Friday, March 27, 2009

AIG Wife Speaks Out

Sent to London on a 2 to 3 year commitment, half a house left in storage in CT, we have been here 'indefinitely' for 11 years pushing 12. We were unable to press for anything more than the ex-pat package we were given at the beginning and lost even housing support after the first 5 years.Our housing costs rose to 5 times what we paid in Connecticut. The salary did not.

Raises were only given in the 'bonus'. So imagine having to pay 5 times your mortgage or rent on your current salary with the promise of the rest of your compensation to come once a year, in December. How do you leave that job?

Do you leave in December and disrupt your children's education? Well, not without a very good reason.

Do you leave at the end of the school year and essentially throw away 6 months of under compensated work? Not likely.

- Oh and, a percentage of your paycheck you will be forced to 're-invest' in the company for 5 years before you will see it.


Since January 2008 [my husband] has been working with Congressional auditors and investigators and the FBI to compile evidence on the deals and dealings of the people responsible, most particularly [his boss] Joe Cassano.

Then the government and AIG parent lied to us. My husband had been asked to, and signed an agreement to stay for the next 2 years. In October we were told that all the prior compensation we had been forced to 're-invest' in AIG was gone and would never ever be paid to us EVER no matter whether the company ever made any more money ever again.

It was a body blow. It was what we had worked 15 years for. It was our children's education, our retirement, the down payment on a house (we own nothing). Can you feel it? That's the draining away of hope.

But one bone was thrown - we were assured that the 'retention payments' (remember we're still on a 15 year old salary that's never risen so this is actually the bulk of our annual compensation)
would be paid.

Assured by Cuomo, the Federal Government and Liddy, the CEO of AIG. So he went back to work for another 6 months.

They paid us part in December - I suppose I should have smelled a rat, but that's that 20/20 hindsight thing. It was nice, we'd planned on no Christmas as we didn't expect the money until March. So the boys got to pick out something they really wanted and we had a nice Christmas.

The year before they had moved our payment from December to March. Yes, we had budgeted for 12 months and it suddenly turned into 15. Could you do that? Go 3 months without getting paid. Amazingly we managed.

We waited worried that the March payment might not come, despite the assurances. We counted the days until the transfer was to be made, checking the FX rate, wondering what the final number would be that we would live on and try to rebuild the children's education fund with - retirement fund will have to wait.

And then our government betrayed us, painted us as thieves and threw our co-workers in Connecticut to the mob. No one ever approached anyone at FP to re-negotiate those contracts and everyone currently screaming about them knew what they contained in October if not in January.
The Democrats can demonize the rich all they like, but the fact of the matter is that when you punish people unfairly, innocent, decent, hardworking people get hurt.

Lesson: Hope a loud plurality of Americans doesn't get upset at you, lest the government comes to exact its misplaced vengeance upon you.

From: New York magazine blog.

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