Several days ago I blogged about how the AIG Story Doesn’t End Until … the bonuses are returned. Turns out some execs and financial institutions actually employed wise PR counsel or, at least, did not ignore their PR counselor’s advice to avoid fanning the flames of the negative perceptions associated with the financial crisis, according to The New York Times Jack Flack column.
Posts Tagged ‘AIG’
Don’t throw yourself out the window of your high-rise just yet. If you are embroiled in a scandal, your immediate career might be over. But there is hope for professional revival. Portfolio Magazine dug up several sullied personas in a where-they-are-now piece titled ‘The Mother of Reinvention.’ Bernadine Healy, former Red Cross CEO who diverted millions in donations intended for a 9-11 charity fund, now scribes for U.S. News & World Report. Tail-chaser General Eliot Spitzer landed a columnist gig with Slate a mere nine months after resigning. Ironically his March 17 post focuses on ’The Real AIG Scandal.’ Moral of this story: reputation and credibility can be lost in minutes. Apparently, though, it can be regained in months.
Public shaming is not dead as we are about to see when AIG CEO Edward Liddy testifies before Congress. But this morning on MSNBC one pundit said all the PR people on Wall Street must be dead. The banter on cable network news is all about the millions paid out in AIG executive bonuses after receiving taxpayer-funded bailout money. David Cho of The Washington Post went as far as saying, “This story does not end until AIG executives give the money back.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews adroitly pointed out a pattern that forms around these types of stories. The end result being the public gets its way. Indeed!
Knowing this pattern exists, AIG CEO Edward Liddy and his PR counsel have one option, and it’s not the Japanese act of falling on the sword suggested by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Give the money back and this story goes away, which is the best outcome at this point. If the money was returned earlier, or even before this story broke, AIG and all involved with this situation would not only have avoided this costly debacle but would have been able to stake a claim to the high moral ground of leading the charge toward economic recovery.