Sunday, March 15, 2009

$100 Million In Taxpayer Money Going To AIG Top Executives


Bernie Madoff is complaining his first meal-- microwaved frozen chicken patties and canned string beans-- was served in a styrofoam container.
As one veteran defense attorney, who has had several clients locked up in the jail, put it: "Le Cirque it ain't."

While he's in "the box," Madoff's relatives won't even be allowed to put money into a commissary account, which would allow him to supplement the meager fare with chips or candy bars.

Each family member should be brought into a room and asked to give the location of every single cent they have. If they hesitate they should be shot and I'm guessing the next one will tell where whatever is left of the between $65 and $170 billion they stole will be recovered, although, I wouldn't mind if 2 or 3 of them leave this mortal coil before the third or fourth one coughs up the loot. I have no sympathy for any of the Madoffs' feelings of self-entitlement. He should feel lucky he's being fed on styrofoam instead of being fed styrofoam. I'm sure it's better than what I was given when I was in jail near Mazar-i-Sharif.

Now something I do get upset over is when taxpayer money-- we bailed out AIG to the tune of $170 billion-- gets put into bonuses for the failed executives who have forced their companies onto the public dole. In fact, I'm fuming over a report in the NY Times that AIG is paying out "about $100 million in bonuses to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year." Seven of these losers are due to get over $3 million each and one gets over $6 million-- of our money... in the middle of a Depression they helped cause. Geithner told them that that's a no-go but the government-appointed chairman, Edward Liddy (a Republican scumbag who has donated thousands of dollars to the GOP), came back and told him that AIG is "contractually obligated" to pay them. Geithner said ok. Obama should fire both of them. These guys aren't living in the real world.
Liddy defended the need to continue paying bonuses if A.I.G. was going to unwind the rest of its disastrous mortgage-related business at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.

“We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses-- which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers-- if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” he wrote Mr. Geithner. The government owns nearly 80 percent of the company.

It's time for Liddy and Geithner to get a clue. They don't have the best; they don't have the brightest. They employ a bunch of failures and losers who are lucky to have jobs at all after leading their company into the toilet.

Wednesday morning the House Financial Services Committee will be holding an AIG hearing at 10AM. These people won't be facing a Wall Street shill like Geithner or a panel like Stephanopolous' today on ABC-TV. They'll be facing Barney Frank, Alan Grayson, Brad Sherman, Jim Himes, Jackie Speier, Mary Jo Kilroy, Keith Ellison, Brad Miller, Gary Peters and Maxine Waters. (I might add the committee also includes worthless Blue Dogs and fellow travelers with no comprehension of how to deal with banksters and corporate crooks-- i.e., their campaign donors-- so expect either silence of meaningless palaver from the pathetic likes of Melissa Bean, Joe Donnelly, Travis Childers, Walt Minnick, Bill Foster, David Scott, Ed Perlmutter, Ron Klein, Dennis Moore, Gregory Meeks, Joe Baca and Paul Kanjorski-- not to mention that crooks on the other side of the aisle, from Spencer Bachus and Frank Lucas to Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Scott Garrett, Gary Miller and Michele Bachmann. This should be interesting to watch. Sharpen your pitchforks.

Is this an admission of criminal activity? Cramer says most of it is legal-- but won't talk about it on TV. Maybe Cuomo should take a look. I hope you're not feeling sorry for this whipped dog.


House Financial Services Committee chairman, Barney Frank, is who the guilty Republicans caught with their fingers in the cookie jar or, alternatively, asleep at the switch, like to blame for the disaster they made of the economy. Frank answered one such clueless loon, Todd Akin (R-MO), last week. Cheney piled on today as though his authoritarian voice would sway anyone not already a complete dittohead. While Cheney was on CNN trying his hand at re-writing history, Barney was over at Fox talking about recovering the bailout money stolen by AIG executives as bonuses. And Russ Feingold (D-WI) sent a letter:
The Honorable Timothy Geithner
Secretary of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20220

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I deeply troubled by reports that the American International Group (AIG) intends to pay about $165 million in bonuses to its executives. As you know, the federal government has provided AIG with $170 billion in taxpayer money and currently owns 80% of the company. I share your outrage that a company which has been bailed out by the taxpayers for its mistakes would turn around and pay its executives such a staggering sum of money.

Reports suggest that AIG’s chairman claims AIG is legally obligated to pay some or all of these bonuses. I write to ask why any bonuses would be legally required, given the company’s abysmal performance. In addition, I would like to know what legal options have been explored for canceling the bonuses or recouping the money from the recipients, and in particular whether the Administration has considered holding AIG executives accountable in court for any breaches of their fiduciary duties to the shareholders.

Reports also suggest that AIG’s chairman claimed that the bonuses are needed to ensure the company can “attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the AIG businesses.” Since some of the recipients of these bonuses may have been responsible for the practices that drove the company to the brink of collapse – jeopardizing the financial system – I am sure many Americans will question whether they are indeed “the best and the brightest” and whether they deserve this level of taxpayer-subsidized compensation.

I look forward to your prompt response.


