So AIG is looking to pay $165 million in bonuses and compensation. There is a good PR move! Have the government bail you out and then pay millions in bonuses. Talk about a ready made public relations nightmare. Perhaps the company figures that it is mitigating some of the well deserved national outcry by identifying banks that received chunks of the company's billions in federal bailout funds last year. But what does that accomplish? Thats not so much transparency as it is sharing the blame. AIG was recipient of at least $170 billion in federal bailout money (thats billion with a B) and received an $85 billion loan from the Federal Reserve. If there had been no bailout and no loan, there would be no company and thus no bonuses. The bailout and bonuses should have come with that caveat - no bonuses. Bonuses are incentives that are paid out for jobs well done. Or at least they should be. No small business would exist or function under this type of framework. Thats why Im more convinced than ever that small businesses are what can, and hopefully will, turn the economy around and set the country back on course. Because there is not a huge bureaucracy in which to hide, small businesses, by their very nature, are forced to be much more transparent. Because there is little or no fat to absorb poor decisions, small businesses must function properly and turn a profit in order to survive, much less thrive. We have seen that big is not always better. In fact if recent history is to be our guide, it seems to be a ready made recipe for failure. This is not always the case, but seemingly more often than not. So, if the small business community takes the lead and makes its voice heard, perhaps well look back at this economic mess we find ourselves in and see that it served a purpose.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2009