The Liddy Memos: A Kindle Excerpt

By: Sharon Riley

June 3, 2009 –- Everything’s for sale at AIG. The New York Post reports that credit-default-swap seller AIG may have signed a contract to sell its New York headquarters for $100 million and has already sold off its office building in New Jersey for an undisclosed amount. The Post also reports that the company is demanding reimbursement of donations, including the quarter of a million dollars the corporation’s charitable endowment paid out to Citymeals-on-Wheels. AIG executives have been spotted in the hallways of rent-controlled buildings wrestling containers of Jell-O and mushy peas from the gnarled hands of elderly shut-ins, and seen later reselling the trays at Bryant Park food kiosks.

In addition to these schemes, an anonymous employee, who claims to have only received one million dollars of his annual bonus, is raising funds by publishing internal memos issued by now-exiting CEO Edward M. Liddy. The following is a kindle excerpt; full download is available for $29.99:

TO: AIG Major League A.S.S.E.S.
FR: Edward Liddy, CEO
DATE: January 5, 2009
RE: Spring Training Scheduled

Happy New Year and batter up! As CEO, I know business in the big leagues takes constant conditioning, and I am committed to your professional development. It’s a new year and the yellow journalism press attacks are behind us. For the record, they were contractors – NOT AIG employees – who were waxed by underage aestheticians. Now we are flush with Federal Reserve cash and financed to move forward with the Annual Spring Seminar for Executive Success (A.S.S.E.S.) scheduled for the first week of April. You’re our superstar swap sellers and I’m calling you up for Major League A.S.S. training. Pack your cleats and report to camp at the first hole of the ocean front course at The Breakers, Palm Beach.

Please note, due to the entertainment portion of program, this is an employee-only event. Leave the wife and kids at home, A.S.S.E.S. You’ve earned it. Itinerary to follow.

TO: A.S.S.E.S.
FR: Edward Liddy
DATE: January 8, 2009
RE: Spring Training Sessions

Please review the list of financial education seminars to be held at The Breakers Spring Training and enroll in your sessions by January 30th. Celebrity lecturers require a head count before committing to the event:

* Betting on Green: Parlaying the taxpayer’s investment at Monte Carlo roulette.

* Creating the Illusion of Cash Reserves: The slight of hand of selling insurance without the money to pay out the claim. David Copperfield lectures and performs. Trade secrets will be shared.

* Inspiring Investor Trust via the Bow Tie: How to project avuncular warmth and guileless charm while avoiding Ivy League snark. Viewing of Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood followed by a lessons-learned breakout session moderated by Tucker Carlson.

* Risky Debt Financing, Expanding the Client Base: Working with the neighborhood loan shark. There’s still plenty of money to be made by insuring high-risk loans. Actor Joe Pesci leads wise guy panel. Networking cocktail reception and strip club tour to follow.

* How to Feign Knowledge of Bailout Bonuses: Dust off your acting chops. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will lead a Stanislavski method class, demonstrating how to effectively fake shock and surprise regarding bailout bonuses. He will teach you how to shake your head disapprovingly and emote moral outrage and disappointment. Ben will help you create a sympathetic working-class-roots backstory for your character. An in-depth analysis of Ben’s winning 60 Minutes performance will be included.

* Philanthropy is the Best Defense: If your acting skills fail you and you must admit to accepting a bailout bonus, charitable giving consultant, television personality, and alternative-energy gadfly Ed Begley, Jr. is here to help. Mr. Begley will give you the names of charities with liberal street cred, most involving the liberation of factory-caged chickens, that you can list as bonus money recipient fronts. Ed will also coach you in how to feign concern for the environment and cruise uninhibited teenage girls in the macrobiotic aisle of the food co-op.

* Hiding Your Wealth in Hard Commodities: Actor George Takei will step you through the process of purchasing and gifting rare Star Trek action figures and collectibles. Bidding on eBay, the buy-it-now option, and exploring the Comic-Con and Trekker convention venues will be discussed. Bonus breakout session offered on the debate over the terms “Trekkie” vs. “Trekker.”

* How the Wealthy Can Apply for Medicaid Health Insurance Benefits: A Power Point tutorial led by the Wal-Mart Human Resources Department. Instructional modules include: diverting assets offshore, forging low-wage pay stubs, and securing a timely interview at Health and Human Services. Social workers will be present to fill out forms.

TO: AIG Employees
FR: Edward Liddy
DATE: March 16, 2009
RE: Annual Welcome Spring Bacchanalia

Due to the media coverage featuring the surprising tar-and-feathering incidents of executive contractors who received bonuses financed by redirected public school and well-baby health care funds, the plans for the Welcome Spring Bacchanalia (formerly titled the Major League A.S.S.E.S. Training Program) have been revised. Under advisement from our PR consulting firm, the venue has been changed from The Breakers in Palm Beach to a public park in the Bronx.

The original ten-day program, scheduled for early April, will be condensed into a half-day event to be held next Saturday. Due to a sexual discrimination lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the event, formerly restricted to male A.S.S. executives, is now open to all AIG contractors and their families.

Management is confident that the Bronx park venue will provide a secure, private location free of hot tar and reporters. AIG maintenance contractor crews have worked hard to clear the park and its surrounding neighborhood of all torches, bubbling oil, pitchforks, and residents.

Despite the change of the meeting location, the original entertainment portion of the program will stand (with the exception of the Lady Boy Ping Pong Review classified as non-family-friendly by HR). Event information follows:

The celebrity golf tournament will be relocated to Monolo’s Miniature Golf and Pawn Shop, adjacent to the park. Paula Abdul and Rosie Perez will participate, raising money to rebuild AIG contractors’ primary residences burned down this week, not properly insured for vandalism. (Please, people, no more ironic postings to the corporate blog on this topic.) Bertha in the Travel Department has the air-transport schedule for arson-displaced contractors now commuting to work from their second homes in East Hampton.

Don’t forget your top-siders! The Anti-regulation Regatta is setting sail! Yacht captains are asked to bring remote-controlled, model boat replicas of their sloops, which will be raced in the storm drain overflow area of the park. We will reschedule the full-scale racing event in the near future, after the few remaining investigative journalism news outlets have folded.

The Breakers “sporty casual” dress code will still apply. Please refrain, however, from wearing any polo shirts, madras blazers, straw boater hats, bow ties, or Nantucket reds bearing the AIG logo. Avoid red and blue clothing, as these colors are associated with two high-profile competing organizations operating on the streets in this area.

Menu: In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, AIG is going locovore! Instead of flying in the picnic lunch from The Breakers, Rasta Catering on 174th St. will provide a spread of jerk chicken and East River caviar out of the trunk of their vintage El Jefe ’65 Chevy lowrider. As this is a family event, no alcohol will be served. Mountain Dew and Jarritos Guava Soda will be substituted for the vintage 1959 Dom Perignon originally listed on the program menu. The lowrider buffet will be located in the parking lot adjacent to the paddleball court and port-a-johns.

Important health notice: For those with dermal intolerance to synthetic fibers, it is advised that you refrain from participating in the Bacchanalia golf tournament. Mses. Abdul and Perez’s managers have communicated that their clients will be attired in Lycra-blend sportswear and acrylic accessories.

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