Here’s an idea for you. Put out a message via Twitter, Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn, Plaxo, or the ACG Essential Network asking for savvy finance professionals who perhaps have been laid off in this most recent recession and would be more than happy to join “The Workout Corps.”
This organization of very talented folks would sign on for one year of public service to go in as independent contractors (with benefits) to TARP banks and other entities we have had to “assist” (read rescue) and workout the supposedly too, too, complex loans or swaps that have given rise to the embarrassing retention bonuses that continue to be a real sideshow these days. Yes, these patriots can’t get a bonus, and yes, they can “only” earn $250k but my guess is that they would be more than willing to make this “sacrifice” to serve their country in our hour of need and, hey, what a great resume builder.
Seriously, commercial banks for years have known that troubled assets are better handled by fresh eyes in the workout area than by the line lenders who have an emotional tie to the asset. It is not always bad for companies to end up in workout as decisions can and do get made rather more quickly than on the paralyzed line. Assuming AIG is just one of the companies, who thought retention bonuses, however distasteful, were the way to go to get out of the mess there could be significant FTEs (full time equivalents) at this “value” pricing who could muddle along just fine and get the job done.
Speaking of the AIG bonus flap, lynch mobs supposedly went out with the too wild west. Sure it makes for great congressional grandstanding but it just might scare the wits out of anyone signing anything with the US Government. We need the private sector to be part of the solution, not running away as fast as they can.
Finally, you didn’t hear it here…but the whisper of personal IRS audits for years to come could coax a few more AIG bucks back.
Gail Long is CEO of ACG Boston, a chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. She previously was an Executive Vice President of specialized banking at Citizens Bank of Massachusetts, and, previously President of Citizens Capital, that company’s $500 million private equity subsidiary.