AIG Asks Federal Permission To Pay $2.4 Million In Executive Bonuses

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)

Comments

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  1. dragonfire81 says:

    Dear AIG,

    FUCK YOU.

    Sincerely,

    American Taxpayers.

    • Zclyh3 says:

      @dragonfire81:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. LOL.

    • GuinevereRucker says:

      @dragonfire81: While I share your anger toward AIG, I believe it to be misplaced.

      Remember that AIG, just like any other capitalistic company, exists to profit and grow. Honestly I don’t blame AIG for taking free money with no strings attached. I don’t even blame them for giving extravagant bonuses. Sure, the system is messed up, but it’s a *corporation*, and this isn’t the first company to act like this.

      I blame the people that GAVE AIG THE MONEY IN THE FIRST PLACE. I can’t understand why people rail at AIG so much and fail to question the actions of the Congress who shelled out billions of dollars of our money for nothing. THAT is who I’m mad at.

      Let’s direct our anger to the right entity, people.

      • takes_so_little says:

        @GuinevereRucker: Yeah congress effed up, but AIG ought to be on an austerity budget after needing tax dollars to stay in business instead of giving bonuses to people who helped to run it into the ground. Sorry, but we taxpayers get to be pissed. So yeah, FUCK AIG.

      • craptastico says:

        @GuinevereRucker: you’re incorrect in that AIG hasn’t been GIVEN anything. they’ve been LENT money, and it’s expected to be repaid with interest. Right now AIG is having a fire sale of their businesses in order to pay the government.

        • Paul Carr says:

          @craptastico: AIG will sorta repay the government. It is a loan that they kinda have to repay and there is no interest. Just look to the auto industry bailouts of the 1970′s for wonderful examples of how our government gets repaid. Remember they always have to “to big to fail” card to play. Also even if through some act of god they did repay the government, the tax payers are definitely not going to see a penny of it, ever.

          Is there AIG stock in your portfolio after the bailout? No. You do not own any part of that company.

          • craptastico says:

            @Paul Carr: If the gov’t is repaid, and the taxpayers never see that money (which you’re prob right here) than that’s really an issue with the gov’t spending the money. ideally the money they printed would be taken out of circulation once it’s repaid.

      • Con Seannery says:

        @GuinevereRucker: And you…you get a heart click because I perfectly agree with that comment.

    • MooseOfReason says:

      @dragonfire81: No “Fuck you” to Congress for bailing them out in the first place?

      Wouldn’t it be a great “fuck you” to let AIG go bankrupt?

      • The Black Bird says:

        @MooseOfReason: It would be even better if those responsible for the problems were sent to jail for the rest of their sorry existence.

      • craptastico says:

        @MooseOfReason: so you want the government, and by extension the American taxpayer, to lose their investment? not very bright. Personally I’d prefer AIG stay in business and repay the gov’t within two years as is currently planned, but if you’d rather lose money out of spite than that’s up to you.

        • bmorg003 says:

          @craptastico: AIG and their buddies at Wall Street have come to expect the bonuses regardless of how the company, or they themselves, actually perform. Really, the whole pay system (for executives) really needs to be redone from the ground up. If you’ve got managers doing a great job, but the CEO is running the company into the ground, then their bonus should come from the CEO pay/perks, and the CEO should not get a “golden parachute” but a foot in the ass out the door like any other employee who didn’t do their job. If these guys are sinking the company, then they don’t deserve raises/bonuses and sure as hell don’t want to retain their services. If they think the grass is greener elsewhere, then let them go… (in this job market) they may actually learn to appreciate the fact that they have a job and learn to make some sacrifices like the auto workers did. Also, why were the auto workers asked to make sacrifices as conditions of their loans, but these Wall Street guys are basically loaned the money with no conditions and then they have the nerve to complain that they aren’t getting bonuses. I have my 401K with AIG and believe me, I want them to succeed just as much, or more, than anyone else here, but to ask for bonuses in this job market after you basically ran your company into the ground and almost took the whole financial system with it? That takes some brass balls. Two years is not that long to ask people to wait for their bonus (after repaying the loans), and it’s not like there are lots of other jobs out there giving big bonuses.

