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Mike Rowe on the AIG bonuses

Via The Anchoress, here is a short blurb written by Mike Rowe, host of The Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs", in response to a reader's question about the AIG bonus uproar:

... a better term than "bonus" should be used to refer to these payouts. For many, a "bonus" is not an unexpected surprise. It is the motivating factor, and the only reason the working relationship exists at all. It is in other words, it' the very essence of the deal.

Because these "bonuses" are not guaranteed, they are a reflection of an individual's willingness to assume a certain level of risk that most salaried workers would go out of their way to avoid. Likewise, "bonuses" are the only way for highly competitive corporations to attract and compensate "top talent." Arguing over whether the money in question is gross or exorbitant is beside the point and after the fact, in my opinion. So too, is the exact manner in which it's earned. That's between the employer and the employee, and governed by the terms of the deal. What really matters, is the workers conscious willingness to forgo a big guarantee, in favor of a potentially larger payout based on his or her performance. It's an entirely different form of risk, that is the opposite of a weekly or monthly paycheck.

[...]

If, as a contracted employee who signed on for the sole purpose of making money, I did everything I was supposed to do to earn a payout of $5 million dollars, I would expect to be paid. I assumed a level of risk, and preformed as asked. A deal is a deal. The only circumstance that could justify a non-payment, would be the bankruptcy of the firm. (That's the biggest part of the risk I assumed, working in a volatile and competitive industry.) However, if the company stays in business, or is not allowed to fail, I'd absolutely expect my money. And if I got it, and was then suddenly asked to return it because the government realized it looked politically stupid and fiscally foolish for subsidizing my big fat bonus with taxpayer money, I might be inclined to say "I'm sorry, but I'm a tax-payer too. If you didn't want to pay me what I was legally owed, you should have let the company fail. My deal was with AIG, not you."

This "bonus rage" would not be happening in a world that respected consequences, because in that world, those companies who can not afford to pay their bills would simply fail, the way they're supposed to. Likewise, all citizens would live the lifestyle they can afford, the way they're supposed to. Of course, that is not the world we live in. In fact, companies like AIG have prospered exactly because so many people now live beyond their means. The hard truth is, those big bonuses were earned because AIG got rich saying "yes" to millions of people who should have been told "no." And because we're all connected, we all get hurt. (emphasis added)

It's nice to see that Mike Rowe gets it. These were retention bonuses, paid out because AIG wanted to retain the services of as many good money managers as possible in the wake of its collapse. Many of them agreed to stay behind and work for an annual salary of $1, with the understanding that if they were able to salvage assets and keep the company from going under completely, they would be rewarded with a retention bonus as a "thank you." All of this was negotiated with employees independently of the bailout that AIG received from the Federal government.

None of this is immoral, nor is it illegal. If you think that banking executives earn too much money, then you need to understand something that I learned some years ago -- the amount of money you earn is directly proportional to the amount of earnings that you provide for your employer. In other words, if you want more zeros on your paycheck, then work toward being rewarded with the responsibility to handle million or billion-dollar deals. Investment bankers do this on a routine basis. I do not envy the earnings of financial professionals simply because I have never risked my career by signing a piece of paper where all the numbers were followed by eight or nine zeros. But if I am ever given the responsibility to manage that kind of money, then I would expect to be compensated accordingly.

Finally, for all of you out there who are cheering the march toward nationalization and socialism because somehow Big Government is supposed to be more caring and just toward individuals than Big Business -- how on earth can you watch what has happened to the employees of AIG who have been pilloried, mocked, harassed, threatened, criminalized, and perhaps eventually punished for no wrongdoing whatsoever by our government or its subsidized cronies (e.g. ACORN), and come to the conclusion that we can trust government to treat us all fairly? I would much rather put my trust in a private corporation that can't legally confiscate my wealth or send an armed militia to threaten me by force, than in a Federal government with the authority to use those powers against its citizens.


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Comments (45)

First guy: "If they get th... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

First guy: "If they get their bonuses they wouldn't HAVE to keep working at AIG would they?"

Second guy: "Well, no they wouldn't".

First guy: 'Then you'd be out the money AND the laughably-called "talent." Those guys are the ones that should have prevented the problems that AIG is having now, aren't they? If they go work for a competing company that could be a GOOD thing for AIG, the company we, the taxpayers, have invested in.'

