The White House said on Wednesday it was "despicable" that American
International Group Inc. executives spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a
posh California retreat just days after getting a federal bailout.
The problem with the news story and the wildly inaccurate statements of Sen. Obama, is an enormous ignorance of how insurance is sold in America. Virtually every company that sells life insurance annually offers free trips to the agents that sell the most insurance policies. Think of those crappy fundraisers in grade school where you could get a Nintendo if you sold $5,000 in wraping paper. If an insurance company tried to skip out on these prizes we would likely lose our best sellers to other firms. If we can't sell our insurance products we go out of business. The ruckus compelled our new CEO to send a letter to Hank Paulson, Treasury Secretary. Employees received a copy of the letter at work, but I wasn't sure if it was meant for public distribution so I have not included it.
However, this link here provided an accurate description of the letter.
Executives did not attend the trip. The trip, while costing over $400,000 was attended by over 100 people. My job is in jeopardy, but I hold no ill towards those who attended this event.