        • The Black Bird says:

          @craptastico: Do you HONESTLY believe that AIG is going to pay ANYTHING back? The scenario I see is that they will find some way to weasel out of repayment through some lie or loophole.

    • The Black Bird says:

      @dragonfire81: Let me add a DOUBLE FUCK YOU, AIG along with a TRIPLE FUCK YOU to all of the people who are getting those bonuses. I hope of of you are very proud of yourselves for stealing from our families. May whatever is left of your souls go straight to hell.

    • zjgz says:

      @dragonfire81: I propose a solution as to what we should do with the AIG Executives

    • KichiGuy says:

      @dragonfire81: My girlfriend was getting $25 a month taken directly out of her bank account by AIG. This happened for 3 months, then she found out, went to the bank, and got the bank to write some note to AIG to repay her. This is just one annoyance for me these days concerning entities ripping people off, and/or doing something immoral/illegal.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        @KichiGuy: I suspect AIG will simply make “token” repayments for years and years (waiting until the recession is past and the public at large isn’t wanting them burned at the stake) and eventually they will either come up with a loophole to get out of paying or work a group of politicians to forgive their loans.

  2. bennilynn says:

    It occurs to me, as I poke my fork into my sad bowl of medium-grain rice and black beans, that these people are completely out of touch. Ok, this isn’t news to me, or anyone for that matter, but for Merlin’s sake, this is ridiculous. It boggles my mind, and I’m afraid it’s so boggled that I’ve pretty much the reached the extent to which I can contribute to this discussion.

  3. Shoelace says:

    They’re just providing extra proof that they deserved to win the turd. Great job guys.

    • The Black Bird says:

      @Shoelace: They should have been sent the real stuff!

    • Con Seannery says:

      @Shoelace: How so? For coming through on a contractual obligation and paying executives for their service, many of whom head profitable divisions and had nothing to do with the trouble they’re in?

      • trujunglist says:

        @Con Seannery:

        At my company, if one division is failing, I would absolutely expect another division head to not only know about it, but to try and correct the problem. Why? Because it affects the companies bottom line, and will ultimately affect my bottom line. You could propose that they were different arms, but those arms are on the same body. If the body dies, sorry, but so do the arms. There is no doubt that the heads of these so-called profitable divisions knew what was happening and failed to act on it. And it doesn’t matter anyway, because if it worked like you suggest, than it would be AIG Profitable Inc. and AIG Semi-Profitable Inc. and AIG Not-Profitable Inc. and AIG Stupid Moron Inc. not just AIG.

        • Con Seannery says:

          @trujunglist: Not really, no. Do you have authority outside of your department? Sure, they could go over the other department head to the next level, but they likely have a full plate with their own division. And different divisions can operate under the same flag.

        • Jaynor says:

          @trujunglist: Your company likely has one or two core products or competences.

          AIG is like a clearing-house of financial and insurance products. Assuming that the guy who runs say the company plans division for life insurance can understand or do anything about the guy who heads up the “sell everyone’s butts up the river” exotic insurance division is kind of like assuming that a aeronautics engineer could automatically identify issues with architectural plans for a condo building… maybe they could, given the will and research time to peice it together… but if they were spending enough time to figure it out they wouldn’t be able to do their own work.

  4. ngc6027 says:

    Since when has AIG cared about anyone but themselves? They wouldn’t be in this much trouble in the first place had they cared about their stockholders, and they continue to screw the taxpayers over so they can go home with more money. I know I’m spewing the same old stuff, but I mean, at what point is the line drawn? Something definitive needs to be done quickly before there’s a riot.

  5. Geblah187 says:

    In the words of Ronald Reagan:

    “Here we go again”

  6. Atheist Jew says:

    Business Executives do exactly WHAT to earn all of this god damned money? Seriously, I want to know why their jobs require them to be paid these absolutely ridiculous salaries for doing what, as far as I can tell, is a job a monkey can do. They’re paper pushers, are they not? Accountants? Lawyers? They keep track of numbers, push around excel documents, and probably own a large percentage of stock in the company, right?

