Back in 2007, we were all living in our 8-bedroom homes paid for with adjustable rate mortgages. And AIG’s Financial Products unit was selling credit-default swaps like there was no tomorrow. Then we all woke up in our parents’ basements with no job and AIG was owned by the taxpayers. But Joseph Cassano, the former head of said Financial Products division, thinks he could have done a better job of bailing out the banking industry he helped lead to ruin.
$182.3 billion is a hefty tab to pay off, but the CEO of AIG says he feels “pretty comfortable” that his company will be able to get that all back to the government between now and the Sept. 2013 deadline.
Kenneth Feinberg, better known as the Obama administration’s pay czar, announced yesterday that he’d cut salaries on top executives at 5 companies that are still using bailout cash.
In a move designed to make sure their neighbors throw extra eggs at their houses, a handful of former AIG employees are threatening to sue because they haven’t received bonuses as quickly as they had expected.
It’s time for the annual round of outrage at the fact that the people who wrecked the economy are getting huge bonuses.
The huge salaries and bonuses paid to executives of banks and other firms that received government bailout funds have been the subject of a lot of taxpayer rage. The Obama administration listened, and will order pay cuts.
Not content with just one Worst Company in America victory, AIG is going for back-to-back titles by trying to give out $198 million in bonuses in March.
Under government pressure — and by “pressure” we mean asking meekly in a very soft voice — companies that have received funding from the taxpayer-funded TARP program have outlined the controls they plan to put in place to limit “luxury expenditures.” And — surprise! — the definition of “luxury” is very different for the corporate titans spending your money. While most big banks have put at least some limits on personal use of corporate jets, many seem to echo Bank of America‘s policies on official use, which state that that execs can use private planes for “safety and efficiency reasons,” no advance approval required.
Big news! AIG, poster child of the economic meltdown, has reported a profit. The company says it had a net income for the second quarter of $1.8 billion, which is much better than in 2008 when it lost $5.8 billion. So, how much did we-the-people get for our investment? $1.5 billion.
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.”
We put AIG’s Worst Company in American 2009 award in the mail today. Here is the congratulatory letter that accompanied their prize:
Congratulations to AIG for beating Comcast in this year’s final.
This is it, folks. The Final Deathmatch is here. To reach the final round AIG defeated #32 Target, #17 Peanut Corporation of America, #9 Walmart, and #5 Ticketmaster. Comcast had an equally impressive showing, waltzing past formidable opponents such as #30 DirecTV, #14 Capital One, #11 GM, and finally, last year’s returning champion #2 Bank of America (Countrywide, Merrill Lynch) went down in an upset last night.
So, remember those bonuses everyone was so mad about? Well, it turns out that they were bigger than originally disclosed. A lot bigger.
A loathed entertainment monopoly? Or an economy-wrecking out-of-control insurance company? Which do you hate more?
Here we go people: It’s the Final Countdown. Let’s hear it for the last four companies standing.