So I get home yesterday and there's a letter to me from AIG. Several years ago, I bought 100 shares of AIG for my retirement account; I paid $36 a share, I think. In any case, a share is now, as I write, worth $2.27. A little bit less, in other words. If I sold my shares today, I could buy quite a bit of gas with the proceeds, so I suppose it's not all bad. Nevertheless, I've been substantially pissed off at this particular company. And that was before I opened the letter. It was from Edward M. Liddy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "To our shareholders," he began:
"On September 23, 2008, American International Group, Inc. ("AIG") announced that it had signed a definitive agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for a two-year, $85 billion revolving credit facility," he writes. "Under the agreement, AIG will issue a new series of Convertible Participating Serial Preferred Stock to a trust that will hold the Preferred Stock for the benefit of the United States Treasury. The Preferred Stock will be convertible into Common Stock of AIG following a special shareholders meeting to amend AIG's restated certificate of incorporation."
And so on: A couple of more blathery paragraphs, all leading to the news -- surprise -- that the shareholders have no say whatsoever in the decision-making of the company (this includes, I take it, the choosing of junket destinations). Mr. Liddy closes by announcing that "the Preferred Stock will be issued when AIG has received all material approvals of governmental authorities required for the issuance and no earlier than ten days after the date of mailing of this notice to AIG shareholders."
He then signs the letter, "Very truly yours, Edward M. Liddy."
Very truly yours. He's not merely truly mine, he's very truly mine. This, of course, is very nice, Mr. Liddy. But you know what would be even nicer? If you apologized on behalf of AIG for losing my money. How about, "Dear Shareholder, on behalf of everyone here at AIG who screwed up so massively that our share price was driven down pretty much to zero, we're very sorry. We'll try to do better next time. And thanks for the tax-funded bail-out, by the way."
How about that, Mr. Liddy? You schmuck.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.