Tag Archives: obama

AIG vs the Government: Show Me the Money

In this week’s New York, I have a cover story that goes behind-the-scenes in the battle to control Wall Street comp. Nowhere is this conflict more vividly displayed than the current war between AIG and the Government. AIG’s CEO, the brash, outspoken Robert Benmosche, is fending off efforts by Kenneth R. Feinberg, the Pay Czar, who’s seeking to limit what AIG’s traders can make. The standoff came to a head on November 4, when Benmosche told AIG’s board of directors that he is going to quit. They convinced him to stay, but he’s set to give them his final answer at tomorrow’s board meeting.

From the piece:

After viewing the video, Feinberg left the room, and Benmosche turned to face his board members in private. Benmosche saw himself and his traders as being on the same side as the taxpayers—it infuriated him that Geithner and Congress seemed to see them as the enemy. With Feinberg gone, Benmosche let his anger loose. The pointed exchange he just watched only confirmed in his mind that Feinberg didn’t think he, or his executives, were worth much. He was going to quit. “I’m just about ready to hit the road,” Benmosche said. “Feinberg stabbed me in the back.”

“It wasn’t a moment of anger,” an executive familiar with the exchange later recalled. “It was the last straw of things that were agonizing him.”

Read the full piece HERE

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The Obama-Brooks Bromance

In the current New Republic, I have a piece on the Obama White House’s special relationship with New York Times columnist David Brooks. The piece explores  efforts by the Obama team to court Brooks, and why Brooks’ center-right views are so crucial to the White House’s selling of issues like healthcare and the economy. From the piece:

It’s easy to understand why the administration does this. Brooks’s sympathetic columns help to validate the key myth of this White House: that it is fundamentally post-partisan. Plus, Brooks appeals to a major Obama constituency: the latté-sipping Baby Boomers who were the subject of his 2000 best-seller Bobos in Paradise. These were among Obama’s strongest supporters in the last election, but their loyalty could be tested by spiraling deficits, botched health care reform, or a flagging economy. As much as any columnist, Brooks speaks to these left-of-center suburbanites.

After all, he is known for attracting liberal readers who normally can’t stand conservative pundits.

Read the full piece HERE