Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Atlas Shrugged in Real Life

Ok, I can't make this stuff up. Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is so life like that it is now as if reading (or in my case ristening) to a script.

Background: Atlas Shrugged is a novel written in 1957 by Ayn Rand. In it, in response to a largely governmental caused "emergency" the top leaders of the business world give up and just walk away in response to taxes, regulation, and other confiscatory governmental policies. Indeed, it seems that whoever is in the hottest spotlight, is the next to go.

So without further comment, a letter from Jake DeSantis announcing his resignation from AIG.

From the NY Times
"The following is a letter sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group’s financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G."

"DEAR Mr. Liddy,

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:"


"After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we...have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

.... I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down."
The only difference now between now and then, is that DeSantis (unlike Galt, Wyatt, Dannager, et al) left an explanation.

BTW if you have not read the book, I can not give it a higher recommendation except to say it is in my Top Ten (maybe top five) of all time.

Thanks to ClusterStock/Business Insider.


Anonymous said...

If an entity cannot pay it's talent (AIG), sooner rather than later the entity will have no talent left in which to compete in the marketplace. Let's see how Barney Frank and Friends take down this industry as they did the mortgage sector.

Anonymous said...

I say good on him, well done. This guy is a hero, he wrote a great letter and everyone bashing rich folks should read it.
I myself shrugged already, I may not be rich or powerful, but I am not contributing $40K a year in taxes by not working, as well as depriving the world of my inventions (one patented already) and my labor.
Please shrug, learn how at