Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The (Indefensible) AIG Bonuses

Although this article is exceptionally bad as journalism, it does suggest a few things to me:
  • The bonus issue is even worse than people think - the contract calls for similar bonuses to be given next year, as well.

  • Geithner has probably known about the bonus plan from the day the government took control of AIG. Obama has probably known since he took office.

  • Recognizing how this would look to the public, Obama instructed Geithner to do something about the bonuses.

  • Working closely with Liddy and AIG, Geithner apparently chose instead to find ways ot justify the bonuses, or depict them as unavoidable.

  • There's no excuse - none - for this having been sprung on the public at the last second.

I'll take another look at it later, along with anything else that comes down the pike, to see if any of those impressions change.


  1. FALLOUT: Those who voted for the stimulus supported the law to protect AIG's Bonuses. Obama's Own Stimulus Bill Protects the AIG Bonuses He Now Condemns —


  2. Is that your new thing - to buzz by here and spam links to your blog? I'm not going to complain too much about the spamming - just try to increase the quality, okay?

    The provision you highlight is hardly a secret. Liddy openly referenced it when talking about how AIG's bonuses predated the restrictions.

    More to the point, you're just plain wrong. If you bothered to read the legislation that has you so incensed, or even the portion you quote on your own blog, you would see that the restriction pertains to executive compensation - bonuses payable "to a senior executive officer and any of the next 20 most highly-compensated employees of the TARP recipient". Most of the AIG bonuses are not directed at executives, let alone executives falling within that description. (A senior executive officer is "1 of the top 5 most highly paid executives of a public company" - so the restriction extends only to the 25 most highly paid employees.)

  3. Why aren't people rioting in the streets over this? Come on, Aaron--grab our man CWD and let's go :)

  4. Because most of the people who pay attention still have jobs; and can't afford to lose them (like teachers, lawyers, and civil servants).

    When enough of us who "know" lose our jobs and have less to lose by acting, or enough of the currently unemployed get "radicalized" . . .

    For the record, if we do start a revolution I want to get to play the "Fidel Castro" role (i.e. spend the next fifty years ruling as absolute monarch). Aaron can be the exciting young "Che" who gets to be romanticized forever . . . aka dead. : )


  5. I always pictured you as more of a... "Dear Leader".

  6. The guy who played Che in the Motorcycle Diaries was HOT! So there you go, Aaron.

    At our last dinner party, we were drunk and decided to make a fire in our backyard. I told everyone to pretend it was the revolution and we had to survive by the fire. Um, yeah. We didn't do too well. Thus, I will work on training the troops. If I do get killed in combat, kindly put up a nice memorial for me and go there every day and weep and weep and weep and scream "Patti!" at the top of your lungs. Thank you.