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View Diary: A business woman's question for AIG. Are you freaking out of your minds? (44 comments)

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  •  They had to entertain the possiblity (5+ / 0-)

    of joining the suit or the board could be sued. How should have they handle this?  Don't consider it and get sued by shareholders? Don't tell anyone they are considering it?  That's an additional lawsuit for being secret. Put out they think the suit is a joke before the meeting?  Still another lawsuit for not giving it due consideration. Never been on a board of directors I bet.

    Guns don't kill people...people with GUNS kill people.

    by thestructureguy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:48:53 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  And you've never been in advertising or PR, (6+ / 0-)

      I'd bet.

      Here's EXACTLY what AIG could have done.  They could have released a spokesperson to say in essence, "We're being asked to take a vote on suing the United States Government. We wish to make it clear that this is not the initiative of our company, but rather a request to join that initiative.

      And we wish to make clear, that we must share with our shareholders these decisions.  But in NO WAY does that mean we agree to this request, and that any speculation that we do is premature."

      Geez.  I'm AMAZED at those defending AIG here.  Who'd have thunk it?

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:09:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It just doesn't work that way with board (4+ / 0-)

        of directors. Even a statement like this can't be released unless the board approves it and the board had not even met on this issue.  BOD law is a creature to its own.  They could be sued for releases like this for example, "who is we, the whole board or a committee of the board?" "when did you meet to discuss this release and agree to not agree with this request?", "how come we weren't notified?"  And the person that would sue AIG is the ass Greenberg that brought the suit.  AIG was forced to consider this lawsuit.  Wasn't their idea. And I'd bet a nickle Greenberg is the one that released to the press the board taking up the issue. I have no love of AIG.  As an insurance company they were one of the most profitable but were asses, reflected by their Chairman at the time Greenberg.

        Guns don't kill people...people with GUNS kill people.

        by thestructureguy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:15:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not going to argue with you on this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thestructureguy

          as I'm no expert on BODs.

          But I do know that EVERY big company in America has a board of directors, and I also know that doesn't stop those companies' PR departments from doing their jobs, and releasing their statements.  And those statements are certainly NOT all signed off by the BOD.  If this were necessary, PR departments would be defunct and unable.

          I also know that big companies in America MUST be able to communicate between their advertising/marketing departments, their PR departments, and their CEOs without needing the BOD to sign off on every decision.  Again, if this were necessary, it would stop business in its tracks.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:39:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't mean to be confrontational. Sorry. And (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StellaRay

            I agree with your main premise.  You'd think people that run these huge companies and make outrageous salaries would be smarter and have more common sense.  For the most part they are smart, some scary smart. But like all humans they say and do dumb things.  I certainly have.  You just shake your head and say to yourself, man, how do you get this far.  Many times what they say or do is magnified and they don't consult with communication types until after the damage is done.  In this particular case they may not have been able to get in front of this story when it broke.  Who knows for sure though. They could've just been dumb in this case.  Wouldn't surprise me.

            Guns don't kill people...people with GUNS kill people.

            by thestructureguy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:17:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't find you confrontational at all, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fumie

              and I thank you for adding your wisdom to the comments in my diary. We all come at our conclusions from different experiences, and I enjoy hearing from those who come at it from a different place than I do.

              But exactly, to my point, they don't consult with others till after the damage is done.  THEN they try to hire consultants and better PR firms, and more award winning ad agencies to undo their self inflicted wounds.

              The point of my diary was that BOD or not, someone at the top HAS to take responsibility for good business decisions. And if AIG couldn't see the publicity nightmare inherent in the request for them to join a lawsuit against the government that bailed them out, well, then, they're grossly incompetent.

              Just don't know how one can arrive at any different conclusion.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:28:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  That statement itself would likely expose AIG (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        winsock, flitedocnm, BachFan

        to protracted litigation.  AIG was legally obligated to give due consideration to Starr's request.  Any statement on their part that telegraphed an unwillingness to fully/impartially vet this issue would be folly.

        I suspect AIG gladly elected to eat a couple of bad news cycles over what is then shown to be a non-issue versus being stuck with protracted litigation for failing to honor their fiduciary obligations to their shareholders.

        •  Not saying my proposed AIG response (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fumie

          would hold legal muster in every word. AM saying that AIG could give due consideration to the request, and also telegraph that that's exactly what they were doing.  

          Again, I do not believe that AIG could have been hamstrung by a statement similar to this:

          We will give this the due consideration that we must, by our by laws.  However, our consideration is not an agreement, and any attempt to state it as such, is premature."

          Or something of that nature. Companies are beholdin' to their stock holders, to a point. But they must and do operate daily without sign off from their Board of Directors.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:46:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  ^ YES this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StellaRay

        simple PR

        but now what reputation they had left is destroyed utterly

    •  Joining a lawsuit against the US govt? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StellaRay

      For .... bailing them out of financial trouble...

      Um, I don't need to be a member of any B of Ds to know that this is stupid as hell.

      •  Yep... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fumie

        and although AIG did not ultimately join that lawsuit, the point of my diary is that the company was derelict in not getting ahead of this story, in not stating that being ASKED to join in this law suit is not the same as agreeing to it.

        There are several on this thread that want to tell me about how deep and entrenched the power of the board of directors is.

        But I have replied that EVERY American company must make day to day decisions without the sign off of the BOD.  AND, that the same BOD that is so fussy about what was said, how, is now, you best be believing it, asking why AIG allowed the company to suffer this incredibly bad bout of publicity.

        Because even if they voted against joining the law suit, at this point it's kind of like how the accused hit the front page, and acquitted get the back page.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:13:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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