A hush fell over the AIG conference room on the day that their Worst Company in America 2009 trophy was unveiled. The eyes of every executive in the room sparkled with just a bit of pride. “Well done, everyone,” said the man at the head of the table. “But we mustn’t rest on our gilded-feces laurels. It’s time to begin our work for next year’s competition.”
That’s how I imagine the meeting went where AIG decided to award more bonuses to executives next week.
You may recall that their previous round of bonuses were wildly unpopular with the public. This next round are actually bonuses delayed from 2008, seeing how 2008 was such a banner year for AIG.
In November, AIG’s top seven executives, including Chairman Edward M. Liddy, agreed to forgo their bonuses through 2009. Then, in March, facing pressure from Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and other government officials, the company restructured its corporate bonus plans for the remaining top 50 executives. As part of this agreement, the senior executives were to receive half their 2008 bonuses — which totaled $9.6 million — in the spring, with another quarter disbursed on July 15 and the rest on Sept. 15. The last two payments would depend on whether the company made progress in revamping its business and paying back bailout money to taxpayers.
AIG plans to run the bonuses by Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration’s compensation czar. Even though they don’t technically need to. Maybe they’re afraid of more taxpayers with torches if they don’t.
AIG Seeks Clearance For More Bonuses [Washington Post]
(Photo: me and the sysop)