Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

03/26/2009 (5:23 pm)


Everybody needs to read this. This is a letter of resignation from one Jake DeSantis, who worked for AIG. He is the recipient of one of those retention bonuses, and he explains why he feels the need to resign, and also to donate the proceeds of his labor to families suffering from the economic downturn. Most emphatically, his reason is not that the bonus was not earned. Quite the contrary; it was earned, but he wants very badly to make sure that none of the politicians who are so cynically abusing his good faith efforts benefits even the slightest from the income he has earned. I don’t disagree with a single word of this.

I’ve excerpted what I consider the meat of the letter, but please visit the Times and read the whole thing.

DEAR Mr. Liddy,

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down…

I have the utmost respect for the civic duty that you are now performing at A.I.G. You are as blameless for these credit default swap losses as I am. You answered your country’s call and you are taking a tremendous beating for it.

But you also are aware that most of the employees of your financial products unit had nothing to do with the large losses. And I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us. I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday and from the press over our retention payments, and that you didn’t defend us against the baseless and reckless comments made by the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut…

I think your initial decision to honor the contracts was both ethical and financially astute, but it seems to have been politically unwise. It’s now apparent that you either misunderstood the agreements that you had made — tacit or otherwise — with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, various members of Congress and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of New York, or were not strong enough to withstand the shifting political winds.

You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings…

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press…

That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need…

I’ll continue over the short term to help make sure no balls are dropped, but after what’s happened this past week I can’t remain much longer — there is too much bad blood. I’m not sure how you will greet my resignation, but at least Attorney General Blumenthal should be relieved that I’ll leave under my own power and will not need to be “shoved out the door.”


Jake DeSantis

The Obama administration’s war against the “rich” — indeed, the Democratic party’s long-standing, ongoing war against the “rich” — is a hell-inspired thing. People are entitled to the money they’ve earned, whether some useful idiot deceived by Marxists gets jealous of it or not. I had to restrain myself from uttering curses toward those tyrants who are abusing the hard work of men like DeSantis for political advantage, but when their condemnation comes from on high, it will have been deserved. Workmen are entitled to the wages for which they’ve worked, and nothing in the size of the check changes that fact.

And in case anybody reading this has had his or her clear thinking distorted by the lies of hell-inspired Marxists and their willing apologists in the Democratic party, remember — if they can do this to the “rich” simply because they’re rich, they can do it to you for whatever reason they concoct. Either the law is king, or it is not, and if it is not, you are not safe. Ever.

Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.

James 5:4, The Bible, New Revised Standard Edition

By the bye, Attorneys General Blumenthal and Cuomo are following in the footsteps of the tyrant Eliot Spitzer, about whom I wrote about a year ago. You might want to reacquaint yourselves, as this appears to be the motus operandi of the hard left, and your future if you happen to be one of those who earns a decent wage in America. Remember what I said a few days ago: the same system that permits the ordinary person to prosper, permits the extraordinary person to profit extraordinarily — and you cannot remove the latter without demolishing the former.

« « Turning Off Your Brain for Your Ideology | Main | Taxed. Enough. Already. » »


March 26, 2009 @ 6:19 pm #

Poppycock! Hubris and Traitorous Lies. These men are conscienceless monsters who manipulate you me and everyone else into ‘investing’ our funds so they can eat it all up!

Don’t you find the timing of the ‘letter’ and the publication method especially obvious? Let’s not even mention the fact that AIG is but the tip of the iceberg, and the bonus’ the least of our worry’s!

Our world is going to hell in a hand basket and these bankers are back at the trough trying to convince us it’s over!

(Webmaster’s note: the links in this comment lead to a Troofer site. CyreGray is entitled to his opinion, but it is the humble opinion of this Webmaster that he’s unbalanced.)

March 26, 2009 @ 11:44 pm #

Excellent letter. Thanks for posting it. I have been so &*^%$$ pissed about this new regime coming in and doing this to these people. Bush never did anything like this. Jake and all the other employees worked very hard for the money only to suffer the Circus show that our lib media and sleazy government has turned it into. The people who did the ‘tours’ of the homes don’t work nearly as hard as the AIG and any other employee of a financial institution. My wife works in the industry and the stress alone of the current environment is enough to make you sick.

March 28, 2009 @ 8:04 pm #

Wow CyreGray you really are way out there. It works both ways don’t ya know. It was awfully convenient that the Fanny/Freddie fiasco came just at eh right time to push BHO into the WH. It was convenient that all this AIG and the banks were caught with all the bonuses being handed out on the taxpayers dime only to be ridiculed by the Congress in their dog and pony show, only to be shown that Obdumbo and TurboTax Tim knew all along that they were in the bill. Get a life!

These people worked hard for those bonuses and people that don’t work as hard want to drag them into the street and make examples of them and our Government is leading the way. It’s down right DISGUSTING and completely un American. Wise up!

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