Second guy: "Yes. I see. You're right. Thanks for pointing out the obvious."

A couple more things to thi... (Below threshold)
James H:

A couple more things to think about in the AIG bonus mess:

First, if AIG couldn't afford the bonuses or if paying them out would have been political nonfeasible, the company should have approached its executives months ago to renegotiate the contracts. Or the feds, acting as AIG shareholders, should have forced the company's hand months ago when it first learned of the bonus program. Renegotiating a contract is an entirely different proposition from attempting to yank the bonuses at the eleventh hour.

Second, a lot of people have asked why somebody deserves a "retention bonus" just for doing his job and why somebody wouldn't give up some of that for the good of the company. Consider today's workplace. Once upon a time, you might be loyal to an employer and work for the employer for your entire life because that employer took care of you, saw to you, etc., etc. The arrangement sounds paternalistic, but it was an implicit promise built on trust between employers and employed. In the last two decades, however, we've seen that loyalty break down. In particular, employers have displayed a lack of concern/loyalty for their employees. So why should employees make any concessions whatsoever to an employer?

"Because these "bonuses"... (Below threshold)
George Author Profile Page:

"Because these "bonuses" are not guaranteed..."

That statement is at odds with Chris Dodd and Barack Obama statements which claim the bonuses were in the contract and A.I.G. could have been sued if they did not fulfill these bonuses.

So who is correct? Barack Obama or Mike Rowe? If Mike Rowe is correct, there was no need to give such lucrative bonuses or even any at all. If Mike Rowe is incorrect, why are we listening to him?

Adrian - AIG is a very big ... (Below threshold)

Adrian - AIG is a very big company. Only one division of AIG was responsible for the default credit swap fiasco. The other divisions of AIG were not. Most of the recent bonus recipients worked in the other divisions of AIG. If you can explain how a member of the financial services division could have prevented bad deals from going down in the insurance division, then you are welcomed to do so.

George - AIG's retention bonus compensation was negotiated independently from the government bailout. If AIG did not receive the bailout and failed (and there is still a possibility of failure, even with the bailout) then those employees would not have received any bonus compensation, and would have put in a year's worth of work for only $1 salary. That was the risk. At the time the bonus-only compensation plan was negotiated, there was no government bailout.

George: they weren't guaran... (Below threshold)

George: they weren't guaranteed as they hadn't yet been earned, as the employee wasn't getting the money no matter what (as in signing bonuses paid to professional athletes), the employee had to fulfill certain conditions in order to earn the money (again with the sports analogy, akin to a player getting a bonus for making the roster or hitting X home runs or something like that). At the same time, AIG couldn't unilaterally undo the agreement, they were legally bound to make the payments if the employee did what they were supposed to do.

James: as to why someone 'deserves' such a bonus, what too many people don't know or ignore is that bonuses require the approval of someone further up the food chain, no one gets to give themselves a bonus. For me or anyone else to get a bonus, their boss has to decide that a bonus is an appropriate use of company resources... and what the mob, some of which comment here, is doing is substituting their (lack of) knowledge for that of the manager on the scene.

Michael: I would add one more condition to what Rowe said: if the contract isn't negotiated in good faith between employer and employee, then the company should have the right, as they would in any contract, to have the contract voided.

Very disingenuous Adrian.<b... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Very disingenuous Adrian.
Keep perpetuating a lie until it's believed as the truth.
Keep on practicing, until the tables are turned
on you, and it's your turn in the barrel.
What you do unto others, be done to you.

"If you can explain how a m... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"If you can explain how a member of the financial services division could have prevented bad deals from going down in the insurance division, then you are welcomed to do so."

That's easy: A member of one division could have done some research as to what was going on in another -- you have meetings and discuss things. He might bring it up at a meeting with his boss or someone who is overseeing AIGFP. It might have even been something as simple as shooting an email off to the guy doing the credit default swaps and asking "So how do those credit default swaps work?" The guy mostly responsible for the credit default swaps at AIGFP, Joseph Cassano, demanded hands off from the other divisions and secrecy -- that should have been their first clue that something was terrible amiss.

Ask and ye shall receive.

