Editor's Note: Visitors to our Web site in recent weeks offered up a slew of comments on our continuing coverage of AIG, which took heat for holding a recognition program days after it was rescued by a Federal Reserve loan, and ended up canceling 160 meetings. Here is a sampling of comments; in the tradition of much Web posting, their authors remain anonymous. Find our coverage at meetingsnet.com/financialinsurancemeetings.

AIG Deserves the Hot Seat

The statements made by [AIG spokesman] Ashooh that the criticism of AIG is unfair is a classic example that upper management is totally out of touch — and why a bailout was needed. They have no comprehension of the magnitude of this problem. How can they expect the American people to bail them out of a problem caused by bad management and bad decisions on their part, and then expect the public to approve when they reward themselves?
Web post, 10/15/08

I'm sure there are plenty of conference rooms within the AIG headquarters offices that are large enough to accommodate meetings in-house. This would save hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a meeting planner and event manager I would never have allowed a luxurious retreat or sales meeting under the current climate. It would have been scaled back to bare bones, which is what AIG must do in order to restore public faith and trust. To do otherwise is reckless and unconscionable.
Web post, 10/15/08

AIG Is a Media Scapegoat

Does anyone want to explore the cost of canceling meetings on such short notice? Or the effect on producer morale of canceling something they earned? Those yelling the loudest clearly have no understanding of cancellation penalties or the purpose and impact of events. No knowledge of a subject, and a pulpit from which to preach, are dangerous in combination — and are often descriptors of those in the media.
Web post, 10/15/08

One of the more distressing aspects of the framing of incentive travel as an instrument of corporate greed is that it is consistently mentioned in the same breath as executive compensation and golden parachutes. Incentive travel is ultimately a reward for productive behavior at the line level, generally sales forces and their managers. Executive golden parachutes, conversely, are rewards to upper-echelon decision makers, often for risky moves. Perhaps if this distinction were to gain more traction, less unfair scrutiny would befall the incentive cruise or incentive resort program.
By e-mail, 10/10/08

I agree that over-compensation for some of these executives is shameful. On the other hand, canceling 160-plus events is not the right step to stimulate the economy, as now there will be hundreds of hospitality employees who suffer when these meetings do not happen. (Keep in mind that AIG got a loan, not a bailout!) How can you try to reorganize your business if you can't hold meetings to reorganize your business?
Web post, 10/21/08

Send your letters to rbaraban@meetingsnet.com. We will respect your wishes to remain anonymous. We reserve the right to edit letters for space and clarity.