AIG CEO Says Bonus Outrage Is “Just as Bad and Just as Wrong” as Jim Crow Lynching

AIG president and CEO Robert Benmosche

AIG photo   

Great catch by Ryan Chittum who notes that lurking beneath the WSJ’s anodyne headline “At AIG, Benmosche Steers a Steady Course” is an anecdote worthy of a sociopath. Here’s what the company’s president and CEO has to say about public outrage over the payment of large bonuses at a bailed out insurer:

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.”

I’m gonna drop a little Slatepitch here and say that torturing and murdering someone are quite a bit worse than asking them to receive a lower bonus. The self-regard, egomania, and touchy defensiveness of the finance profession continue to amaze.