Friday, July 10, 2009

Should AIG Execs Get More Bonusus?

The public, I think it's safe to say, is pretty incensed over yet another round of bonuses for AIG executives.

After all, we the taxpayers, including those among us who are now out of work, are footing the bailout bill for AIG. So it means our money is being used to pay those executives who screwed up so badly that the U.S. Treasury had to fund the giantinvestment and insurance company to keep it afloat.

But contractually, AIG must pay bonuses to these execs. I heard someone on CNN today say that it's "not that much" - only about $60,000 on the average per executive. Well, maybe to the government that's "not that much." And maybe to most of those execs it's "not that much." But to the average American, that's a significant amount of money.

The Washington Post is reporting that AIG is in discussions with one of President Obama's many "czars" - in this case the "compensation czar" over what to do about some $250 million in bonuses that the company's executives are expecting. Problem is, as it was also explained on CNN, the government lacks the authority to block the handouts. So why are they meeting? Apparently, according to the Post, to give the company the political cover to payout the bonuses.

I said back when the enabling legislation flew through Congress that they were in such a rush in Washington to hand out bailout money to keep these important Wall Street firms afloat that they didn't do their due diligence. Which, in this case, should have meant giving the government the authority to nix bonuses whenever a company takes taxpayer's money like this.

Hopefully, thanks to the public outcry, that message isn't lost on the folks in Washington in case there's another round of bailout money going out the door.

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