Flashback: One Year Ago Today at AIG


Subscribe to Elliot's BlogOne year ago today, I was working as a Direct Marketing Manager at AIG in the Domestic Brokerage Group, while managing my domain investment business in the evening. I had a great job where I learned quite a bit about direct marketing, but my heart wasn’t into what I was doing. I wanted to pursue my domain investment business full time, and I wasn’t my happy self.
A little over a month later, on October 17, 2007, I tendered my resignation. On that day in October, AIG stock closed at $65.80/share on the New York Stock Exchange – which was up from the $49/share range it had been a few months before, during the tumultous times when AIG was being investigated by New York AG Eliot Spitzer.   People believed that the company was strong and getting stronger. The investigation had made AIG more of a transparent company, which was good for everyone – so they thought and said.
Thankfully, I made what turned out to be a smart decision when I resigned. With the current fate of AIG still unknown (and some even suggesting they may face failure tomorrow), I am very thankful to have had the great opportunity to work for AIG for 2 and a half years, but I am even more thankful to have left.   I am still feeling the pain of the plummeting stock price as I hold some shares, but I am not worried about losing my job. I feel badly for my colleagues at AIG, some who spent tens of years at the company.
I think Americans and corporate America became greedy these last few years. With banks and financial instutions giving loans and credit lines to anyone with a pulse, many Americans took advantage of this and now can hardly afford the overpriced homes where they live.   “Bigger is better” is certainly the motto of many who bought the biggest homes and cars they couldn’t afford. “Real estate never loses value” is another mantra that people had in their heads when signing huge mortgage papers that ballooned in a couple years and required little money down.   Financial instutions aren’t being reimbursed for these ugly mortgages, loans and lines of credit, and they too are now suffering.
Even those smart enough to not mortgage themselves to the hilt or put themselves in debt are facing problems or will face problems. The Federal Reserve will probably deflate the value of the dollar by helping to bail these companies out, or the federal government will raise taxes, impacting those who are doing well financially because they were smart.
All in all, this is a pretty bad day for everyone, but I am just glad I made the decision I did almost a year ago.


  1. Some of the most shameless things these companies did (AIG and ML both) was to continue their advertising to sucker in more clients and investors while on respirators off camera. Ads that ran as last as last week! AIG’s sleepless kid (“liability, that’s the nightmare!”) jig, and ML, “achieve life”, and “total Merrill”. Total BS.

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