Angered over the AIG’s decision to dole out bonuses to its top employees, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) yesterday caused a stir when he suggested the company’s executives should follow “the Japanese example” and resign or kill themselves. Grassley appeared this morning on Bloomberg TV, where he was given a chance to clarify his views. “Of course I don’t want anyone to go commit suicide,” he said. “But I do want some contrition. I want showing of remorse. I have not heard a single apology from a single Wall Street CEO.” He continued:
In the case of the Japanese, you know, they do one of two things. They either go commit suicide or they take a deep bow and say apologies and then sometimes resign. But they take full responsibility. And we’re not hearing that.
And obviously, I don’t want anyone to kill themselves because I don’t believe in that sort of thing. But I do believe that when you have done bad for your company, for your stockholders, and eventually for the taxpayer…you ought to say I’m sorry.
Responding to Grassley’s comments from yesterday, AIG spokesman Nick Ashoosh told MSNBC, “The remark is very disappointing. But AIG’s employees continue to work with poise and professionalism to take care of policyholders and repay taxes.”