Time Magazine’s March 30, 2009 issue’s front cover says it all– a lighted cluster bomb with an AIG label pasted on it is set at the center contrasting the whiteness of the paper where it had been printed and the tag printed in red bold fonts saying, “The Bailout Bomb,” which implies the overpowering effect of the company’s unperceived instability on the lives of many people not just in America but all throughout the world.
The cover story written by Saporito and titled, “How AIG became Too Big To Fail,” provides a clearer explanation on the irony. In this article instead of a whole photo of a towering 66-storey art Deco building and considered the fifth tallest building in New York (The AIG Building, n. d. ), only a snapshot of AIG’s level ground structure with doors flung open and two most probably employees of said company who have just stepped out of the building, have been captured to highlight the story.
As a whole, the article, although it leaves room for the reader to decided whether or not to empathize with AIG’s predicament, is indirectly warning its readers of the ill effects of having to trust insurance companies even one that has been backed by the government and had been flourishing for years, such as AIG. Saporito explains using hard facts (statistics, AIG’s historical and financial data, and direct quotations from respected personalities) to appeal to his reader’s intellect.
Secondly, the fact that the printed medium into which his ideas were presented was the Time Magazine, one of the most trusted sources of information, makes his article more credible and significant. Thirdly, his article was not just based on mere opinion but rather it exposes previously disputed topics related to AIG’s present predicament (i. e. US Secretary of Finance Tim Geithner’s approval of the release of $30 billion on March 02, 2009 to help salvage AIG [par 1], AIG’s awarding of $160 million in retention bonuses to its employees eight days later, presumably to keep them from leaving the company [par 2]).
To appeal to the reader’s emotion, on the other hand, Saporito used words directly indicating instability of major characters presented to have been supporting AIG’s move to recover the company (teetering insurance giant [par 1], tense phone call referring to Geithner’s action [par 2], bigger issue has been obscured [par 3], etc). Saporito likewise express the effects of AIG’s actions (i. e. placing tax payers on the hook [par 5]).
In par 7 likewise expresses the general effect of the insurance giant’s dilemma to world economy thus making his claim more emphatic seeking to stimulate the reader’s disagreement with what the company has done in the past that placed it in a situation like this. Finally, Sapiro used credible personalities’ statements to explain his points (e. g. “Last September, with global stock markets collapsing and credit markets frozen, Geithner, then head of the New York Fed, and Bernanke believed AIG was too close to collapse to do anything other than stop the bleeding. [par 17], AIG’s CEO Liddy on the company’s status concluded, AIG has “made meaningful progress,” but the company is still at the mercy of the economy.
In the businesses it wants to keep, like commercial insurance, competitors sense an opportunity to grab market share. For the assets it wants to sell, there are few buyers. What remains is still a huge, vulnerable company. ” par 29) American Insurance Group or AIG is the largest insurance company in the world that was established in 1919 in Shanghai, China.
It is more than just an insurance company but rather a diverse business outfit that is sub-divided into four groups: general insurance, life insurance and, retirement services, financial services, and asset management. In its persistence, AIG had become one of the world’s biggest public companies, with sales of $113 billion in 2006 and 116,000 employees in 130 countries, from France to China (Saporito par 8). However, in its efforts to redeem itself when it was caught in a tight spot, it was made even more vulnerable.
Considering the effects that will ensue should the AIG be totally crippled is even worse, hence the people behind it—its incorporators as well as the government—have to do whatever it takes to make the “pain more bearable. ” The question remains, however, is it worth the cause? In general, the article makes me feel wary concerned of the insurance companies that I have known and placed my trust by buying policies from. It made me aware also that even big companies that have been established for a long time may experience uncertainties.
Hence it serves as a reminded for everyone who might be interested in getting insured to think all aspects that might affect one’s decision. Since the article is directed to the general public, especially those who are in a position and age to decide over their future, it won’t be difficult to send the message across. How the readers will accept the writer’s ideas and the facts he presented is another question though. A most fundamental reason why person would buy life insurance is that he would like to insure his family’s financial security. One decides to buy a policy not for himself but for the ones he loves.
One buys it to provide peace of mind for ourselves and a degree of certainty for his family. It can replace income for dependents; it can be used as an alternative payment for final expenses such as burial, debts, medical expenses, any estate administration cost. It can be considered as an inheritance which a person insured may pass on to his children or dependents or heirs. It can be considered a source of earnings. It can be consummated as payment for state or death taxes. Finally, with an insurance premium, once it matures or the insured is ailing may decided to have his benefit to be donated or given for charitable works or organizations.
On the negative side, a prevailing reason for not considering buying life or any other form of insurance is that it is quite complicated. One may get too confused with the different coverage that a particular company would like to offer in exchange for the insurance that one would opt to buy. A second reason would be the risk they would have to put if ever they would get one considering that there have been a number of companies, especially insurance companies that have been affected by the economic recession.
This leads us to the third reason why one hesitates in getting insured: the idea of having to trust a person (or the agent or representative) whom one will be getting the insurance, and the company that is offering the insurance since buying a policy means entrusting your hard earned money, year in an year out and on a regular basis to company that one barely has any idea what will be the status in the next few years. Just consider what is happening with AIG at the moment.