That's $165 million in bonus money handed out to AIG debt manipulators who may be the only ones who know how to defuse the bomb they themselves built. Now, in the scheme of things, $165 million is a rounding error.
Former AIG chief executive officer Hank Greenberg said the company under his leadership never had the kind of retention bonus system that has subjected it to withering criticism.
"When I was there, nobody had a contract with the company, including me," Greenberg said in a nationally broadcast interview Friday. "If you didn't do the job, you didn't deserve to be there. We had a bonus plan based on performance.''...
In his CBS appearance Friday, Greenberg was asked directly if he would have paid out the retention bonuses had he still been at the helm of the company. "Absolutely not," he told the interviewer.
Martin Sullivan, a native of England who had worked with AIG for 37 years, replaced Greenberg as CEO in March 2005, when Greenberg was forced out amid accusations from then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer of fraudulent accounting.
Edward Liddy, current [as I post this] Chairman and CEO of AIG wrote:To prevent undue risk exposure in the meantime, AIG has made a set of retention payments to employees based on a compensation system that prior management put in place. As has been reported, payments were made to employees in the financial products unit. Make no mistake, had I been chief executive at the time, I would never have approved the retention contracts that were put in place more than a year ago. It was distasteful to have to make these payments. But we concluded that the risks to the company, and therefore the financial system and the economy, were unacceptably high.
Bylo Selhi wrote:Maybe we should blame this all on Eliot Spitzer. Surely allowing Greenberg to cook the books would have ultimately been cheaper for all concernedMartin Sullivan, a native of England who had worked with AIG for 37 years, replaced Greenberg as CEO in March 2005, when Greenberg was forced out amid accusations from then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer of fraudulent accounting.
Connecticut, 19 other states launch AIG investigations
Twenty state attorneys general announced investigations Friday into the $165 million bonuses paid by insurance giant AIG last week, with Connecticut's top lawyer issuing subpoenas to CEO Edward Liddy and 11 other executives.
Peculiar_Investor wrote:Has it occurred to anyone, how about paying the bonus in AIG shares? A modest hold period could be required to prevent a quick flip into cash. No taxpayer money would be involved, and it would definitely provide an incentive to making sure the company survives, thus meeting the government's objectives.
Who would have thought 55 days into this administration we would be asking the question, what did he know and when did he know it? Word that a provision in the stimulus bill gave the green light for AIG to hand out bonuses using taxpayer money sent the media bloodhounds hot on the trail of whoever is the culprit. For a time, it looked like Senate Banking chairman Chris Dodd would take the fall, but after 24 hours of twisting in the wind, Dodd said the change that exempted past agreements to pay bonuses was made at the request of the administration.
President Obama likes to remind voters that he inherited a mess, and that's true, but this one is of his own making. And until he comes up with a satisfactory explanation of who did what when, and why, his credibility will suffer. Forty-eight hours ago, I didn't think Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was in trouble, but if the transaction with Dodd turns out to have Geithner's fingerprints on it, his job could be in jeopardy. The deadly chain of events may have started innocently enough, with Treasury Department lawyers raising questions about the government retroactively curtailing private-sector contracts, but did Dodd, who authored the restrictive language, capitulate to some Treasury flunky, or did someone more senior lean on him?
Mike Schimek wrote:
What a dog and pony show. Every want to be politician is hopping on the bandwagon to try to "look good" in front of an enraged public by bashing AIG.
While the American International Group comes under fire from Congress over executive bonuses, it is quietly fighting the federal government for the return of $306 million in tax payments, some related to deals that were conducted through offshore tax havens...
A.I.G. is effectively suing its majority owner, the government, which has an 80 percent stake and has poured nearly $200 billion into the insurer in a bid to avert its collapse and avoid troubling the global financial markets. The company is in effect asking for even more money, in the form of tax refunds. The suit also suggests that A.I.G. is spending taxpayer money to pursue its case, something it is legally entitled to do...
Last September the U.S. government began to dole out the first of $173 billion.....But when AIG itself pays out $165 million in bonuses -- money it is contractually obliged to pay -- the entire political system goes insane. President Barack Obama says he’s going to find a way to abrogate the contracts and take the money back. A U.S. senator says that AIG employees should kill themselves.
Maybe I'm way off the mark here, but my response to these financial innovators who are sinking the ship is this: "If you do a good job of unwinding these undesireable instruments, we will give you a reduced sentence when you go before the courts."
BONUSES????? These guys are CRIMINALS!!!! The world financial system has been in tatters, due to their unbridled greed!!!!!
As usual, the media got it wrong. Republican Sen. Grassley represents Iowa, not Mass. His outburst was hysterical, hyperbolic and histrionic[url=http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=atlHxXH7FweQ&refer=home]
Mass Hysteria...[/url]A U.S. senator says that AIG employees should kill themselves.
lystgl wrote:The Democrats are leaderless and useless. They'll have done more damage to the US, it's economy and stature in the first 100 days than GW did in eight years. Punitive taxation specifically targeting a group of people of all things! These Congressmen should be impeached never mind whether these AIG bastards get a thing or not. If a retroactive tax targeting a group or company is deemed legal, the rest of the world will avoid the US like the plague. Rule of law, rights of individuals - gone, all gone taken away by the likes of Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Frank, four dumber / dishonest people you could not find if you scoured the world. And Obama, not even voting his ubiquitous "present" in this mess. AWOL
So Mike....is corporate exec capitalism less evil than union capitalism?
Okay Mike, I may have sounded a little over the top, but you catch my drift. Perhaps the employees who took the bonuses and ran might be a starting point for investigation!
Mike Schimek wrote:What freaks me out somewhat is how all these politicians are so eager to find a way around a legally binding contract; like they view a contract or law as a minor inconvenience.
they are just groups of people that get together to exploit others.
If a bunch of corp execs don't do the job the shareholders want them to be doing, they get fired.
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