Chicago Sun-Times
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Senate Dems asking AIG to renegotiate bonus contracts

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Washington, DC--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today regarding the AIG bonuses:

"When a child breaks his curfew, he is grounded. When someone commits a crime, he is punished. And when an employee brings his company and our economy to the brink, he is not rewarded with a multimillion-dollar bonus paid by the taxpayers.

"Congress is taking several affirmative steps to deal with this outrage. First, we are sending AIG a letter asking them to renegotiate the contracts that include these appalling bonuses. Second, if they don't, Chairman Baucus will propose legislation to give this money back to the taxpayers by subjecting the bonuses to severe tax penalties. Third, as part of the Economic Recovery Act, we asked the Treasury Department to establish guidelines regarding executive pay and luxuries. Last week we sent Treasury a letter urging it to quickly finish these guidelines; today we reiterate that request. Fourth, we will work with President Obama and the Banking Committee to complete a Wall Street Accountability bill as soon as possible.

"AIG's attitude represents everything that is wrong with Wall Street, and its decision on these bonuses underscores the urgency with which we must demand reforms to ensure these abuses never happen again."


1 Comment

The names of the seven executives in the financial products division of AIG who received these outrageous bonuses immediately should be released to the public. The name of the person who authorized these bonuses should also be released to the public. At the present moment, these persons are hidden from the public view and the American public, as is its wont, is focusing its displeasure on the only people it can see, President Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Geithner and the Democrats, in general. Unfortunately, the American public has gotten into this habit of demogoguing those persons who are most visible and about whom they have a residue of fear and anxiety whenever they're hurting and confused economically and politically. Of course, the Limbaughicans are all too happy to encourage the American public to demonize President Obama and the progressive majority. So we must fight back by shining the light of day on these outrageously arrogat AIG executives.

Once their names are known, then progressive and responsible investigative reporters can get to work. Every facet of their bio, including worldwide financial affiliations, social and political connections, salary data going back at least ten years, previous employers, etc. I, and the American public, would be interested to know their donations to American political parties, if any. Do they have accounts in foreign banks, especially in countries known for aiding tax evaders. Oh, by the by, did these individuals pay their Federal taxes and how much did they pay? What deals did they make this past year? How many? With which commercial and governmental entities? How many years experience in the financial industry do they have? What other companies have they worked for? Who recommended them for their AIG jobs? If they are American nationals, do they live in the United States? Did they vote in the last election and for whom did they vote? What are their philanthropic connections? What are their major investments? And have they been investing in American firms? Which American firms?

Once these arrogant and irresponsible persons are made well known to the public, the Obama administration will have the space in which to regain and maintain its political credibility and the American public can focus its ire on deserving culprits. To accomplish his agenda, President Obama needs every ounce of credibility he can muster.

If at all possible, this project should be well underway by the next news cycle!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 17, 2009 2:23 PM.

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