This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.
If you wonder why the U.S. stock market now resembles a blue-light special at Kmart, look no farther than the churlish reaction to the news that insurance company AIG paid a piddling $165 million in bonuses to its employees earlier this month. Call me naive, but I agree with AIG boss Edward M. Liddy when he says his guys are ``the best and the brightest.''
They work for a company that's gambled in the securities market like a Vegas drunk, with about the same luck, and has admitted to writing its financial statements with the creative flair of a Stephen King novel. Yet they've nonetheless talked the U.S. government into bailing it out four times in six months.
And we're not just talking about fleecing that universallyacclaimed-as-dumber-than-a-rock George W. Bush, either. Three weeks ago, AIG scored again off the smartest man in the known universe, Barack Obama, whose government not only forked over another $30 billion but agreed to new terms that essentially mean AIG can pay the money back in buffalo dung.
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