2. Benmosche's Big Mouth
Hey Paula Deen, guess who's coming to dinner?
(AIG - Get Report)
CEO Bob Benmosche joined the outcast TV chef in the hot seat Tuesday after making aracially insensitive remarks equating the uproar over banker bonuses during the 2008 financial crisis to African-American lynchings decades ago in the Deep South. Benmosche later apologized for his "poor choice of words" but not before being pilloried by a number of prominent government officials.
In an interview with the
, Benmosche was quoted as saying that public outrage over the insurance giant's hefty paychecks to its employees after the government bailed out the company due to its reckless options bets "was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that - sort of like what we did in the Deep South (decades ago). And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong."
Oy Gevalt Bob!
You don't have to be a genius to know that frank talk is fine, but Leo Frank-talk is not.
Honestly, we thought Bob would have learned to weigh his statements more carefully after he was ridiculed last year for his painfully self-involved statements in
New York Magazine
. Remember that doozy of an interview? The one when Benmosche whined that the
never said 'Thank you' for paying back the billions they loaned to AIG to keep the global economy from cratering?
That silly remark made him look like a narcissist CEO, something we are quite used to, so the hullabaloo quickly blew over.
This lip slip, however, may linger a little longer because Benmosche stupidly brought race into it.
"I find it unbelievably appalling that Mr. Benmosche equates the violent repression of the African American people with congressional efforts to prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (MD, Dem), who also called for Benmosche to resign his post.
We here at the
lab don't agree with Cummings that Benmosche should get going over his idiotic analogy. The punishment simply doesn't fit the crime. Lord knows we would have to shut down the government a long time ago if we expelled Congressmen each time they made a stupid, insulting or insensitive comment.
Then again, it may come to that anyway because these morons can't sit down and talk to each other.