The outrage, from the Democrats in Congress, over the bonuses AIG is paying its executives, is so over the top, there must be more to it than meets the eye. Any time politicians express such contempt, such righteous indignation; it is a sure bet they are trying to avoid being held accountable for their own culpability. Let's look at some facts.
There is an amendment to the bail out bill, which specifically states that executives who are contractually entitled to bonuses are to be paid those bonuses. It reads as follows:
"The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary [of the Treasury] or the designee of the Secretary."
This is apparently the final version of Senator Christopher Dodd's amendment, which supposedly limited executive compensation. Dodd's original amendment appears to be designed as political cover, since it was withdrawn after being approved on a voice vote. There is some dispute over exactly who introduced which amendment. The total number of amendments to H.R. 1 is in the hundreds.
Site Map The point is that every Democrat who made the stimulus bill a reality new this bonus fiasco was coming. There was, of course, a method to their madness. Senator Dodd's list of Political contributors looks like Wall Street's Most Wanted. AIG, while giving something over $100,000 to Republicans in the last election cycle, gave four times that to the Democrats. The Democrats' outrage is pure political theatre.
This is looking like an episode of the Sopranos. The boys at AIG have been double-crossed. It appears the worst investment those Wall Street villains made was in trying to buy protection from the Democrats.
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