You don’t have to be an economist to know that people in New York City are struggling. And if you’re anything like me, when you hear about country club memberships, private planes, fat executive bonuses, limousines and corporate boondoggles at companies like AIG, Bank of America, GM, Chrysler, Citigroup, you immediately start fantasizing about finding these guys and stringing them up by their toes in the middle of Grand Central. You then calmly pass out eggs and rotten tomatoes to the ordinary citizens hurrying by, struggling to make ends meet in an economy that’s been devastated by the Peter Principle (from our friends at Wikipedia…The Peter Principle is the principle that “In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.” It holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their “level of incompetence”), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions. This principle states that “in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties.”) In many cases, these guys gorging on the company “teat” are the same geniuses who drove their companies into the dirt to begin with. My second thought is always, “Is anyone else out there pissed about this crap?” AIG alone has been responsible for eroding the stomach linings of many hard working taxpayers who see what’s going on there as an affront to how a free market economy is supposed to work. You mean, you can screw up and then change the rules? Take for instance their retention program in their Financial Products group. It was a two-year program that began in January 2008, before its government rescue, designed to keep skilled employees from leaving and jeopardizing its derivatives portfolio . You know how many people in this country suffer through shitty jobs working for misguided companies without ever being offered a lump sum payment just so they don’t resign? These knuckleheads claimed they were forced to pay out $165 million in retention bonuses just to keep people from jumping ship (yeah, right!). They then promised to try to recover much of the money when word got out and all hell broke loose, but they’re falling miserably short. My question is: where the hell would these people have gone? Other employers wouldn’t be lining up to hire the geniuses who presided over one of the biggest corporate car wrecks in modern history. And there weren’t any jobs out there anyway! Especially in Financial Services. WTF? The world needs ditch diggers too. Well it looks like Obama’s administration may finally be responding to the public rage over the pay of executives at companies that received billions of dollars in federal bailouts. O has ordered his administration to see to it that the companies that received the most aid slash the compensation to their highest paid executives. I’ll believe it when I see it, but the plan calls for the seven companies that received the most assistance to cut the annual salaries of their 25 best-paid executives by an average of about 90 percent from last year. The executive’s total compensation — including bonuses and retirement contributions — will drop, on average, by about 50 percent.