    What does any of that have to do with them earning this much money?

    • Mecharine says:

      @Atheist Jew: They’re usually paid for their connections and not necessarily their performance. Look at Siemens AG. Up till the last few years they were bribing government officials with BILLIONS of dollars worth of kickbacks. Its the connections, otherwise you wont know who to bribe. You gotta pay the well-connected to keep bribing.

    • Con Seannery says:

      @Atheist Jew: Many of those executives head up profitable arms of AIG. They make many of the decisions that allow said arms to be profitable.

    • ShanghaiLil says:

      @Atheist Jew: From today’s Washington Post: “But of greater concern to both sides is what to do about the vastly larger sum that comes due in March 2010, when AIG is scheduled to pay more than $200 million in bonuses aimed at retaining executives at AIG Financial Products, the unit whose complex derivative contracts nearly wrecked the insurance giant last fall.”

  7. Jan Scholl says:

    Everyone NEEDS to read [www.vanityfair.com] an incredible article in Vanity Fair this monthon AIG. This follows a 3 part look at Bernie Madoff, another expose last month on Sanford, and even a “whoa is me” diatribe on the property owners in the Hamptons. All people out of touch with the real world. The best reporting is not on the tube or in your dailies (or what is left of them) but online.

  8. Mackinstyle says:

    That was pure gold, Laura.

  9. Girtych says:

    @GuinevereRucker:

    Be that as it may, AIG is still giving the big fat middle finger to the American public by even daring to ask for excessive executive bonuses in the middle of an economic crisis. They deserve a big chunk of the blame too.

    • Con Seannery says:

      @Girtych: But what part of those bonuses stems from a contractual obligation, like the ones before this? Also, $2.4mil isn’t too much for a company that size, not to mention many divisions of it are still profitable, with the execs of those divisions deserving bonuses. Rather than swallowing the hype on this and attacking AIG, why not give the situation some thought? If anything, let’s go after Congress for paying excessive salaries during a time when we have the highest national debt in history.

  10. Steve Duane says:

    @Girtych: How do you know they’re excessive? Maybe these executives earn 5% commission on new accounts and this $2.4 million payout is the result of $48 million in new business they drummed up. The article has no details on the nature of the bonuses or who specifically they are going to so your accusation is completely baseless. Like it or not we’ve got a stake in seeing this company return to profitability and that means appropriate incentives need to be provided to the people who can make that happen.

  11. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Aren’t bonuses tied to performance? It seems to me these turds should be getting invoices, not checks.

    Let AIG fail.

  12. JeanStork says:

    Some of those people deserve their bonuses for business they pulled into AIG… Blame your US Gov’t for giving them the money…

  13. KeepingTheForeName_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Wow. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t I hear something about the current administration blocking or attempting to block legislation that would enact retroactive limits on executive compensation, which in turn, allowed these bonuses?

    • jh says:

      @KeepingTheForeName_GitEmSteveDave: Say it ain’t so. It’s not Barack’s fault. It couldn’t be. Clearly it’s the greedy fat cats at AIG.

      • Con Seannery says:

        @jh: Right. Obama could NEVER do anything that would result in money flowing into the pockets of PEOPLE. That’s against his views. He’s a proponent of trickle-up poverty.

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      @KeepingTheForeName_GitEmSteveDave: It did, because in the end, it amounted to “yeah, we dont like these people, so we’ll retroactively block their bonuses.”

      It would have been the easy thing to do, but hardly the right thing.

      And it would have pissed off all the free market libertarians the most.

  14. NotChoinski says:

    Here’s an idea for ya: how about a “Best Company in America” competition? I’d be very curious as to who is out there doing good; it seems too easy to pile on to what we don’t like. If this went on for a few years, it would also be interesting to see who’s improving or declining.

    • Prole says:

      @NotChoinski: I think other publications/news organizations have this covered. See Money Magazine or Fortune.