James H., That's rig... (Below threshold)
maggie:

James H.,
That's right those employees only deserved
the one dollar they agreed upon, they should
have turned down the retentive bonus at the
end of their contract. Hey, life is so cheap
these days, they should make it fine on one
dollar.
/sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm

The two executives running ... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

The two executives running AIG's Paris office quit yesterday. They were managaging a portfolio of investments totaling $1.6 TRILLION. A certain percentage of those investments come due if the investment managers change. That is to say under French law potentially the creditors can demand full repayment. Immediately.

How much is at risk for default? Only a small fraction of the total portfolio: $234 billion. Which, by the way, is 4/3rds the amount guaranteed by the Federal Government.

That is what you get from Representatives and Senators behaving with the attitude expressed by Adrian Browne. A deeper hole. A much deeper hole.

First rule of holes: When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

But that never occurs to those demonizing AIG execs.

People who are making milli... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

People who are making millions and millions of dollars per month are actually allowed to ask questions at where they work if they want.

Perhaps they didn't want to know the truth.

They're supposedly brilliant people whom AIG must retain at any cost right? You'd think they'd be a little curious, maybe they'd have some good questions.

Adrian: do you have any ide... (Below threshold)

Adrian: do you have any idea how things work in real life? do police officers spend their work day worrying about what might be going on in the library? you think a manager at GE who is responsible for purchasing items for washing machines is paid to wonder about the interest rate GE Capital is charging on car loans? And just how is a worker in one division going to do this research, just mosey on over to AIG-FP and ask to check out their trading records? "Hey, I sell property casualty insurance in another AIG division, mind if I just start going through your emails?" If so, let's blame Keith Olbermann, who gets paid by GE, for not going to Connecticut and doing research into the loan loss ratio GE Capital was setting on their loan portfolio.

It's all well and fine to Monday morning quarterback and criticize those who screwed up on Sunday, but if you want to be seen as even somewhat credible, your criticisms and your 'what should have happened' need to be grounded in reality. It's not the responsibility, nor should it be, of those in other divisions to check, it is the managers of that division, and the people they report to, including the CEO and the board.

Mike Rowe is right: had AIG... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Mike Rowe is right: had AIG failed (i.e., taken bankruptcy), these AIG employees would not have received their bonuses and probably would be unemployed. In bankruptcy, creditors often get stiffed, receiving only pennies on the dollar if anything. BUT NO, our leaders would not let AIG go bankrupt; they sent the company billions of our dollars with few conditions other than a promise of eventual repayment. Now these same leaders are OUTRAGED that AIG honored its contracts as specifically called for in Dodd Amendment to the bailout bill. Not all the AIG employees who received bonuses were responsible for credit default swap losses; much of the company made money. But now all those receiving bonuses either have to return them or possibly get them completely taxed away, while living in fear for themselves and their families. If taxpayers can't figure out whose to blame for this, they deserve the incompetent government they have been and continue to get.

Adrian, Is that how... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Adrian,
Is that how you do your job, if you have one?
You stick your nose in the business of others?
If not, why not?
How many times have you been fired for such
behaviour?
Your defense of this argument is sorely lacking.

Bob: a quibble: in bankrupt... (Below threshold)

Bob: a quibble: in bankruptcy, these employees MAY not have received their bonuses; under bankruptcy law, employment contracts can be voided or reworked just like pretty much any other contractual liability. But why assume the bankruptcy trustee wouldn't have wanted to pay these workers to stick around if in fact their sticking around was crucial to helping unwind AIG and minimize the cost to the taxpayer and other creditors?

Maggie,I suspect y... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Maggie,

I suspect you're projecting; imagining yourself getting a bonus at your job only to have it taken away -- that's not fair and nobody wants that. And it's a perfectly normal response.

I work for myself and have had my own business for 20 years. If something bad is happening I want an employee to PLEASE, PLEASE tell me, or someone else, about it.

AIG executives are all supposedly intelligent adults -- can't they rationally discuss what's going on at where they all work?

For all the talk of more re... (Below threshold)
MPR:

For all the talk of more regulation and oversight it turns out that there was a regulator right in the middle of the AIG mess. He was working with Tiny Tim at Treasury and was put on leave yesterday. Somebody is connecting the dots and looking for the ultimate fall guy. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if we begin to hear that there were whistle blowers reporting to the regulators that have always been crawling all over financial institutions. Once again, the government "overseers" were incompetent, crooks, or both. So Obamalala and the liberals want more. Obamalala is taking us for a ride. The problem is Thelma and Louise are driving!

