I am beginning to think that there are more people on this planet with no sense of shame or humility than I ever thought possible. Today’s case in point: Executives from AIG. From today’s Baltimore Sun:
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings has emerged as a prominent critic of AIG, which received a revised, $152 billion federal bailout package this week. The Maryland congressman was responding to a report by an Arizona television station that AIG executives participated in a recent training session for financial planners at a Phoenix resort.
AIG called the news accounts “misleading” and defended the conference as a legitimate business event for 150 independent financial planners. It said AIG’s expenses were “minimal” and that unnamed sponsors and the financial planners themselves paid 90 percent of the cost.
The $343,000 conference included a number of senior AIG executives, according to KNXV-TV in Phoenix. Organizers of the three-day event made sure there were no AIG signs on the premises of the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, in an apparent attempt to disguise the company’s involvement, the station said.
So let me get this straight: Even though most Americans are drowning in debt, suffering in large part thanks to boneheaded and greedy decisions made by people in companies such as AIG, you, Mr Executive, you feel no sense of impropriety drinking champagne and eating steak — as long as someone else is picking up the tab?
Nice work if you can get it:
In its report on last week’s conference, the Phoenix station said AIG executives were drinking coffee at poolside meetings and working out at the hotel’s spa while other attendees were attending seminars in hotel conference rooms. The station also reported that six executives dined at a nearby McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant and paid more than $400 for drinks, appetizers, and meals.