The culture of AIG and much of Wall Street is so narrowly focused on winning, that, ironically, the very risk takers who bet on leverage now seem risk averse as they argue that bonuses are necessary to retain talent and avoid chaos.
Posted by Patricia McGinnis, on March 19, 2009 9:40 AM
Both AIG and the Obama administration seem to have been oblivious to the combustible nature of the bonuses and they compounded the problem with terribly inadequate communication. The real danger is losing public and political support for further reform of the financial system.
Posted by Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr., on March 18, 2009 2:52 PM
The roots of our financial crisis are complex, but the right and wrong of the AIG case are very clear. Workers who created the mess and want to accept bonuses are bad guys who should be fired. Those who refuse the bonus and stay to clean up the mess they created are the good guys.
Optics--how things look--matter, and if leaders lose their ability to see the world through others' eyes, they ought to consider getting some counsel from those who can and do see the world differently.
Posted by Jeffrey Pfeffer, on March 18, 2009 12:36 PM