That's easy: A member of... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

That's easy: A member of one division could have done some research as to what was going on in another -- you have meetings and discuss things. He might bring it up at a meeting with his boss or someone who is overseeing AIGFP.

Adrian,

In the real world, that is impossible. I work for a large corporation and there is no way for me to "research" what is going on in another division apart from what is available to the general public.

People that are worried abo... (Below threshold)

People that are worried about these bonuses and "want them returned, pronto!" are missing the bigger issues at hand. One, Congress CANNOT take them back. It is explicitly forbidden by the Constitution to create a bill of attainder, which is exactly what Congress would do in going after these "bad people." Second, these bonuses were written in last year before the bailouts even started. But I suppose to some people, contracts don't matter anymore. And I suppose everyone's up in arms about Merrill Lynch executives getting bonuses and federal employees getting bonuses, right? I am sure that people are fed up with bailouts and auto companies getting continual bailouts and unions getting the same benefits in those companies, right? Oh? Nothing? No outrage? Nobody screaming for the heads of Bernanke, who knew about the bonuses? No Chris Dodd? No Geithner? No....of course not. Let's get all worked up and agitated over retention bonuses for a small handful of executives! Let's fall right into the trap of attacking capitalism because god forbid anyone in this country follow contracts and receive what was due to them. people need to think about the bigger picture rather than getting caught up in this tripwire. The bailouts are the problem, not some bonuses. And if people are going to rage about bonuses and how "they are morally wrong" then apply that equally across the board and be angry at everyone. Stop attacking the straw man set up by Barney Frank and those fools in Congress.

Collecting welfare is now c... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Collecting welfare is now considered working for yourself and having your own business?

That's easy: A mem... (Below threshold)
James H:
That's easy: A member of one division could have done some research as to what was going on in another -- you have meetings and discuss things. He might bring it up at a meeting with his boss or someone who is overseeing AIGFP.

Adrian, do you even understand how a large company works? Let me break it down for you.

A company as large as AIG has more business lines than you can count on your fingers, toes, and your immediate family members' fingers and toes. Those business lines are going to be grouped into divisions. Each of those divisions is like a large company itself.

Especially if his division is global, the exec in charge of each division will work 10-hour days at a minimum. Outside of work, practically everything he does -- from donating his time to charity to inviting colleagues to his kid's birthday party -- is dedicated to improving his company's image and building relationships with others on behalf of his division. On top of that, he's on call practically 24 hours a day to put out fires wherever they might happen.

Given that he's basically running his own large-scale company, that exec doesn't have TIME to poke his nose into somebody else's division. And that's notwithstanding the company politics implications of checking up on your colleagues in other divisions.

On top of that, you've got something called "Chinese walls." Ever hear of them? Large companies, particularly finance companies and law firms, set them up between divisions. They do this to keep people in one area of the company from gaining insider knowledge that he might then apply to his dealings elsewhere in the company. This is to prevent lovely little issues like "conflict of interest."

If you're behind a Chinese wall, you DON'T go meddling in another division's business because if you do so, you impair your ability to do your own job.

Clearly, you're pretty clueless about this.

But I'm a nice guy, so I'm going to help you out here.

In a company as large as AIG, there IS an organization devoted to this sort of stuff. It usually goes by a name like "compliance" or "internal audit," and their job is to run around the company and get up in everybody's business. If this organization failed to put a stop to AIG's questionable bets, then you have an argument. But you fail to make that argument.

I'm such a nice guy that I'll give you another gimme.

You could also argue that the very top executives -- the ones with the word "chief" in their titles -- also fell down on the job because they weren't aware of what their subordinates were doing. But as I understand it, they've already paid at least part of the price; IIRC, the AIG executive team was shown the door some time ago. And it wouldn't surprise me if the rest of that bill comes due later.

"Keep on practicing, until ... (Below threshold)
max:

"Keep on practicing, until the tables are turned
on you, and it's your turn in the barrel.
What you do unto others, be done to you."

Is that a threat? What, exactly, has Adrian done that will be done to him? And who's going to do it, maggie? You? Are you sure you're on the correct medication?

