Mad Men

The guys at AIG, the ones who brought the company to its knees but got their retention bonuses? They're indispensable, like  Tim Geithner, right? That's what Obama folks keep telling us.
But a former senior Financial Products executive who spent eight years at the firm disagreed. Because the division is shrinking and no longer seeking new business, many workers have lost their relevance.
That's what common sense would tell you - that in a closing business there would be no need to retain those who had done the damage. And you know those contracts that can't be broken with those indispensable employees - guess what the important workers still slaving away in London are actually busy doing.
The only key positions are employees who are working to extricate AIG from $2 trillion worth of outstanding contracts, the executive said.
Ah, the important workers are busy breaking contracts. It all makes sense now.
"The guys who are getting paid all the big money are not really the ones who are important to the company," he said.
Officials added yesterday that their ability to restrict compensation at AIG was limited by holes in existing financial regulations.
So make a new regulation.
There is a well-established process for liquidating troubled banks through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. -- a process that parallels bankruptcy and provides the necessary power to restructure compensation -- but there is no such process for dealing with the collapse of other kinds of financial firms, such as AIG.
So make a process. Before you give them another $30 billion.