Monday, February 23, 2009

Joseph Cassano

- In the 1980s, worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert -- the same bank where junk-bond king and convicted felon Michael Milken did his dirty, greedy work!

- More recently, head of insurance giant AIG's financial products division!

- Just by himself, took a 30% cut of his division's profit -- compensation amounting to $280 million over eight years!

- Lives in a luxe 3-story townhouse in a posh London neighborhood -- just around the corner from Harrods, the world's most famous luxury department store!

- Encouraged buyers to "play the power game" -- i.e. aggressively purchase his credit derivatives, which allowed investors to bet that the subprime mortgage market would tank!

- Repeatedly claimed credit derivatives posed no danger to the company or its shareholders!

- When the housing bubble burst in 2007, buyers of credit derivatives from Cassano's group started coming to cash in on their bets -- and AIG was stuck with tens of billions of dollars in losses!

- As a result, AIG -- the world's biggest insurance company -- plunged towards bankruptcy and a bailout costing taxpayers $150 billion!

- Somehow, Cassano still managed to get a $34 million bonus!

- In the words of U.S. Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD), Cassano "single-handedly brought AIG to its knees"!

- Fired in February 2008 -- but continued to work for AIG as a $1-million-per-month consultant! (Yes, as in a one with six zeros after it! Per month!)

- Idiot!

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