AIG and Thoughts on Bonuses

I always thought that bonus is bonus, where bonus means something extra that is given when performance is above and beyond the norm, relative to a job scenario. Specifically, we must be careful performance is not measured on short-term and must be a balanced evaluation of both short-term and long-term benefits. And in real life, well, bonus is like icing on the cake. I still view bonus as such even now as I am working. I like them, but I do not count on one. That’s why we call it BONUS.

Past few days we keep hearing about the AIG bonus ordeal. I don’t mind them giving out bonus when they are due for performance, but obviously, we can agree that AIG’s performance and moreover, most of the financial sector and Wall Street’s performance call for no bonus. Not only what they did destroyed the value in the system (or created tremendous illusional value), they believe they deserve to take even more value away from it for personal gains.

Conscience anyone?

One article writes that AIG’s CEO Liddy said he needs to pay out “retention bonus”. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not sure if retention is something to be worried about these days. There is also the generic claim that we need to keep financial expertsto fix up the system, but have we forgotten that these top people are the same people who dug us the abyss on the ground (and covered it up) in the first place over a period of time?

Truth be told, I would be ashamed to be paid anything if I had screwed things up so badly. I would be ashamed of all the money I was paid in the last few years. And why are the people that had led us into this mess still in their positions anyways? In the old days, if you have f***ed up so badly, you should at least have the gut to resign, if you didn’t get your butt fired in the first place. In the even older days, I think you will get your head loped off.

Accountability anyone?
Responsibility anyone?

Now the government is talking about regulations. Maybe. But that will do is for people to come up with new ways to circumvent the new regulations. The system is not right not because of the system. The system is not right because of the people.

I’m just going to ask a few questions now. I do not claim to have answers, but it is something that we all could think about.

Should it really be that the financial sector’s employees are “entitled” to bonus?
How did we come to “count on” bonuses?
How could so many claim to deserve their pay and bonus, individually, when their industry is entirely in shamble? Does not that equate to a citizen claiming he deserves food when his entire nation is starving? (at this point, I feel a little sick in my stomach)

Finally, the top people in companies are always paid in the millions…
But let’s be serious, how many millions does a person really NEED?

Originally posted 2009-03-18 22:29:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Are You Ready to Change?

Phew, the election is finally over. For awhile I felt like the news, rumors, absurdities, bashing, and Tina Fey would never end. We can now be relieved and start seeing and reading other things besides all things presidential and campaign related. By other things, I mean economic crisis news ONLY. Okay, enough sarcastic comments for the day.

Finally the president is decided. Now we can move on. I am glad. The biggest unknown and question now is, “Are the people ready to change?” Our future will result in two completely different ends depending on the answer. I wonder if people really mean it when they say change.

If they mean that they are ready to change and better themselves, this would be a good answer.

If they simply mean that they await for others and the world to change for them, this would be the disastrous answer.

Originally posted 2008-11-05 21:36:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Dysfunction of Infinite Feedback

In so far that we had praised the extraordinariness of the invention of the Internet and other technology that “connect” us, there is always the other side of the equation.

Beyond hacking, beyond privacy, beyond other social issues, I find there is a bigger underlying trend that needs to be look at — the amount of feedback we receive because of all these inventions.

Let’s define feedback first. Feedback is an evaluative reaction or response to an originating process or activity.

We know feedback is useful for us to improve in whatever we are doing. Complicated machinary would always have a feedback system to adjust, adapt, and correct a subsequent action from the prior one.

Individually speaking, we have parents, friends, relatives, co-workers doing that.

But we are living in a modern world of technology, and in this society through the Internet and various other technology, we can get as many different feedback as there are people out there in the entire world. Thus an enormous amount of feedback.

That causes two perceivable problems.

1st one has to do with the amount of feedback rendering all the feedback completely useless. Just remember what happens when you put a microhpone to the speaker that its sound is coming out of. You get this unbearbly sharp, squealing sound becase you have created in infinite feedback loop. Our brilliant Internet and social networks can precisely create such a loop, and having too much feedback and having too much options are the same, where one gets completely confused.

2nd problem has to do with the quality of feedback. Feedback allows us to improve in so far that it is a constructive response. When one has as many response as there is Internet users out there, the quality naturally goes down the drain. Worse yet, when one takes them seriously, one likely becomes immobile because when someone who has many judges watching his every moves and beat him with a stick when he does wrong, he simply cannot move. Or, he can only move when everyone approves and we know that’s nearly impossible.

Applying the above perceivable problems that are currently affect every facets of our modern life — the individual, social, cultural, national, and finally global level — we have a world that is mostly confused and thus chaotic, and also a human social entity that is mostly unadaptive and unable to do what it needs to do.

I mentioned the above 2 problems without mentioning a key… issue. The media companies. Wherein if you add their “selling of drama through exaggeration and twisting of the facts” — be it news or TV programs — that serves to amplify the two said problems, it is only natural that the world is as absurd as it is now.

And we cannot blame the media companies either, because they do what they do only because it DOES sells.

One last observation is how we seem to find truth in only what has feedback coming from the news/media and the majority population connected by the Internet and technology. What has little to no feedback from those places, what cannot become famous, has no meaning and is not important. Is that truth?

Here ends my rant of the day :)

This post is more or less just an observation but is very much related to three posts from the past. You read and connect the dots :P

Originally posted 2010-03-14 21:56:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

My Personal Finance Decluttering – Bye Bye Student Loan

Following my recent mortgage refinance, I also bit my teeth and paid off the student loan debt that I carried since I graduated in 2006.

I had to “bite my teeth” because of the amount of savings I’m giving up to get rid of these debt, especially on top of the chunk of saving I put away in the refinance process. My rationale…

For the longest time, because the student loan is sitting at a low 3.5% rate, I considered it as cheap money and was going to pay it down slowly over the year.

However, even as I was paying it slowly monthly, I was putting in 20-30 bucks extra each payment to help dwindle the loan amount down faster. As a result, I saw the amount sitting around $3000.

There is a story about a philosophy teacher that talks about how we can see our life as a bottle with the important things as large stone pieces we put in it and the trivial stuff as small pieces of sand.

Because the loan is sitting at just $3000, and by principle, it’s “cheap money” and money is better in your own pocket… I decided that keeping this loan is like having more pieces of sand than necessary. For my peace of mind and not having to keep track of it anymore, I made the jump to pay it off.

As a result, my only real loan left is my mortgage (because I’m paying off my credit cards monthly). Perhaps I’m simply risk-averse or financially conservative, but in this day and age where employment is not quite guaranteed and work environment unstable, it is important to reduce debt to provide yourself the flexibility and option to consider other opportunities. In short, the less fixed cost in your cash flow, the better.

Plus, the less things the mind has to keep track of, the less chance of making mistakes that may cost money. Therefore, being thoughtful in minimizing debt and reduce debt cannot be stressed enough because of how easily costs can snowball!

At any rate, I can forget making that student loan payment each month now, and that gives me more space in the mind… which by itself, is priceless.

Originally posted 2013-01-04 23:42:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 87 88 89 Next

Get notified of new posts by email.

Switch to our mobile site