Sometimes, the Sourceror just can’t let go. Last week I chipped into Jason Busch about his blog on Performance pay. There’s one point I missed in the discussion. The bonuses paid to many AIG employees were not performance pay at all. The extra cash was paid out as “retention bonuses”. In theory, these bonuses are awarded not on merit, or performance, but merely to keep employees from jumping ship for greener pastures. Without having access to the full details, and based on the true read of “retention bonus” it would appear that retention bonuses had nothing to do with performance and were in no means tied to company profitability. Now I’m not stumping for the AIG pirates who took huge sums of money while the company teeters on the brink of its failure, but a deal is a deal. So blaming the folks who took the money they were promised is tantamount to blaming anyone else for taking the pay they are promised as part of their working arrangement.

I should have caught this too and mentioned it in my last piece. To put things in perspective, take a look at this AIG Financial Products Employee's Public Resignation Letter.
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