We Should All Be Ashamed

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I didn’t have quite the same reaction as most people did (and still do) regarding the AIG bonuses. Having worked on Wall Street for 16 years, I thought I had a different perspective than most, but still, I understood where the populist anger was coming from.

Unfortunately, it’s fueled by politicians, purely for political gain, in ways that remind me of the Salem Witch Trials.

I woke up this morning to find an Op-Ed piece in the NY Times, written by someone I worked with for a few years when I was at UBS. I have come across very few people in my life who were more honorable, hard-working, smart, self-effacing, fiscally conservative (that’s a wild understatement) as well as being an all-around nice guy.

I read the piece with great interest. Here is a link to the full letter. I implore you to read it carefully, all the way through, because I think it captures much of what is wrong in this current postmortem blame game:

Dear A.I.G., I Quit!

Immediately after reading it aloud to Lois, I sent off the following note to Jake:

I just read your letter in the OpEd in the NY Times. Both Lois and I were so moved. It’s one of the most powerful and well written letters we have ever read. It is also obviously devastatingly accurate.

I believe we would feel that way even if we didn’t know you personally, and know what an honorable (and smart) person you are, but it’s all the more powerful knowing the writer, and therefore having zero doubt as to the veracity of the claims.

We wish you and your family the best in everything that lies ahead for you!

Only after Eliot Spitzer resigned as Governor did people have the courage to speak out about his unsavory abuse of power when he was Attorney General. Andrew Cuomo and Richard Blumenthal are currently too powerful for most to question their ethics as well.

I believe that in time, they too will be seen for the political opportunists that they are, rather than crusaders for the people that they wish to be seen as.



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3 responses to “We Should All Be Ashamed”

  1. Peter Hull Avatar
    Peter Hull

    I couldn't agree more with your assessment. While I have never met Jake – his very well structured letter does an excellent job of presenting his case – perhaps best attested to by the fairly balanced responses that he received in the New York Times ( I would have expected worse).

    Jake's statements seem to be very well backed up today by two stories one from the Wall Street Journal and the other from the same New York Times –

    First – The potential for a HUGH AIG default in France due to the loss of several key people who appear to have had enough abuse from the politicians and prosecutors


    Second – yet ANOTHER frightening tale of Prosecutors using their unlimited power to pursue political glory – particularly when their targets are least likely or able to defend themselves. Three cheers for the ACLU!!


  2. hadar Avatar

    Thanks for the additional pointers Peter. I'm off to read them now. 🙂

  3. Quotes Avatar

    Thanks for sharing these links peter. Nice post Hadar.

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