Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bonus Bullshit

I tuned in Ronn Owens, KGO Talk Radio, this morning to hear him discuss the latest outrage; the latest AIG bonuses. As usual, I heard also the latest bullshit from one extreme to the other. One caller said that taking the bonuses back was bad because these people would leave AIG and then trade derivatives “against” AIG. What? Does that mean that there are no derivative traders trading against AIG now? Of course not. And, if that’s true, so what if these greedy bastard and bastard-ettes trade against AIG? They haven’t been very successful so far, so who is to say that they can do any better in opposition.

Another caller said it’s a “contract,” and we can’t be voiding contracts. Really? We void employment contracts all the time because of bad performance and behavior; police employment contracts are good examples. So, that’s bullshit too. Then another caller “dittoed” the common theme; that AIG won’t be able to get good employees unless it gives bonuses. Are you kidding me? Do you mean to tell me that there is nobody in the entire United States that cannot do their job just as well as they did? Are there not hundreds of traders out of work at this very moment? Wouldn’t they be willing to work for salary alone? Of course they would. So, that’s bullshit too.

I think the real issue is a national failure to recognize bullshit when we hear it. Of course, Owens went about being his natural self, countering each argument just to keep the bullshit going to fill up his allotted time. No other skill or knowledge is required to do that except one: the ability to bullshit.

No comments: