Thursday, October 9, 2008

No Shame

From the LA Times: full article here


As ailing Wachovia Corp. waits to see whether it will be acquired by Wells Fargo & Co. or Citigroup Inc. -- possibly with taxpayers paying the tab for hundreds of billions of dollars in bad loans -- some of the company's top brokers are preparing to depart Saturday for an all-expenses-paid cruise of the Greek Isles.

The weeklong trip for up to 75 employees of brokerage A.G. Edwards, which Wachovia acquired last year for nearly $7 billion, will also include spouses and significant others, said Teresa Dougherty, a Wachovia spokeswoman.

"This is one way that we recognize our top financial advisors," she said.

Word of the Wachovia junket follows reports that senior executives of troubled insurance giant AIG attended a $440,000 company retreat last month at Southern California's swanky St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach just days after being bailed out with $85 billion in taxpayer funds.

A White House spokeswoman Wednesday called the AIG outing "despicable." Yet even as the Bush administration was wagging its finger at AIG, the Federal Reserve was announcing $37.8 billion in additional loans for the company.

Moreover, a spokesman for American International Group said the company was going ahead with plans to host a three-day confab for about 150 insurance brokers at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Half Moon Bay next week. About 50 AIG employees also will attend.

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