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

The Sucker Rally of 2013?

Since Janary, the stock market has been on a non-stop bullish trend. While there are a lot of articles that argue stocks will reach new high this year (even though it already has) and much money’s flowing back into stocks from retail investors, there are enough nay sayers that speak of a coming market correction. This realy keeps us on our toes.

An Yahoo article tday that argues the coming of a correction predicated by a surge of inisider selling.

There have been more than nine insider sales for every one buy over the past week among NYSE stocks, according to Vickers. The last time executives sold their company’s stock this aggressively was in early 2012, just before the S&P 500 (^GSPC) went on to correct by 10 percent to its low for the year.

I know the sound investment strategy of buy-and-hold once you’ve picked your choice of investment but I wonder how everyone’s feeling? Do you think a market correction is coming? (Note a correctio is as least 5% and up to 20% price drop).

Will you sell portions to collect the gains now or just hold steady? What will you do?

Originally posted 2013-02-06 01:03:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Talking Ourselves into Depression – Doom, Gloom, and BOOM

Our thoughts create our reality. There should not be any doubt about that. We think, we translate that into words, and that in turn can influence others around us.

And if you have pay attention to the news lately, the thought of a up coming depression is almost unavoidable. It may indeed be true that the situation is as serious as it sounds, but the media is certainly not helping. It’s no doubt that they are driving more fear than necessary by selling all the drama. And they sell drama because it works… it may not be happy things, but people like it. Almost like we are letting ourselves be talked into a depression by ourselves.

This is another form of people taking things to the extreme. When will people stop buying into drama and see reality as it is and simply change with the change?

Originally posted 2008-11-16 23:15:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Mistake on Extremity

I have been pondering about the mistakes that we as people make, whether as an individual, as a group, and even as a whole nation. And I think people continue to make one mistake — extremity.

How do I mean?

Quoting myself from a previous post, “Life is structured a way that allows us to make many mistakes”. As such, in life we continue to make mistakes and that is fine, but even though the mistakes may seem different, there is one thing in common — It’s that they either do and focus on only one thing or they do one thing too much. Hence, extremity.

It may seem that sometimes people are changing, where they are choosing something else in life, yet they are making the same mistake without realizing it.

To become an integrated human and a full person, humans need to work on their body, mind, and spirit. Yet, when we think of all the people we know, we can probably count with one hand just how many of them consciously work on all three aspects of ourselves, of a human being. This days in the information age, people have become very mind-dependent. The other two aspects of life are severely overlooked… hence all the increase in illness, chronic diseases, obesity, harms we are doing to each other, and lack of connection with nature and our own nature.

To speak on an everyday perspective, people take the path of extremity when they choose to focus on one thing in life, such as career, money, romantic relationship, materialistic possession, a hobby, etc. You name it. People would seem to find happiness in that one thing in particular, and like a radar, they just zoom in on it. And then they find themselves with huge disappointment when they have to face the other parts of their lives. As such, they become even more focused and addicted on the ONE thing that makes them happy. What a vicious cycle.

We can agree that people who do that often appear disconnected with parts of their lives. We can also agree on that when people do that, they will eventually run into the face of drama and disaster, and they end up more disappointed and broken than ever. If they learn, they will begin to strike a balance in life. If they don’t learn, they will search the next thing, next addiction, and repeat the pattern.

To sum it up, the biggest problem that people, as individuals, as groups, as nations, encounter are the things that for an extended period of time, they either spend all their time on or that they overlook because they are busy focusing on one thing after next. They mistake on extremity. Excess of anything always creates harm.

That’s my thought of the day. A balance in life is what we really need. It is not that one thing is bad, but too much of anything is almost always bad. Not only too much of one thing will hurt us. The things that we neglect will one day catch up to us.

Do you have a balance in life?

Originally posted 2008-11-12 22:56:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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