Sunday, March 22, 2009

Unconscionable: AIG bonuses or the bailout?

From the New Britain Herald's Scott Whipple:

With the news that government-rescued American International Group is awarding more than $165 million in bonuses to its executives, U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5th District, said Wednesday he will introduce legislation to crack down on taxpayer-funded bonuses "for the very people that got us" into this economic mess...

Calling AIG’s actions "unconscionable," Murphy said his bill aims to ensure that what AIG did can’t happen again.

IMO, the "unconscionable" act was supporting the bailout in the first place. But hey, the bailout had bipartisan support, as it was supported by both Bush's Hank Paulson (R-Goldman) and Obama's Robert Rubin (D-Goldman). I can't fathom why anyone would think Paulson and Rubin were in favor of bailing out Wall Street, at the expense of the common good. But at least we know that Goldman is a "stable" firm, not needing a bailout.

Seriously though...rather than showing outrage over bills he supported, perhaps Congressman Murphy could start reading the bills on which he votes and stop supporting welfare for Wall Street?

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Goldman got $30B washed thru AIG. Guess it wasn't time to get outraged until all their CDS exposure was covered.

The other outrage is how many tens of billions were paid to foreign banks thru AIG.

The $165M is pocket change compare to the real scandal

tim white said...

I heard it was $13 billion ($12.9). Can you cite the $30b?

And I hadn't even thought of the money to foreign banks... but thinking now... yeah... I think Societe Generale was the second or third largest recipient of the $85 billion AIG bailout.

And while I know that my elected officials (Obama, Dodd, Lieberman, Murphy) didn't vote for the initial AIG bailout... why did they vote for the $700 billion bailout?

And now Obama wants another $250 billion in bank bailout money?... after the Fed prints another $1 trillion to buy the toxic assets that they had purchased (cough) with the $700 billion bailout!

As a freshman, I gave Murphy a pass on a lot of this stuff. But I certainly hope he doesn't vote for another bailout.

Anonymous said...

Murphy wasn;t too proud to hit up the "people who wrecked our economy" to the tune of $242,000

In fact, Murphy took $2,800 from the bond traders at AIG

Bit late to be outraged now, Chris

tim white said...

In defense of Chris, he raises millions of dollars. I doubt he had any clue that he got $2800 from AIG execs.

Regardless, he should be opposing the bailouts.

Anonymous said...

"I doubt he had any clue that he got $2800 from AIG execs."

I doubt he has any clue about most of the stuff he thinks he's doing

tim white said...

Well, he voted for the stimulus which included the AIG bonuses.

But as Ron Paul pointed out... most members of Congress have virtually no idea of the details of legislation they support.

Along with America being broke, that's another reason why we should be putting a halt on all this legislation.

Anonymous said...

Guess this is part of the "stimulus bill" too?

But another money trail could make voters just as angry: the campaign dollars to members of Congress from banks and firms that have received billions via the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Anonymous said...

I find it somewhat nauseating that our elected officials are falling over themselves to try to tap into the anger people feel over the AIG bonuses. This shows us they are "one of us". What a load. They knowingly inserted the language to allow the bonuses to legally occur.

Unfortunately for our stomachs, AIG was not entirely unprofitable in all their divisions (see this week's periodicals). Bonuses are a typical part of contracted compensation packages to financial sector employees. As much as it seems impossible to fathom, and we might not like it, most of these are probably legitimate, and are not revocable because the company as a whole is toileting. It is difficult to bear when looking at our own businesses and household budgets.

The fact is these bonuses are a tiny fraction (< .001%) of GDP and have gotten a hugely disproportianate amount of coverage and attention by our elected officials. This is intentional to divert our scrutiny. Their conduct and ineptitude should remain our focus.