      • NotChoinski says:

        @Prole: Is it voted on by the consumer? The same consumers that read this site? I’d like to see what Consumerist readers think.

        • Prole says:

          @NotChoinski: You’ve got a point there. This has merit.

          Who would *we* vote as the best?

          I’d go with Barley’s Smokehouse out of Columbus OH. Amazing microbrews!

          As far as a company you guys might be familiar with… for some reason I can’t come up with anything.

          umm

          I had a stellar experience with Enterprise Car Rentals, I guess.

  15. Blueskylaw says:

    NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–There’s a significant chance that American International Group Inc.’s (AIG) equity may be worthless, a Citigroup analyst said Thursday. (7/9/09)
    Analyst Joshua Shanker wrote in a research note that there’s a 70% chance that AIG’s equity is worthless due to more losses on credit default swaps, and “management’s increased openness to disposing of businesses at low valuations.”
    An AIG spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available to comment.
    AIG shares have lost more than half their value since the stock underwent a reverse stock split at the end of June.

    So AIG did a reverse split, the executives probably got rid of their stock right after that, then they probably shorted the hell out of the stock to help recoup their losses.
    It must be nice to be the one pulling the strings instead of being the marionette.

  16. Prole says:

    So, please don’t flame me too badly for this question, but what happens if these executives were to just quit? If they said “No pay? No work. Peace!” Who runs the taxpayer investment then? Do we just trot out another sucker to work for a buck and fend off the taxpayer torches and pitchforks? Is Ed Liddy the first in a long line of suckers who had the misfortune to say “yes” when asked to oversee the AIG mess?

    • Smashville says:

      @Prole: No bonus is a lot different than no pay. A bonus implies that something is being done above and beyond to require extra incentive.

      • Prole says:

        @Smashville: As I understood it, the executive pay is low and is supplemented by bonus checks regardless of performance. Why this pay scheme was adopted is beyond me, but it seems to be par for the course for most companies.

      • Con Seannery says:

        @Smashville: Usually bigtime execs work for little outright pay and really big bonuses…

    • NotChoinski says:

      @Prole:

      Who runs the taxpayer investment then

      I suspect it would be someone who would be interested in seeing the taxpayer investment succeed. All too often corporations are run by people more interested in the short-term performance of the company stock or quarterly profit (because that is their true source of compensation) than the long term prosperity and quality of the company or the product produced.

      • Con Seannery says:

        @NotChoinski: You forget that the seasoned, experienced execs are most likely who you want leading a big company, not Joe the Plumber who’s pissed at what’s going on.

    • morlo says:

      @Prole: If the government is backing all of AIG’s insurance claims, there is no reason for AIG to exist anyway. Any administration can be picked up by the SEC, IRS, etc., and I’m those bureaucrats would enjoy a little work for a change to kill the boredom.

    • aikimann says:

      @Prole: I’m a bit with Prole on this one.

      Talent goes where the money is. Refusing to pay a competitive wage for a job is the same as saying, “You know, we’d really like to get someone in here who can turn this company around, someone adept and capable with a proven track record of accomplishing such things. So let’s hire someone mediocre.”

      Don’t let wealth envy cloud your judgment. If you really want AIG to turn around and perform for the consumers, then you want someone capable running the show.

      • NotChoinski says:

        @aikimann:

        Talent goes where the money is.
        executive pay is low and is supplemented by bonus checks regardless of performance.

        Except in this case the system is broken. Talent does not seem to be arbiter of compensation. Its like a restauraunt that adds a non-negotiable gratuity to your bill even if the service was terrible.

      • Con Seannery says:

        @aikimann: Wealth envy? Wealth ENVY? Buddy, I hate to break it to you but this country has, for the majority of people (unfortunately, because it’s a ridiculously stupid view) moved on to wealth HATRED. If you have money, you obviously don’t deserve it and screwed people out of everything they had to get it. If you don’t oppose taxing the rich until they take their money and leave, taxing businesses until they close up and head to a friendlier place, then you must be one of those evil people who have this “money.”

