Saturday, March 14, 2009

Unbelievable: A.I.G. to pay $165 million in bonuses to genius execs in unit that wrecked the company and cost taxpayers $170 billion, so far!

There is going to be hell to pay over this story:

Despite being bailed out with more than $170 billion from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, the American International Group plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to 400 executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.

Word of the bonuses last week stirred such deep consternation inside the Obama administration that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told the firm they were unacceptable and demanded they be renegotiated, a senior administration official said. But the bonuses will go forward because lawyers said the firm was contractually obligated to pay them.

The payment of so much money at a company at the heart of the financial collapse that sent the broader economy into a tailspin almost certainly will fuel a popular backlash against the President Obama and Congress to impose tough rules on corporate executive compensation at firms bailed out with taxpayer money.

A.I.G., nearly 80 percent of which is now owned by the government, defended its bonuses to the financial products unit, arguing that they were promised last year before the crisis and cannot be legally canceled. In a letter to Mr. Geithner, Edward M. Liddy, the government-appointed chairman of A.I.G., said at least some bonuses were needed to keep the most skilled executives.

"We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses — which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” he wrote Mr. Geithner on Saturday.

Boo f%#!ing hoo. The "best and the brightest talent" destroyed the company, which has sucked up $170 billion from the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve and may yet need more. And government ownership of 80% of the company apparently doesn't count. And naturally, this story emerges on Saturday when few people are paying attention.

Here, finally, is something liberals, moderates and conservatives can agree upon: not another nickel to A.I.G. unless and until it finds a way to cancel or recoup these "bonuses." Not a nickel!

Are you as pissed as I am? Post a comment.


  1. Sickening. I am so tired of this mess. It's turns my stomach. Let them go. The are definitely not the best and the brightest talent in running the business, but in Ruining the Business.


  2. WTF?!?!? The company effectively failed. No company = no bonus. They should be thrilled to have a job let alone a salary.

  3. "Attract and retain."

    Who would be attracted to a failing business?

    Why would you want to retain those who helped the business fail? (If they're that good, then let them seek comparable positions elsewhere. Merill Lynch maybe!?)


  4. This latest news is so sickening, I want to puke!! The "Best and the Brightest"??? Give me a break!! These people were instrumental in AIG's collapse. The "Greedier and the Greediest" sounds about right! Somehow, some way I'm going to get something for myself.
    How about a middle class coup or revolution?!?
    I'm so damn sick of this country/government and their supreme financial stupidity and arrogance!!

  5. "Too big to let fail"!? Try too important to let fail.

    For all intensive purposes, AIG should be a history lesson right now. But instead, some very powerful and influential people have kept that sinking ship afloat for their own personal benefit. If I heard correctly this morning, congressional pensions are managed (financed) by AIG.

    Can there be any wonder?