Adrian, Asking a que... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Adrian,
Asking a question directed at you is projecting?
Or is that your way of avoiding answering the
question.
I've worked for one of the largest oil companies
in the world, and what you're suggesting isn't
and wasn't considered kosher. Could possibly
get an employee fired for not taking that time
on the job to do the job they've contractually
signed to do.

Max, You have readin... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Max,
You have reading comprehension problems?
Threat? What threat did you read?
As to your making personal references to my
health, back off.
Are would you like to say good bye now?

Now that is a threat.

Maggie,I tried to an... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Maggie,
I tried to answer your question but failed.

Is that how you do your job, if you have one?

I work for myself so that's not relevant.

You stick your nose in the business of others?
If not, why not?

But if someone comes to me and says "Maggie is wearing brown shoes with a blue suit." I would say "Maggie is generally clean and neat, I don't think it's a problem. Thanks for alerting me but it's not something we should worry about. Maggie's shoe color choice isn't going to bring down the whole company."

If someone comes to me and says "I think Maggie may be the person starting fires in the women's restroom trash cans." I would say "What makes you think that and thank you for telling me" and I then I would investigate it.

How many times have you been fired for such
behaviour?

Zero.


Adrian, Reporting... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Adrian,

Reporting someone, or anyone setting fires
in bathrooms or elsewhere is a matter of safety.
So part of your answer is not relevant.

"Setting fires" wasn't mean... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"Setting fires" wasn't meant to be taken literally -- I apologize. And you wouldn't know that your question wasn't relevant to my particular situation but you asked -- I wasn't attempting to insult you by saying it was.

Adrian, No insult ... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Adrian,

No insult taken and none given.

Calm down, mags, I'm just c... (Below threshold)
max:

Calm down, mags, I'm just concerned. You seem a little more off-kilter than usual. I are would not like to say goodbye, yet.

FWIW, I have no idea what you are referring to, but, "What you do unto others, be done to you" sounds like a threat of retribution to me.

Back to the topic at hand, I know Mike Rowe is the first place I go for financial news and analysis, what with his plethora of expertise and all.

Might want to give Mike Row... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Might want to give Mike Rowe a tad more respect, Max. Not many dummies get invited to speak at the TED conference.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/mike_rowe_celebrates_dirty_jobs.html

The man knows work, that's for sure.

Really, JL? I never said he... (Below threshold)
max:

Really, JL? I never said he was a dummy. I sarcastically noted his complete lack of anything resembling knowledge or insight into complex financial institutions. If you know of some specific qualifications that Mike Rowe possesses that give him authority on this matter, then by all means, please enlighten us.

max - "Back to the topi... (Below threshold)
marc:

max - "Back to the topic at hand, I know Mike Rowe is the first place I go for financial news and analysis, what with his plethora of expertise and all"

So he's not in possession of the required expertise? You know this how?

Is it your stance that Rowe's position as not only host/writer but executive producer of Dirty Jobs has zero business acumen whatsoever?

max - "If you know of s... (Below threshold)
marc:

max - "If you know of some specific qualifications that Mike Rowe possesses that give him authority on this matter, then by all means, please enlighten us."

All you ever do here is metaphorically piss on any and everything written here. Break-out of that mold, reread what Rowe wrote and tell us exactly what is wrong/incorrect with it.

That's what it seems like t... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

That's what it seems like to me, Marc.

"I sarcastically noted his complete lack of anything resembling knowledge or insight into complex financial institutions."

The sarcasm's getting a bit old, Max. I'm not seeing any great knowledge of complex financial institutions or interactions from the current crop in power - they seem to be going more "OMG-WTF do I do now!?!?!" before throwing money onto the fire, hoping it'll do the job than acting on a coherent plan.

The first rule of getting out of debt is to stop acquiring more debt.

Spending money on 'stimulus' projects that won't even start for a year, throwing money at high-speed rail lines - a few billion here and a few billion there and pretty soon you're talking about real money, trillions of which is being 'borrowed' from our future.

I think Mike Rowe understands that. It's a shame our 'experts' in Washington doling out the pork don't seem to have the same level of 'expertise'.

These were retenti... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
These were retention bonuses, paid out because AIG wanted to retain the services of as many good money managers as possible in the wake of its collapse. Many of them agreed to stay behind and work for an annual salary of $1, with the understanding that if they were able to salvage assets and keep the company from going under completely, they would be rewarded with a retention bonus as a "thank you."

