Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Hearts of gold ...

14 April 2005

Hearts of gold ...

What a great bunch of guys. Businessmen, with hearts of gold, you may think. That yank, Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg, and those brits, The Phoenix Four, led by John Towers. Wow! What generosity!

'May think,' that is, if you didn't know the nitty-gritty of what's really been happening at MG Rover here in England, and American International Group in the US.

Insurance tsar, Greenberg, a Bush Pioneer and one of America's richest men, out of the blue surprised his wife with a little gift. It was the bulk of his own AIG shares/stocks. A bundle worth more than a whoping $2 billion. Pfft! All done & dusted. Overnight, $2 billion, gone. Given away -- to the missus. Hmm. I wonder why?

The Phoenix Four spread their generosity over 5 years. Giving an average of £1 million a year to each of it's top managers - even though they were lousy at their jobs. So lousy, in fact, they were helping MG Rover loose many millions, each year they managed. Nice work if you can get it, eh? Of course, when the four-strong top management team consists of your four good selves, there's not much 'if' involved.

And, what many people don't realise about the timing of Greenberg's generous gesture, is this. It was just days before he was forced to quit his top AIG post -- due to a huge [plot still thickening] accounting scandal.

Although Greenberg's not been charged yet, New York Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer, says there's overwhelming evidence of wrong-doing. He further says, many 'accounting tricks' have been going on. Tricks, of the phony figure, profit boosting variety. As of earlier today, AIG still won't comment. Watch this space.

Now, swiftly flitting back to England's Phoenix Four.

Getting together, only five years ago, as a team of entrepreneurial buyout-managers, they bought Rover MG from the German car company BMW in 2000 -- for £10 ! Yep, you read that right -- it's not a typo. They paid TEN, GB POUNDS, STERLING for the whole caboodle -- lock, stock & barrel.

Today's latest is, they're about to share another £6.1 million [windfall] between them. Huh! They'll need to move fast -- while there's still a few quid left to steal.

All this, as 6,000 hard working British men & women are unceremoniously dumped on to the dole. Additionally, there's an estimated 15,000 to 16,000 more workers, now staring the same fate in the face - as lots of Rover's suppliers and other dependent firms, also seem certain to sink.

Businessmen? I'd call them plain old fashioned crooks. Generous guys? Hearts of gold. I don't think so -- though they could afford them.
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© 2005 Richard Morrison

7 Comments:

Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

Um, they were supposed to sell this to the Chinese who looked at the previous price tag and then asked for a price reduction.....

3:08 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Yep. Those four crooks have been screwing Rover from day one including the workers'pension funds They thought the chinese would be daft enough to sort that mess too - thought wrongly.

9:53 am  
Anonymous harper said...

It's just incredible that crooks can operate openly like that.

4:30 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

True - and then worse still - go unpunished and remain free to enjoy their ill gotten gains - while they laugh at the rest of us.

4:38 pm  
Anonymous rosemary said...

I think I heard you say today, Blair has offered the layed-off workers some government money and "Retraining Programs." (to take the edge off their pain just in time for the elections). I wonder if it will take 21 days for those over the age of 45 who are already highly skilled at one trade to figure out that retraining for another trade is iffy at best. Unless there are labor shortages, what company is going to hire inexperienced middle-aged people?

Hope they figure it out in time. I think they will.

3:54 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Me too, Rosemary. The sad thing is, voting Labour on May 5 is STILL preferable [for working people] to voting for Michael Howard's Conservative bunch. Blair knows this is how lots are thinking - regardless. So, I still want a Labour win - but hope that 'something' happens - sooner rather than later - to force Blair to hand over his leadership.

11:29 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Oops! Sorry about the double posting!

11:31 am  

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