Sunday, March 15, 2009

AIG Exec = Greatest Gig Evar?!?

You've just spent the past year ethering your company stock from an all-time high of $100/share to less than the price of a pack of Bubblicious. You needed the gubb'ment to come in and bail you out of your fiscal irresponsibility. Your corporate image is already reeling from that stupid post-bailout retreat where you were busted spending tens of thousands on happy endings massages and assorted caucasian craziness.

So what do you do to celebrate this year of misfortune? Why, pat yourselves on the back and hand out $165M in bonuses of course!
The American International Group, which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.

Word of the bonuses last week stirred such deep consternation inside the Obama administration that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told the firm they were unacceptable and demanded they be renegotiated, a senior administration official said. But the bonuses will go forward because lawyers said the firm was contractually obligated to pay them.

The payments to A.I.G.’s financial products unit are in addition to $121 million in previously scheduled bonuses for the company’s senior executives and 6,400 employees across the sprawling corporation. Mr. Geithner last week pressured A.I.G. to cut the $9.6 million going to the top 50 executives in half and tie the rest to performance.

The payment of so much money at a company at the heart of the financial collapse that sent the broader economy into a tailspin almost certainly will fuel a popular backlash against the government’s efforts to prop up Wall Street. Past bonuses already have prompted President Obama and Congress to impose tough rules on corporate executive compensation at firms bailed out with taxpayer money.

A.I.G., nearly 80 percent of which is now owned by the government, defended its bonuses, arguing that they were promised last year before the crisis and cannot be legally canceled. In a letter to Mr. Geithner, Edward M. Liddy, the government-appointed chairman of A.I.G., said at least some bonuses were needed to keep the most skilled executives.
If this story weren't so freakin' trifling, it might be a bit funny. Are these folks just completely devoid of self-awareness, or do they simply not give a f*ck, because they know the gubb'ment can't do anything about it? Seriously, whose a$$ is Timothy Geithner going to kick?

They say they are contractually obligated to pay these bonuses, but I call bullsh*t. If AIG had folded last year, these guys wouldn't have collected a red cent. Instead, we gave them the first bailout, these guys clearly realized who was really runnin' thangs. That sense of entitlement is clearly what's at play here. Hat tip to you "less gubb'ment" disciples, you just might have been right on this one. Too bad a GOP President gave these guys their first lifeline. I guess that sorta undermines your whole point.

Now, the Obama administration is caught in a Catch 22. If AIG succeeds, some will say it was in spite of these guys incompetence and claim the gubb'ment didn't need to help them anyway. If they collapse, many will say the money was wasted on a lost cause. You really can't win with these a-holes at the helm.

But we're stuck now, shareholders in a rudderless ship that's filling with more water by the moment.

Too bad we can't take away these d-bags' life preservers.

Question: Does the gubb'ment have any right to deny these AIG execs their contractually obligated bonuses, although they clearly have done nothing of value to the company? Could Timothy Geithner bust a grape, or is he indeed scared of his own shadow? Does Barack Obama need to "check a b*tch", Wayne Brady-style, or are AIG execs clearly not scurred of The Beige One?

A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout [NYTimes]

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