Rhetorical Analysis: “Dear A.I.G. I Quit”
English and Literature
Submitted By Jimenez1
October 25th, 2012
Rhetorical Analysis: “Dear A.I.G. I Quit”
The Financial Crisis of 2008 was a time of great fear in the United States for the people, the economy, and countries around the world. It was a time where the government and large financial institutions had to make ethical decisions and do what should have been in the best interest of the United States. While some accomplished this other companies failed to not just think about themselves but, for the American people and for what was best for the country. The government bailed out many companies and it was then up to the companies to make ethical choices on how they pulled their company back up. A.I.G., an American insurance corporation, is a prime example where the taxpayers provided money in government support to A.I.G. and the corporation used a large percent of the money towards employee treatment. Many employees in the company were both positively and negatively affected and one in particular, Jake DeSantis vice-president of AIG’s financial products unit, took action in his op-ed titled, “Dear A.I.G., I Quit.” DeSantis’ open-letter is a letter of resignation to the company he was employed for, AIG. Through his letter DeSantis claims that, AIG should not be penalizing the employees who had nothing to do with bringing down AIG and that anyone who was not involved with Credit Default Swaps should be entitled to the bonuses that they had been promised thorough a contract. In the first three paragraphs DeSantis begins by stating his resignation and the main reason for why he is resigning. Throughout the next couple of paragraphs DeSantis provides the readers of the New York Times with his reasons to why he is resigning. In the beginning portion of the body of his open-letter DeSantis explains that when he first started at the company eleven years ago there was a lot of hard work involved but it was always shown in his compensation so he was happy to be working for the company. In the recent years however, he had taken a pay cut and the working environment had completely changed which to him didn’t make up for the pay cut. The reader can see from DeSantis’ first hand accounts how much the dynamics within the company had changed in recent years. In order to support his claim DeSantis provides a very strong counterargument. He states, “Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree..” DeSantis in the preceding paragraph explains how even though they are possibly over paid the government shouldn’t decide where the money from the bonus is going. In efforts to keep this from happening DeSantis is donating his money from the bonus because he believes that money is what has caused the whole issue and that there are many people suffering who are in need of funds. The main type of evidence that is seen in DeSantis’ op-ed is the uses of personal instances he experiences while working for the company. For example, “Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.” The employees who had nothing to do with the credit default swaps and were hoping that all of their hard work on the previous months would be paid off. Also, “My guess is that in October, when you learned of these retention contracts, you realized that the employees of the financial products unit needed some incentive to stay and that the contracts, being both ethical and useful, should be left to stand.” This supports his claim because there was a contract that was held between the employees and the company, however; A.I.G. was unethical and went against the contract. This op-ed was written for the New York Times which is read by people nationwide. DeSantis’ audience for this piece is for anyone who is interested in learning more about what was going on in the companies internally during the financial crisis and the influence that the crisis had on the employees. The audience is also made up of Mr. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G. DeSantis is able to capture the readers by using a very disappointed and upset tone towards the company. By writing an open-letter DeSantis is able to connect to his readers on a personal level especially to the addressee, Mr. Liddy. In the final paragraph DeSantis specifically speaks to Mr. Liddy by sarcastically wishing him the best in his company and officially resigning. In conclusion, Jake DeSantis presents his resignation and his claim that the bonuses shouldn’t be taken from the employees in this open-letter to A.I.G.’s chief executive Mr. Liddy. And at the same time presents to the readers of the New York Times with insight as to what actually goes on in the inside of the company.