watch Edward Liddy wrapping the always credulous Larry King around his finger last November:


Liddy is the most deceitful hack I've ever heard read a prepared statement. He started by saying he took the job at AIG out of a sense of patriotism. His 4 p.r. firms (+ the in-house p.r. department) wrote it for him and it was sickening. He offered Congress a compromise on the bonus money he stole; they'll voluntarily give up half of the stolen loot. I wish they could lock him up directly after the hearing. Shameful GOP hack, Scott Garrett (R-NJ), the ranking Repug member on the subcommittee started his "questioning" by commiserating about how poor Liddy and his family have had to put up with the indignities of public anger and threats.


Bank of America was ordered to stop obstructing Andrew Cuomo's investigation of improper use of taxpayer money for Merrill Lynch bonuses for top executives. Does Liddy keep threatening that the losers working at AIG are going to resign? Do they plan to collect unemployment insurance? Move to Shanghai? Do these losers think they're going to be hired by anyone? Of course, they are so rich now-- thanks to their pals in the GOP-- that they don't need to work anyway. Bill Posey (R-FL) just hit the nail on the head, saying AIG employees aren't going to get hired anywhere and should consider tehmselves lucky they're not in prison yet.

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At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are an idiot! Why doesn't Edward Liddy just walk away? He's paid nothing... no bonus... no stock... why put up with this grief? I am shocked he would even do it.

You obviously have no clue how business works. Since being there, he and the people who got the bonuses have reduced the potential impact of the AIG failure (not his fault) by over $1,000,000,000,000. If he fails (or had failed) because he doesn't or won't have the people (very specialized people) to make this work, we are way worse off. What Liddy and his people have done at AIG has saved more jobs than anything the administration is doing.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Ju said...

We didn't hire AIG to watch over our tax money. We hired the government. The government owns AIG to the tune of 80%

The real people we should blame:

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to get your facts straight. You are demonizing a man who has everything to lose and nothing to gain in having taken this job. FIRE him? How do you FIRE a guy who makes $1 a year to do one of the hardest jobs in the world right now? We should be thankful that someone with his credentials is willing to try to sort out this mess. Besides the stress of the overwhelming business challenges, the poor guy has to deal with wacko threats. I don't think there are many people who would have taken on this job. Give the guy a chance to do what he does well. And at some time in the future, if he does turn things around, I hope he gets compensated accordingly.

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that the committee raised the issue of Liddy being the former CEO of Allstate. They asked why we taxpayers are being forced to $165 million in bonuses because of "contracts," yet Liddy had no problem denying contracts made by policy holders at Allstate. I just read a really good book on this - From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves, by David Berardinelli. Definitely worth checking out.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I don't like the bonuses BUT after listening to Mr. Liddy I now understand them. One Senator suggested AIG return a sum = to the bonuses to the Gov't. The American people are'nt just unhappy as to where the $ came from but the unfairness of the bonuses at all. There is nothing to be done about that.

At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was Mr. Liddy, I would give the $1 salary back to the chairman of the hearing and walk out and say "It's all yours, you save AGI" The congressmen and women don't have a clue what he is even talking about. I have little more than a high school education and I can understand exactly what the bonuses are about. If the congress wants to help the american people so badly, why don't they give back some of their salary. Most of them, if not all, have other income. Maybe they should put their money where their mouth is.

At 2:46 AM, Blogger normanx said...

I am sure.... that Mr. Liddy has a lot of stock in Goldman Sachs (where he was on the board)... and with Allstate Insurance... (where he was CEO... making 26 million in cash and stock in 2005)... his interest in making AIG 'whole' again... is to his own benefit.... and by the way... he makes a dollar a year in salary... but he also receives "equity grants".... which means he gets a piece of the company. So... to all the dumbasses who are defending this professional crook.... read up on Mr. Liddy, and his history as a corporate scumbag.

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edward Liddy is not the enemy. I was friends of the family for many years. You have no idea what you're talking about

At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am appalled at the sizes of these bonuses and would not in this economy take such a bonus, but I blame the people sitting in Washington, who are more concerned about their earmarks than about reading and UNDERSTANDING the bills they are signing. They are elected officials who are not doing their job and in my eyes they are to blame. And the American voters should take a hard look at who is in Washington and if they really want them to remain there???


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