Monday, March 23, 2009

Scrubbing The Name "A.I.G." Off The Building Doesn't Make The Damage Go Away

Like anything in life, looks can be deceiving. For example, it is widely known that A.I.G. is now synonymous with greed, corruption and a degree of callousness towards the American people (who bailed them out) that personifies the relationship between Wall Street and the rest of the country. So when you are within that organization that is A.I.G., do you atone for your sins? Give the money back? Do whatever it takes to win back the trust of the people you lied to and cheated on?

Or do you scrub the name "A.I.G." from your building and pretend nothing's wrong?:

Reader Dan Albanese sent us photographs of the anonymous-looking exterior of 175 Water Street. The building formerly had "American International Group" prominently over the front doors, along with "AIG" etched in the windows and doors. According to the Post, AIG spokespeople explained that "the company had decided to replace the large AIG sign -- outside the entrance to its property-casualty offices -- as part of its plan to change that operation's name to AIU Holdings Ltd"—to "distinguish these well-capitalized businesses from AIG." Is the subtext, then, that the employees here are not the ones protesters should be harassing?
So just pretend nothing happened, or that A.I.G. even exists. It isn't even a question of pride for these people, it is that protesters look bad for business and confusing them into doing something else is best for A.I.G.'s profitability. It is much cheaper for them to pay a maintenance worker to take their name off the glass in the lobby than actually reform themselves into being ethical and morally upstanding people in society. If anything, it would take a jail cell for many of these corporate crooks to turn themselves around.