President Obama, speaking to small-business owners at the White House on Monday, delivered a sharp rebuke to AIG and its plan to shell out millions in bonuses.
AIG’s dishing out $165 million in bonuses to executives who played a part in bringing their company to near ruin is an “outrage,” according to President Barack Obama, who pledged to do whatever he can to stop the payouts at the bailed-out insurance giant.
Update: Also on Monday, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo ordered AIG to divulge details about the planned bonuses and their recipients under threat of subpoena.
The New York Times:
“In the last six months, A.I.G. has received substantial sums from the U.S. Treasury,” Mr. Obama said. He added that he had asked Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner “to use that leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole.”
In strongly-worded remarks delivered in the White House East Room before small business owners, Mr. Obama called A.I.G. “a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed.”
“Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at A.I.G. warranted any bonuses at all, much less $165 million in extra pay,” Mr. Obama said. “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?”