Russell D. Feingold
United States Senator

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At 7:56 AM, Blogger Juan Liberale said...

Perhaps the answer is nothing short of public hanging for a few banker assholes.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

I'm glad to see that not everyone gets all PC about the death penalty. Although our judicial system is severely flawed and makes it difficult for poor people and minorities to get equal justice, I think banksters, corruptionists and Bush Regime criminals should not get off lightly once they are convicted in fair, speedy trials.

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Juan Liberale said...

I am against the death penalty, but there are some exceptions that I would be happy make.

If an enraged crowd of overcharged citizens were to drag the prez of Exxon out of his office, douse him with a gallon of his finest and then toss matches in his direction, well then, I could live with that.

The last time the aristocracy took over a country and brought on this type of economic chaos, the problem was resolved with generous doses of guillotine justice.

Now picture your favorite banker in the stock, with a giant blade looming above, and tell me that doesn't bring a smile.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Call me old fashioned, Juan, but I'm into trials before executions, even for Exxon CEOs and Bush Regimists. I do admit, though, that the picture you paint does bring a smile to my lips.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems that the bonus amount has quadrupled in the last couple of days...
Ailing insurance giant AIG is planning to give out $450 million in bonuses this week to executives who led the firm to a $99.3 billion dollar loss in 2008.

Although AIG has agreed to cut back on multi-million-dollar bonuses for its highest ranking officers, the firm's lower-ranked employees are still set for a massive pay day. The bonuses are for staff at AIG's London subsidiary, AIG Financial Products, which helped trigger the collapse, the Wall Street Journal reports.

if we own 80% of the company, it seems like the government has the right to make whatever changes to existing contracts it chooses... and to fire all those asshats that are still busy looting the taxpayer's dough.

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not agreed on giving bonuses on the executive of AIG because if the company is loosing money why they still giving bonuses if they are up and after they pay the bailout that's the time they have bonuses. I think everybody will agree on this and the gov't has the power to control the policy of AIG because they give $170 billion so most of the share is own by gov't. I hope the President administration will do something on this. American's are loosing job everyday and this AIG is just spending taxpayer money everyday too.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello: The financial services sector has been ripping off our economy for years not just last year. To begin with they are charging people 8% to 30%+ interest on their credit cards. Then they charge merchants 2% on top of that. Lending out money on homes for 6%+. buy a $100,000. house and pay back the money changers $300.000. This is all nothing but USURY. All this wasn't enough for them so they started loaning out billions to folks that had no chance of ever paying it back and then packaging it and selling it on wall street. Housing bubble and then a stock market bubble. Anyone should have been able to see this coming, and many did. None on CNBS, sorry CNBC or the other business channels. Cable news being nothing but a mouth piece for the corporate users. Politicians being nothing but the indentured servants for the Corporate users, passing laws written by them sowing up their total advantage.

The economy was like the two farmers. One bought a horse from the other and in a couple of months sold it back at a higher price. This went on several times back and forth when the second farmer sold it to third farmer. The first farmer said why did you do that? look at all the money we were making.

The economy is set up to make money for the few while robbing the many. It has been this way forever. We have been playing the game of monopoly and of course it is obvious who has won. Non wealth producing folks sitting in their air conditioned multistory buildings selling stuff back and forth to each other. Fool yourself and you can fool the world. Look how the government has sucked in the Chinese.

Making money and making sense are mutually exclusive. It is time to start making sense. Eliminate debt which will also eliminate interest (for some time nothing but usury). All energy comes from the Sun and we don't owe the Sun. Hard working money. Money can't work, get real.

Fortunately, our design revolution has turned on the cosmic reservoir and real wealth (not paper money) has been seen to be without practical limit. We all know what we need. Clean water and clean air. Luxury housing for all. Education based on truth without superstitions or lies. Transportation and freedom to use it. Universal health care for all. Work which is the only true religion (no more second hand gods). Doing this all without further damage to the planet and without disadvantaging anyone through spontaneous cooperation. Playing the money game will not get it done. Only clear goals and proper design can produce the things we actually need.

We cannot worry about blame or who has benefited so far. Even bankers and brokers deserve all the best in life and have bills to pay and things to get. They were just playing a game that made it happen for them, sometimes to the detriment of the whole and worst of all the detriment of the planet which now hangs in the balance.. It is not a case of bringing anyone down but the goal to bring everyone up. Prosperity for all.

We know the things we need and want . Nature is intent on making us a one world humanity and a success. We must learn to work together.

Humanity is in it's final exam, let us hope we pass.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Juan Liberale said...

OK, I'm back to the guillotine idea.

This is starting to look like Obama's first big failure. If he Okayed giving them the money with no salary or bonus strings, then the prez is at fault. I am beyond disgusted by this.

At 4:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In movie/TV courtroom dramas there is always one key scene where the critical evidence/testimony is revealed and the matter of guilt or innocence is decided.
I would say that Mr. Liddy's [hmmm, sounds familiar] response regarding the need for "retention payments" for his star personnel is incontrovertible proof that the financial industry is completely delusional.
Retention bonus? I think these guys would happily stay at AIG if their pay was CUT by a third.


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