    • razremytuxbuddy says:

      @Prole: If all of those executives quit, I think we’d be much, much better off. There are no doubt, scads of intelligent, underpaid underlings in the company who are willing to take on a management role just to show they can do it right. They can’t do any worse than the executives who think they deserve taxpayer-subsidized bonuses for crashing the company into the ground. That is one company who badly needs to cleanse its culture, and nixing the bonuses would be a promising start.

  17. vdragonmpc says:

    I am sure that there are plenty of ‘fast track mbas’ who are fresh out of college and who are unemployed that could work at AIG for maybe 100k a year and be happy. Heck give em a 10k bonus.

    These scum are nothing. I have worked with and seen this kind of good ol boy crap. They play golf and sit around yakkin on the phone acting like they work. Its a game. Once they are in they just park. What positive impact have any of them caused? Any new additions or “wow he saved the company” folks?

    Just look at HP and GM for inspiration.

    V

    • CumaeanSibyl says:

      @vdragonmpc: Plenty of experienced business professionals out of work too, all over the country. Wall Street needs to start outsourcing to poorer regions where the cost of living is a lot lower and many people have been unemployed for a long time — they could pick up some absolute bargains.

  18. r0bVious says:

    Most (if not all) of these bonuses are tied to contractual obligations that companies MUST obey. Because it’s in a legally-binding contract. In one of the most litigious countries on the planet. You follow?

    The “Golden Parachute” is in existence so it helps execs take risks they wouldn’t usually take in such a place. Risk v. Reward is the overarching idea in business. If you were making 700k a year, and you had the option of taking a risk that may end up getting you voted out of your position, would you want to take that risk? Probably not, unless you knew that if failures would abound because of it, you’d still get a nice parting gift.

    Yawn.

    Sometimes I wish I was part of the “typical American populace”, and didn’t actually think these things out, so I could get real angry and post on Consumerist about how no one cares about the average American individual anymore.

    • Prole says:

      @r0bVious: Is it really so bad that the populace is angry and asking hard questions? I think it’s great!

      There may be some seed of truth to what you say regarding golden parachutes, but it’s not a bad thing to be risk averse. Actually, you make an argument for the *typical American* as you, in so many words, state that if these golden parachutes hadn’t existed then these executives wouldn’t have made these terrible investment risks.

      Can we go ahead and be angry about that now? Please?

    • oneandone says:

      @r0bVious: These bonuses exist because we persist in believing that people in finance-related jobs are so special that they get to define their compensation with absolutely no relation to how much their work is actually worth. Not even by market-based standards.

      I don’t think anyone currently is talking about Golden Parachutes, but they fit into the same category of ‘things we let executives do that very few other people get to enjoy’. Why do we let them do it? Why so much over-compensation? My hunch is they’re making the rules that everyone gets paid by, so obviously they pay themselves the most. The only rules they don’t make are the regulations, and when the regulations are the weakest, executives & non-executives in financial sectors make the most.

      And it’s absolutely over-compensation. There’s a great academic article outlining methodology for determining that here:

      [people.virginia.edu]

      From the abstract: Our
      analysis also shows that wages in finance were excessively high around 1930 and from
      the mid 1990s until 2006. For the recent period we estimate that rents
      [compensation above market price for salaries] accounted for
      30% to 50% of the wage differential between the financial sector and the rest of the
      private sector.

      Sometimes I wish I was part of the “typical American populace” and actually put things into a wider perspective, so I could understand when someone was just being short-sighted. Oh wait, I am.

    • bmorg003 says:

      @r0bVious: Congratulations, may I be the first to say you are part of the “typical American populace.”

