Dear Masterful Lords of Capitalism:
Recently, as I was perusing the latest printed issue of the New York Times newspaper, I stumbled across an Op-Ed piece that republished, for the entire world to see, the resignation letter of one Mr. Jake DeSantis.
As you may recall, Mr. DeSantis was formerly an executive vice president of financial products at your company. He resigned in part because he believes AIG did not do enough to defend executives from the rampaging masses and their henchmen in the treacherous organization known as “the Congress,” leaving him with a paltry bonus amount of $742,000 (after taxes) and plenty of bad feelings:
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.
Unbelievable as it may seem, there are some who have criticized Mr. DeSantis’ letter — calling it “self-righteous.” One such outlet, a Web-based purveyor of something called “snark” called Gawker, even went so far as to accuse Mr. DeSantis of missing the entire point:
What he doesn’t understand is that the blood-boiling rage that’s been aimed at him and his colleagues isn’t just about the money and the failure—it’s about the vast and bottomless sense of entitlement that well-heeled Wall Streeters can’t seem to shake. When he describes the AIG retention contracts as “ethical and useful,” and when he compares himself to a “plumber” being “cheated” of his payment because an electrician burned down the house, he seems to be discovering for the first time that life is not fair. Also, he fails to understand that in this case, the humble plumber works for the electrician who burned down our house.
My opinion is that Mr. DeSantis is suffering from an unfortunate attack of the bitch squeals, and has wilted under the pressure. What your company needs is an executive who possesses not only a “vast and bottomless sense of entitlement,” but also the strong moral constitution required to stand up and accept bonus checks of just under a million dollars with a stiff upper lip and snug-fitting jockey shorts that barely mask a healthy capitalism erection.
As your new executive vice president for financial products, I would devote myself to my work — sometimes even staying at the office beyond the 14 hours DeSantis mentioned (assuming there is comp time built into our arrangement by mutual agreement).
I further promise that I, your new executive for producting finances, will not shrink away from public outrage. Instead I will attack it head on — by swinging socks filled with gold bullion (to be provided by AIG) at the gathering hordes.
For the price of just one Jake DeSantis’ bonus check, I will do that and so, so much more.
You know where to find me.