I am up early this morning. It is 5 o’clock!
Dark outside. Very black. I can hear the water running by through the open window.
The weather is great! We are into Key West time!
I had a quiet lunch yesterday at Paradise Cafe. Ate outside. A cuban sandwich and cuban coffee. Read the papers. Peaceful.
Then I decided to take a long walk. It has been a while since I walked far. I have become lazy.
I walked the waterfront. All the people! It is obvious it is the season. Vacationers all over the place! All having a good time! Good for them and good for the local economy!
Yesterday was St. Patrick’s day! So every one was Irish and every bar was an Irish bar! There were people all over wearing green tee shirts and in many instances green hats. Drinking, socializing and whooping it up.
I saw it all on my walk!
Last night I had an early business dinner. At La Trattoria. With a very charming young lady named Tamara. An interesting woman! Owns her own home on Sugarloaf Key, is a single mother of a 9 year old daughter, a Vasser graduate, has a nursing degree also, works in the medical field and on and on. Quite a person! Interesting also is that her bother is President of the Boston Federal Reserve.
Tamara’s parents have to be two proud people!
This AIG thing is a gigantic pain! And another example of corporate America gone wild and knowing no bounds.
There is much I want to express regarding AIG. So much so that I am going to spread it over several days.
Let me start by saying I was privileged to represent AIG in upstate New York for years. There was not a finer insurance company. They were the best of the best!
From my perspective, they were that good for two reasons.
First, leadership. They had a CEO by the name of Greenberg. He ran a tight ship. He guided AIG to the pinnacle of success it once knew.
However he was forced to resign several years ago. Blame Eliot Spitzer!
Spitzer was Attorney General of New York. He wanted to be governor. He went after Wall Street. Not every one he pursued deserved to be. One of those victims was Greenberg. Spitizer went after him on some minute bullshit charges. Greenberg was forced out. However he defended himself with regard to every charge and was totally exonerated several years later.
However he was gone from AIG and AIG no longer had the wisdom of his careful guidance.
The new CEO is the one who screwed things up!
One of his major errors was to insure packages of sub prime loans. This had never been done before. But it presented a way to make a lot more money. Greed!
And the loans did not have to go into default. If it looked like they might or the underlying value of the property diminished, the insurance kicked in. What a deal!
Well folks, a large chunk of the bailout money has gone from AIG’s coffers to pay the banks and other mortgage holders now holding these bad sub prime mortgages.
The banks always seem to come out on top! Rip off artists in three button suits! Frauds of respectability!
The second reason AIG was so good was that under Greenberg it operated as an insurance company. That simple! It insured those things normally insured like autos, homes, doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc. No fancy stuff like sub prime mortgages. And AIG staffed itself with fine insurance professionals to do its work. And I am sure with no fancy bonuses built into their employment contracts. Just a fair days pay for a fair days work! Like every one else!
Enough of AIG for today. More tomorrow.
Still dark outside. The sound of the ocean roaring by is refreshing.
I play golf this morning. How bad will I be? The eternal question!
Perhaps my mind set is wrong. I approach golf very negatively! I think I am going to play poorly and I do play poorly! The only problem is that when I think I am going to play well, I play poorly also!
Enjoy your day!