The Washington Times - October 7, 2008, 10:53PM

As a former AIG executive, I just want to say that I don’t understand why the media and government officials and just about everybody else is so upset that we took a spa retreat. It makes no sense to me.

Yes, the spa retreat did cost $440,000. And yes, the federal government did bail out our company to the tune of $85 billion.

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But let me point out something: We only took the spa retreat AFTER the government had bailed out our company. The money for the retreat wasn’t there BEFORE the bailout. It’s not like we stole the money. It was given to us, and we had that retreat coming to us.

You can’t imagine how stressful the last few weeks have been, what with creditors hounding us and deals falling through and stock prices declining. It’s a wonder we survived until the government could bail us out! And even that wasn’t a sure thing — just look at Lehman Brothers.

Everybody on the management team was simply stressed out. We needed some relaxation and perspective. We deserved that spa retreat, and it did wonders for us. Cleared our heads. Lifted our spirits. Gave us a new lease on life.

I mean, before the bailout I was afraid that I might have to sell my Bentley — or even my summer home in the Hamptons. Can you imagine? The humanity! The horror!

But then the $85 billion bailout came along, and suddenly we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Life was worth living again.

And it’s lot like we didn’t put the money to good use. That $440,000 was recirculated back into the economy, which we hear needs every nickel and dime it can muster these days.

Also, $440,000 is only about .0005 percent of $85 billion, which means we spent nearly nothing at all!

So just lay off of us. If we hadn’t gone belly up, you wouldn’t be in charge of one of the world’s largest insurance companies right now. 

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

And pass the fois gras.