Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On Bonuses at AIG

I'm always struck by the commentary about the 300 people in the Financial Products division at AIG in London who allegedly helped bring our economy to its knees and are now being rewarded with bonuses. AIG says they pay them bonuses to retain their talent, and the criticism that always follows is:

"How much talent can those people have? Any idiot could have done a better job than them, they were obviously stupid."

Those "stupid, talentless" people are math and physics PhDs who graduated at the top of their classes from the best universities in the world and had SAT scores that put them in the 99th percentile. In other words, SOME OF THE SMARTEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. Somehow that never gets mentioned on the news.

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