I can’t stomach this.
From The New York Times:
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.
Contractually obligated? This company, an insurance company, ran itself like a hedge fund, fucked the dog and, as this story notes, “sent the broader economy into a tailspin.” These executives defend the bonuses, saying they wouldn’t be able to attract the best and the brightest talent to AIG, which is now 80-percent government-owned.
It’s no wonder cheap populism sells.