      The risks are there for a reason, and mitigating these risks and reinforcing quick short-term gains for big bonuses has led us to the type of “Casino Capitalism” that we have today. The system is broken, and making excuses and apologizing for the failure of the system and these people will not help fix the problems. The pay schemes of tying bonuses to pay are broken and outdated. In today’s job market (double-digit real unemployment), if they have a good stable job, they should be happy, and they should be thrilled that they weren’t forced to make the concessions that the autoworkers had to make in exchange for the federal loans. It’s not a cut-and-dry situation, and I do want them to succeed, but you also have to look at the bigger picture, asking them to wait for the bonuses until the company is in a better financial position is not unreasonable, and tying bonuses to pay/contracts really defeats the purpose of having a bonus in the firs place…

      • Con Seannery says:

        @bmorg003: I can’t argue that the “your pay is in the form of bonuses, you WILL get a bonus…” idea is a good one, because it sucks. But these bonuses ARE legally required to be payed out as part of the contract. AIG is doing nothing wrong here. It’s stupid that they AREN’T in the wrong on this, but the fact is, THEY AREN’T.

        • trujunglist says:

          @Con Seannery:

          Who gives a fuck if they aren’t wrong and are legally obligated to fulfill these ridiculous contracts? They’re still assholes and deserve to be questioned, drilled, chastised, and blocked at every point possible. You don’t fuck with 299 million people and expect everyone to just walk away holding hands or something. Sometimes laws are unjust, and this is a case of that.

          • Con Seannery says:

            @trujunglist: Who gives a fuck if the IRS isn’t wrong and I’m legally obligated to pay my taxes? They’re still assholes and deserve to be questioned, drilled, chastised, and blocked at every point possible. You don’t fuck with 307 million people end expect to just walk away holding hands or something. Sometimes laws are unjust, and this is a case of that.

    • CumaeanSibyl says:

      @r0bVious: Typical Americans are investing for the long term — retirement — not for unstable short-term gains that might get wiped out in a year. If you risk getting voted out of your position for doing something, then maybe you shouldn’t do that.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        @r0bVious: There’s definately a contract but is there a contract because the executive’s being told to take a particular risk as in be really aggressive with LIMITED resources OR be the fall guy in a no-win or perhaps even illegal if not unethical situation ?

        But as an executive in a leadership take reponsibility situation don’t they have an obligation to the company,shareholders and customers to say WHOA if something is reckless/negligent irreguardless of their contract(payoff or hush money). Wouldn’t being an executive superceed their contracts ? Almost all companies and corporations have some sort of code of conduct even if for PR so wouldn’t there be a legal technicality that would allow them to be an executive or just a good employee ? .If they didn’t follow that code of conduct or even job description(if there is one in AIG’s case) wouldn’t that be a loophole not to pay them the bonuses since the taxpayer is part owner/defacto employer now ?

  19. Gokuhouse says:

    I’m sorry but when you make an executive’s salary you do not need a bonus IMO. Most executives make at least 250K/year. That’s 5 times what I make, guess what???? I am NOT going to receive a bonus for 2009. There is no way anyone high up should get one. I can understand wanting to help out the poorer people in the company, but to practially beg to pay big bonuses to the ones that make the most??? Stupid

    • Con Seannery says:

      @Gokuhouse: The top-level execs have an extremely low salary, they’d make more flipping burgers. Their pay is in the form of contractually obligated bonuses. Stupid, yes, but that’s how it is.

  20. razremytuxbuddy says:

    Great job painting the scene in the AIG conference room!

    I’m posting a comment just because I think I should. I’ve already said everything I know to say about how bad AIG is, and how they are ripping us all off instead of selling themselves off like they promised us taxpayers they would do. But as long as they keep shoving the gift of our money in our face, rather than doing what they said they’d do with it, we need to express outrage. So I am. Right here. AIG needs to go away. Who and where are the people who are supposed to be making sure that happens?

  21. Skin Art Squared says:

    At this stage, does it really matter any more? Make it an even $3 mil.

  22. jtheletter says:

    Dear AIG,

    We hear you’ve found some more cash somewhere, about $2.4 million. Funny story, you still owe us a couple billion so just drop it in the mail and we’ll take it off your bill since you obviously have nothing useful to spend it on.

    Thanks,
    US Taxpayers (The reason you still exist at all.)

