Can we all just calm down a little?
Yes, the $165 million in bonuses handed out to executives in the financial products division of American International Group was infuriating. Truly, it was. As many others have noted, this is the same unit whose shenanigans came perilously close to bringing the world’s financial system to its knees. When the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, said recently that A.I.G.’s “irresponsible bets” had made him “more angry” than anything else about the financial crisis, he could have been speaking for most Americans.
But death threats? “All the executives and their families should be executed with piano wire ”” my greatest hope,” wrote one person in an e-mail message to the company. Another suggested publishing a list of the “Yankee” bankers “so some good old southern boys can take care of them.”