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AIG CEO Claims To Have Asked For Half of Bullshit Bonuses to Be Returned, Fears Death Threats, Thereby Proving He’s Only About 50% Dumbass, As It Turns Out

AIG CEO Claims To Have Asked For Half of Bullshit Bonuses to Be Returned, Fears Death Threats, Thereby Proving He’s Only About 50% Dumbass, As It Turns Out

I’m sure this whole thing will be cleared up in just a few hours, now that C-SPAN is reporting that AIG’s CEO, Edward Liddy, has asked for part of some of the bonuses paid to executives to be given back. While testifying in front of the House Financial Services subcomittee, Liddy apparently said that he has asked “employees of AIG Financial Products to step up and do the right thing” by returning “at least half of those payments.” He also agreed to release the names of people who received the bonuses to the committee, as long as they weren’t released to the press. Apparently, he’s afraid of death threats in the event that these names get out to the public. What he doesn’t seem to realize is that people just need to go clubbing in Manhattan to find AIG employees who received bonuses, anyway. Oh, and the fact that he has been subpoenaed eighty million times for this information already.

You can download the full testimony here, and read more on the developing story on CSPAN.

Comments (4)

  1. Mar 20, 2009

    I will say about Liddy: he’s only been on the job for six months or so, so he is not responsible for ALL of the crap AIG has pulled. Also, he came out of retirement (he was with Allstate) to take this job, at the request of Hank Paulson (if I recall correctly, because we’ve already established that I’m too lazy to google stuff…in fact, I’m too lazy to capitalize google). So, to some extent, he is cleaning up the mess left by others.

    Also, there really are compensation agreements where you are contractually obligated to pay the bonuses. Only a really BAD HR/Comp exec would negotiate such an agreement…there should always be an out, and they should always be tied to the performance. If you destroy the world with your shitty job performance, you should not get a bonus–but that should be spelled out in the agreement. The real crime was committed at the time the agreements were created, not at the time of payout.

    I want the names of the lawyers and HR executives who created these agreements to begin with (although not really, because having watched some of the mommyblogger drama lately, you gotta know that there really ARE some crazy people out there, and those death threats are probably real).

    I like the House’s solution to create a 90% tax on any bonus paid out this year by a company that received a substantial bailout this year. Problem solved.

    I don’t want a lynch mob; I just want the money back.

  2. Mar 20, 2009

    Yeah, well, I want a piano-wire lynch mob.

    Just kidding. I know that Liddy is in many ways just the guy who got stuck with this mess. And I also know about those contractual obligations, and the general thing where executives (in banking at least) get most of their salaries from bonuses, rather than straight payments. But I think they should stop calling them bonuses if they are expected, no? Even calling them “commissions” would be better, because then you could say, “You get no commission because YOU LOST ALL OUR MONEY, ASSWIPE.” I do hope they are careful with the names, but I’m sure somebody will find them, which is really bad news. This is another one of those situations where yeah, the system’s broken, and so we cannot place all the blame on the individuals. But those same individuals have been milking the system this whole time, so they had to know that it could bite them in the ass one day.

  3. Mar 22, 2009

    I was going to come back to this today anyway, to say: bonuses are NOT supposed to be like salary. You are entitled to expect a salary. You are NEVER NEVER entitled to expect a bonus. That’s why so much of the comp for higher-ups is bonus; because the company wants a way to “incentify” (annoying HR buzzword) people to achieve goals…and because they also want a way to weasel out of paying under a variety of circumstances.

    This whole “contractually obligated” thing–please. Trust me, there’s always a way out. If there wasn’t, it would be called “salary.”

    I’ve also seen lots of sympathy for people like administrative assistants, clerks, HR reps, etc. in this division of AIG who probably had little or nothing to do with the whole ruining-the-entire-world’s-economy thing. The argument is that they should get their bonuses, because it’s not their fault. You know what? It wasn’t my fault either…but I didn’t get my bonus. In fact, I lost my entire paycheck. I took 700 people with me (and more have been let go since I left). Something like 5 million people didn’t have anything to do with that stuff either, and they’re not getting bonuses, or salaries, or paychecks…and in some cases, they’re not even getting unemployment because of archaic eligibility rules. I’m unsympathetic.

    That said…did you see the article in today’s New York Times about the bus tours of the homes of AIG executives? Imagine being home with your kids and having a busload full of people who hate you badly enough to RIDE TO YOUR HOUSE ON A BUS. Nobody deserves that…not even these people.

  4. Mar 22, 2009

    Kerry, the bus tours are disgusting. The people who are getting bonuses are just trying to get by like everyone else–if I put myself in their place, then I know I’d probably want my bonus as well. I’d have guilt over it, but yeah, I’m sure I’d be doing the same thing. What I want to know is what sicko came up with that idea–bus tours? I have to assume if there is any violence, property destruction, etc. they would be liable (morally and legally).

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