Time for Action on AIG

It’s been three days now that the Obama administration has been dealing with the AIG bonuses. And unfortunately, it’s just getting worse, not better.

AIG’s still a mess, and will remain a mess, until the administration acts boldly to wipe those bonuses off the books.

What we’re told just doesn’t add up.

We’re told that the Treasury Department first learned about the bonuses, contractually payable on March 15, as early as last September, and that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner himself didn’t learn about them until last Wednesday, March 11. Why not? Did he do his homework?

We’re told that President Obama may not have learned about them until Sunday, March 15. Why not? Was the president blindsided? Did Geithner screw up by not informing him sooner?

We’re also told that the government could not legally refuse to pay the contracts and that, in fact, it would cost more to break them than to pay them. Why? We’re the new owners of the company. We can do whatever the hell we want to. If AIG executives don’t like it, let them sue.

Enough talk. There’s now only one way to clean up this mess. Start by releasing the names of all AIG executives who received a bonus, and how much each person received. Then, if they won’t voluntarily return the undeserved and unearned money, subtract the total bonuses paid out — from the $30 billion in bailout funds still headed to AIG. And make sure no future bonuses are on the books.

We’ve heard enough outrage. It’s time for action.



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