March 15, 2009

Bailed-out AIG Pays Out Hundreds of Millions in Bonuses

Bailed-out insurance giant AIG will no doubt be a heated topic of discussion today, with The Wall Street Journal and other news organizations reporting that the failed and essentially insolvent company is vowing to pay out $450 million in bonuses to its “top performers” — you know, the folks in the financial products unit, many of whom contributed to bringing the company to ruin and helped tank the entire economy in the process.

Update (03-15-2009): “There are a lot of terrible things that have happened in the last 18 months, but what’s happened at AIG is the most outrageous,” Lawrence Summers, chairman of the White House National Economic Council, said this morning on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos. “What that company did, the way it was not regulated, the way no one was watching, what’s proved necessary, it is outrageous.” (ABC,  “Widespread Backlash Over AIG Bonuses“)

Update (03-16-2009): AIG revealed on Sunday details of $105 billion of government funds that it paid to U.S. and international banks including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale. (Source: MarketWatch)

Update 2 (03-16-2009): Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses (Source: NYTimes)

Update 3 (03-16-2009): NY AG Seeking Info On Who Received Bonuses At AIG (Source: CNNMoney)

Update 4 (03-16-2009): AIG details $105 billion in payouts (Source: MarketWatch)

AIG Facts:

  • The company (AIG) takes $170 billion in taxpayer money to keep itself afloat.
  • Just this month, the company (AIG) reported a loss of $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year — the largest corporate loss in history.
  • AIG’s board of directors page (the company’s “top performers”)

Source: Washington Independent, AP


  1. I think the issue “Foreign workers took our jobs” is a tiny little drop of bullsh*t compared to hundreds of billions of dollars manipulated, laundered and stolen in banking and insurance spheres. I do not know why they took Madoff’s case so seriously: the whole system works this way.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 15, 2009 @ 2:38 pm | Reply

  2. I wish Madoff could have gotten all the money from these executives. They should go to hell jail. The irony is this country can not do anything with these criminals but they can enforce a Macdonald worker to get only $7 an hour.

    Comment by Ian — March 15, 2009 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

  3. This is such a shameful situation. The AIG CEO and Board of Directors have no moral or ethical compass to approve these bonuses. It’s a disgraceful situation that needs to be rectified. Hope there is a legal means to clawback these unjust and unwarranted bonuses.

    Chuck Bolton

    Comment by chuckbolton — March 15, 2009 @ 6:32 pm | Reply

    • John Thain (Merrill Lynch) did the same thing with bonuses, spending, etc. But he is not a smart guy. His new boss, Ken Lewis, is smarter; he got the idea where the wind blows and kicked Thain off.
      However Thain did nothing wrong from perspective of a banker.

      Comment by Anonymous — March 15, 2009 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

  4. Same old same old. There is money to be made screwing honest hard working people. Better yet, honest hard working people are paying them (bailout) to get screwed. That is pure awesomeness of our current state of affairs.

    Comment by myphotoscout — March 15, 2009 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

  5. […] Bailed-out AIG Pays Out Hundreds of Millions in Bonuses (WTF?) – [comments] […]

    Pingback by Today’s Hot Layoff Topics « — March 16, 2009 @ 9:15 am | Reply

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