Not quite. A retention bonus is one that is awarded just for sticking around for some set period of time. These were not retention bonuses, as there were additional terms tied to the bonuses, such as:

The size of the bonus money pool is tied to how the company performs with its collateralized debt obligations, which are investment-grade securities backed by assets such as mortgages and bonds.

These were performance bonuses, which makes all the outrage even more ridiculous.

Max -As Marc says,... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Max -

As Marc says, you seem to want to piss over everything you can. Yay for you on that, if it's what makes life worth living for ya. You come across as a jerk, but again maybe that's how you really want to present yourself. If it's not - only you can decide what to do next.

Perhaps you'll figure it out someday. Or not. Either way, good luck to you.

Adrian, I was going to give... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Adrian, I was going to give a detailed response, but my irritation has gotten the better of me. You're a twat. I only hope you have to work for someone like yourself.

Now I'm sure at Starbucks you are well aware of whether your coworkers make good cappucini or not, but in a large corporation it's impossible to be on top of everything going on everywhere in the company. That's why business units have their own managers.

Your moronic comments are analogous to presupposing that the manager of the LA Dodgers ought to know about problems in the Cleveland Browns' backfield, because they're all in athletics. It bespeaks pig ignorance of the work world.

"FWIW, I have no idea what ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"FWIW, I have no idea what you are referring to, but, "What you do unto others, be done to you" sounds like a threat of retribution to me. "

Max, get a freaking life. You sound like one of those wooses who thinks it is cool to wear a "Bikers are P*ssies" shirt into a biker bar and then you go crying to the cops when you get the crap beat out of you.

"It bespeaks pig ignoran... (Below threshold)
914:

"It bespeaks pig ignorance of the work world."

Unless You live in Grandma's basement like max and Adrianna and collect welfare to play video games, get high and humor our live's with their idiocy...

36:"That's why bus... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

36:

"That's why business units have their own managers."

When you pay someone millions of dollars a month he or she should take some responsibility to do the right thing for the company he or she is working for even when you're not looking over his or her shoulder.

But you've made a good case government oversight.

"I only hope you have to work for someone like yourself."

Good news! Your wish has come true!


38:When you change... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

38:

When you change the "sex" of my pseudonym from male to female AS AN INSULT it says an awful lot about your feelings towards women.

If a company knows it is go... (Below threshold)
Sleepy:

If a company knows it is going out of business and all the top executives vote to give each other big bonuses before declaring bankruptcy are the bonuses(contracts) valid?

The problem with the bonuse... (Below threshold)
Sleepy:

The problem with the bonuses is that AIG would have done exactly what I described in post 41, had the government not bailed AIG out.

Because these "bon... (Below threshold)
Sleepy:
Because these "bonuses" are not guaranteed, they are a reflection of an individual's willingness to assume a certain level of risk that most salaried workers would go out of their way to avoid.

If the above is true than most of this article makes sence. However, if the people in the company who approved the bonuses were also aware that AIG was getting ready to tank than crimes may have been committed.

Sleepy,<... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Sleepy,


If the above is true than most of this article makes sence. However, if the people in the company who approved the bonuses were also aware that AIG was getting ready to tank than crimes may have been committed.

No if the company was going out of Business then all those contracts would have been reviewed by the court. The issue here is that we have a well defined process with checks and balances to handle these type of issues. Both administrations decided not to follow the normal rules and put themselves in to uncharted waters..

Also in larger companies it not Frank says to Bob were gonna give you a bonus. It is legal contract that has to be revieiwed by HR, Compliance, legal and sometimes an executive pay committee. A contract has to be written, explained to the employee and signed and returned.

In AIG case these contracts were drawn in March 2008, based on compensation for 2007 and based against a bonus pool of 67.5 million. It is 15 page contract.

In AIG case these contra... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

In AIG case these contracts were drawn in March 2008, based on compensation for 2007 and based against a bonus pool of 67.5 million. It is 15 page contract.

Which was all known beforehand by Congress, which voted to bail them out.

Which was all known beforehand by both Bush and Obama, who were ok with it.

Which was all known beforehand by Geithner, who supported this bailout.

So all the Dems, Rinos, Obama and ACORN-street-thugs who are protesting the bonuses are full-of-shit pandering liars.




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