Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Devaluing Our Own Investment

In my mind, the sign of a good article is that it sticks with you. The first time you read it maybe you thought it was moderately interesting, but then you find yourself repeating it’s points to other folks. That’s what I’ve been doing with Joe Nocera’s New York Times piece about the government pounding on AIG (two Nocera references in one week … whoa). The kicker of the article comes in this paragraph:

In other words, it is in the taxpayers’ best interest to position A.I.G. as a company with many profitable units, worth potentially billions, and one bad unit that needs to be unwound. Which, by the way, is the truth. But as Mr. Ely puts it, “the indiscriminate pounding that A.I.G. is taking is destroying the value of the company.” Potential buyers are wary. Customers are going elsewhere. Employees are looking to leave. Treating all of A.I.G. like Public Enemy No. 1 is a pretty dumb way for a majority shareholder to act when he hopes to sell the company for top dollar.

Yeah, that kind of sucks. Related: American Grandstand on The Daily Show.

March 25, 2009