As AIG sells its buildings and divisions to pay back Uncle Sam, a recently laid-off employee, who claims to have only received half of his million dollar bonus, is raising funds by publishing the internal memos of soon-to-be-former CEO Edward Liddy. The following is a Kindle excerpt, hubris and mixed-metaphors free of charge; full download is available for $29.99:
TO: AIG Major League A.S.S.E.S.
FR: Edward Liddy, CEO
DATE: January 5, 2009
RE: Spring Training Scheduled
Happy New Year and batter up! As CEO, I know business in the big leagues takes constant conditioning, and I am committed to your professional training. It’s a new year and the yellow journalism press attacks are behind us. For the record, they were contractors – NOT AIG employees – who were waxed by underage aestheticians. Now we are flush with Federal Reserve cash and financed to move forward with the Annual Spring Seminar for Executive Success (A.S.S.E.S.) scheduled for the first week of April. You’re our superstar swap sellers and I’m calling you up for Major League A.S.S. training. Pack your cleats and report to camp at the first hole of the ocean front course at The Breakers, Palm Beach.
Please note, due to the entertainment portion of program, this is an employee-only event. Leave the wife and kids at home, A.S.S.E.S. You’ve earned it. Itinerary to follow.
FR: Edward Liddy
DATE: January 8, 2009
RE: Spring Training Sessions
Please review the list of financial education seminars to be held at The Breakers Spring Training and enroll in your sessions by January 30th. Celebrity lecturers require a head count and cash up front before committing to the event:
* Betting on Green: Parlaying the taxpayer’s investment at Monte Carlo roulette.
* Creating the Illusion of Cash Reserves: The slight of hand of selling insurance without the money to pay out the claim. David Copperfield lectures and performs. Trade secrets will be shared.
* Inspiring Investor Trust via the Bow Tie: How to project avuncular warmth and guileless charm while avoiding Ivy League snark. Viewing of Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood followed by a lessons-learned breakout session moderated by Tucker Carlson.
* Risky Debt Financing, Expanding the Client Base: Working with the neighborhood loan shark. There’s still plenty of money to be made by insuring high-risk loans. Actor Joe Pesci leads wise guy panel. Networking cocktail reception and strip club tour to follow.
* How to Feign Knowledge of Bailout Bonuses: Dust off your acting chops. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will lead a Stanislavski method class, demonstrating how to effectively fake shock and surprise regarding bailout bonuses. He will teach you how to shake your head disapprovingly and emote moral outrage and disappointment. Ben will help you create a sympathetic working-class-roots backstory for your character. An in-depth analysis of Ben’s winning 60 Minutes performance will be included.
* Philanthropy is the Best Defense: If your acting skills fail you and you must admit to accepting a bailout bonus, charitable giving consultant, television personality, and alternative-energy gadfly Ed Begley, Jr. is here to help. Mr. Begley will give you the names of charities with liberal street cred, most involving the emancipation of factory-caged chickens, that you can list as bonus money recipient fronts. Ed will also coach you in how to feign concern for the environment and cruise uninhibited teenage girls in the macrobiotic aisle of the food co-op.
* Hiding Your Wealth in Hard Commodities: Actor George Takei will step you through the process of purchasing and gifting rare Star Trek action figures and collectibles. Bidding on eBay, the buy-it-now option, and exploring the Comic-Con and Trekker convention venues will be discussed. Bonus breakout session offered on the debate over the terms “Trekkie” vs. “Trekker.”
* How the Wealthy Can Apply for Medicaid Health Insurance Benefits: A Power Point tutorial led by the Wal-Mart Human Resources Department. Instructional modules include: diverting assets offshore, forging low-wage pay stubs, and securing a timely interview at Health and Human Services. Social workers will be present to fill out forms.
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