  23. psm321 says:

    I don’t get the “they deserve the bonuses” commenters on here. So the unions (UAW) fight hard for a living wage and decent benefits, and they’re supposedly the downfall of the automakers (when the real problem is with management). But wall street bankers that lead us into this mess “deserve” millions in bonuses?

    • psm321 says:

      @psm321: I forgot to mention, those benefits were also in the supposedly sacred almighty “contract”, but were forced to be renegotiated. BUt when it’s executive “contractual” bonuses, those are set in stone?

      • Con Seannery says:

        @psm321: Apples to architecture, man. $2.4m is nothing to these companies, and it is the entirety of the pay of the executives who are leading the company out of this hole (well, are supposed to be, anyways…). It’s a stupid system, but that’s the way it works. The benefits in the union contracts were renegotiated because those were a real amount to the automakers. Think of it this way. Do you go through the trouble to renegotiate the contract if, of your annual budget for you (not AIG, but you, as a person) it only comes out to a couple of bucks? Say, $5, $10…

  24. Deranged_Kitsune says:

    Considering my whole company used the economic crisis as an excuse to weasel to get out of raises for pretty much everyone in my whole building this year, I can only hope those greedy bastards burn in hell sooner rather than later.

    Sure, they weren’t directly responsible for my circumstances. But if I veritably bust my butt at my job, and have the metrics to prove it, and am told “too bad, so sad” when it comes to a raise that I earned, then there’s no reason people who earn 100-1000X what I do normally can’t also do without.

  25. ElizabethD says:

    This seriously makes me want to puke.

    Oh wait. Capitalism is all good, right? (See Michael Moore thread.)

  26. MissPiss says:

    Aagghh!!! I hate everything!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’m ready and willing to let them quit and I’ll take their job! I certainly couldn’t do any worse. Why get paid bonus fro running your company into the ground. I can do that too. And I won’t need a bonus, just their grossly inflated salary.
    If they went bankrupt their compensation contracts would be worthless anyway. With the Gv’t bailout they should be classified as worthless as well. Let ‘em quit! I’ll be sending in my resume.

  28. u1itn0w2day says:

    On one hand alot of these alledged executives had these bonuses in their contracts . But on the other how the heck did they make their bonus if the company had to saved from bankruptcy by a third party US and crashed the stock price for shareholders . You mean to tell me that a gaggle of government lawyers can’t find an actual legal loophole ?

    Even more troubling is that these bonuses are for EXECUTIVES – someone who is supposed to be in charge of something in a leadership position . You mean to tell me that no one was incharge while they were playing with CDOs & ARMs at record levels . Or you mean to tell me that someone in a leadership position didn’t have the guts,ability or authority to stand up and say this isn’t going to work or this is too risky ? If these are executives recieving these bonuses they sure as heck didn’t act like them over the last several years in particular . No executive decisions here .

    But I’ll make an executive decision – NO BONUSES FOR YOU

  29. Datacloud says:

    I’m a bit naive in all of this, mostly because I’m way too busy with my life to be anything but remotely aware of every thing that is going on with this fiasco, as it pertains to AIG specifically. My question is: What can I, or any of you for that matter, do about this? What’s the best way to protest this debacle? It’s not complaining on a comments thread, so I’m curious…

    Do I contact my senators and/or representatives?

    Is there any way I can ensure that absolutely none of my money ever gets placed into an AIG coffer?

    I’m not concerned about this “golden parachute” or any higher moral or ethical order of things. I only know that AIG represents all that is wrong with the marriage of money and power in this country.

    I’m willing to take action. I can take up to an hour out of my day to perform an act of protest, however small and insignificant that may be, because I do not subscribe to the Nirvana Fallacy.

    So I ask all of you: Any ideas on how I might do this?

  30. From the cubicle of PGibbons says:

    Taxpayers only saved AIG because they were the insurer of Goldman Sachs’ gambling debt. Period.

    What’s a few million bucks for Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson’s water carriers anyway? A drop in the bucket.

  31. DivaRiley says:

    Perhaps the US taxpayers should get their bonus first, in the form of repayment on the ridiculous aid AIG has received.