AIG Does It Again
Posted by Allison Fine on June 3, 2009
Just when you thought AIG couldn’t sink any lower or act any more despicable, this in yesterday from the New York Post:
Insurance giant AIG is trying to seize a $490 million charitable endowment — and claw back $27 million it already awarded to New York charities — to pay executive bonuses.
The story is a very complicated web of an offshore company called Starr International Co., created to fund bonuses and retirement funds for AIG employees. But Starr also underwrote the Starr International Foundation which are the funds the company now wants back to pay bonuses to employees.
Any story that has AIG and bonuses seems destined to highlight the tone deafness of the company. But there is another story here as well which is the tension that often develops between company founders, Hank Greenberg, who become enamored of their ability to use company stock to create philanthropic entitites, and future managers who may feel less charitable.
Sean Stannard-Stockton writes about a big shift in corporate philanthropy of focusing on the effect of their giving rather than on the package of the gift itself. Too much corporate giving has focused on looking good rather than doing good. But I don’t think corporations should get stuck on measuring too much. They generally give to ultra image safe programs that are simply good to do; donations to food banks and books for kids and breast cancer research.
But what they do have to think about is being good citizens in their communities. I dispute the notion that the only purpose of companies is to make money. They are important entities in their communities and should model good citizenship as well. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have continued to recognize their great importance as citizens of the DC area through their ongoing, albeit smaller, giving efforts. On the other hand, one of the saddest moment of the economic downturn this year as the closing of the New York Times and Boston Globe Foundation.
AIG continues to show its true colors; green for greed and yellow for deceit.
This entry was posted on June 3, 2009 at 3:15 am and is filed under Social Media. Tagged: AIG, Boston Globe, Fannie Mae Foundation, Freddie Mac Foundation, New York Times, Sean Stannard-Stockton. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
2 Responses to “AIG Does It Again”
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.