The Washington Post broke a story last night http://washingtonpost.com that I had to read twice to believe. American International Group, the Post says, is preparing to pay millions of dollars more in bonuses to a few dozen top corporate executives that were apparently delayed from 2008. I assume the executives decided to delay those 2008 bonuses after taking notice of those lynch mobs hanging around AIG parking lots and after spotting the tar and feathers in their AIG headquarters lobby. Now four months ago they gave out some bonuses and “we the people” went nuts. So, what has changed? The troubled insurance giant now wants the federal government compensation czar to okay the payments. I guess they must think a government stamp of approval will what? Soften the blow? It didn’t soften the blow when the feds gave them the $180 billion RESCUE package. It didn’t rescue their brains! It doesn’t seemed to have rescued their company either whose stock is in the tanker.
As is stands, AIG doesn’t really need the okay of Kenneth Feinberg (Obama appointed czar) because he is only in charge of current and future bonuses. The czar is on the spot, so to speak and AIG really doesn’t want to make a move without an okay from the government. This is just like the wimps at AIG, they could pay out the close to $3 mil. but they want the czar to take the blame. They know that even if it was a $3 dollar bonus NO ONE thinks they deserve it. Yes this is the company that stated in March that they were paying more than $165 million in retention bonuses. Later some of these executives said they would return close to $50 million after the lid blew off and the possibility existed that maybe no bailout was in their future and maybe BIG taxes to those who gave BIG bonuses. So basically they only understand threats and intimidation. You know , kind of like how many insurance companies treat us.
According to the Post story, AIG has a proxy statement filed last month that explains why AFTER the bailout they started the “retention” payments. The whined that many of their employees , and key producers could be lured away and might lessen the strength of their business. What strength ? I found this statement so ridiculous. If they had good employees, if they had key producers, they wouldn’t need a bailout. And, who in their right mind is going to lure away these people? Citicorp? Or another bailed out company that is not hiring, and /or laying off. I mean really, would you hire an executive from AIG when we now have a great talent pool of unemployed workers to choose from?