March 16th, 2009
04:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Congress looking for ways to recoup AIG bonuses

The House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, is taking a look at the bonuses being paid to AIG employees.
The House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, is taking a look at the bonuses being paid to AIG employees.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Outraged House Democrats are scrambling to figure out what, if anything, they can do to recoup the $165 million in bonuses AIG awarded to employees after the company received $170 billion in federal bailout funds.

A House Democratic leadership aide and a House financial services committee aide said Congress is trying to shame AIG executives and employees into forgoing the bonuses while investigating possible legal avenues that can be used to force AIG to return the money used for bonuses.

The House financial services committee is trying to determine if Congress can force AIG to renegotiate the bonuses the company says it is legally required to give employees as dictated by contracts negotiated before it received its first infusion of bailout dollars in September, according to the committee aide.

Both aides said it is unclear what authority Congress has to force AIG to take back the bonuses. Complicating the issue is the fact that the first infusion of cash to AIG was authorized by the Federal Reserve before Congress passed the $700 billion Trouble Asset Relief Program, which included some restrictions on executive pay.

AIG CEO Edward Liddy will face intense questioning about the bonuses when he testifies Wednesday before the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets.


Filed under: AIG • Congress
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. WhoCares?

    "There isn't any regulation that says bankers are forbidden to take a bonus. If people earned them by contract, they have to be paid."

    "Let's review your year John"

    "Yes Sir, Looking forward to showing you how horrible I failed this year"

    "Perfect" Let's look at the list :

    "You lost billions of your client's money?"

    "Check!"

    "The company's stock dropped to it all-time low?"

    "Check!"

    The company actually completely failed and had to be bailed out by taxpayers???"

    "Check!"

    "Well then...I see no reason not to award you your full 1.5 Billion Bonus"

    "I know huh...I did a great job!"

    March 16, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. HelloooOOOOO

    OK, cNN, Ill post my opinion about the people suing AIG on MSNBC, who does allow people to freely state thier opinions with out being censored by you !

    March 16, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Mel

    A Little Sad, having a job at all should be enough incentive in these trying times. If those people end up out on their butts, are they really any better off? They'll have a hard time finding a job at all.

    March 16, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Kim

    Why aren't the Republicans saying anything???? They seem to have comments and suggestions on everything else lately!

    March 16, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Naked Awareness

    The Republicans are quiet about AIG's misuse of TARP funds because they ARE AIG,
    Liddy is an active Republican,

    March 16, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. HelloooOOOOO

    LET THE PEOPLE SUE AIG, GET OUR MONEY BACK !!!

    March 16, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Lysh

    Disgusting that "bonuses" can be written into contracts. That's not a bonus, that's a salary.

    If a bonus is guaranteed, where's the incentive to perform?

    If it's tax payer money, and the government owns 80% of AIG, it would seem they have every right to withhold their bonuses.

    March 16, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Madison

    It pays to work for AIG. You're rewarded for being a failure.

    March 16, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Anita

    Maybe Congress should consider not abusing the tax payers anymore and STOP THROWING OUR MONEY AWAY!

    March 16, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. David

    Don't tell me that corruption doesn't pay. It pays BIG!!!!

    March 16, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. johnny

    @ Gerald March 16th, 2009 4:28 pm ET

    BTW schmuck, it was the FED who gave out the initial AIG bailout.

    March 16, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Thomas

    If this weren't so serious it would be funny. It's like trying to get a room full of three-year-olds to do what you want. Isn't it strange that the more the government sticks it's nose in the banks' business, the better their bottom line becomes.

    March 16, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Taa Taa

    Yeah I noticed that too.. Why are the republicans so quiet on this issue... Helllleerrrr.... Rethuglicans, where are you? These people should be in a cell right beside Madoff..... I AM OUTRAGED!!!!! AIG is taking advantage because they know they are the umbrella over a lot of companies and people.. HOLD THESE SCUMS ACCOUTABLE!!!

    March 16, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Kelly

    The recipients of these bonuses should be made public to insure that no one will hire them.

    March 16, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. WhoCares?

    "The Republicans are quiet about AIG's misuse of TARP funds because they ARE AIG,
    Liddy is an active Republican,"

    THANK YOU!!!

    Finally someone that understands why the panic was so huge during the AIG bailout....THIS IS WHERE ALL THOSE CONGRESSPEOPLE HAVE THEIR MONEY".

    Now the Auto-makers...Well, that's just normal hard-working Americans that will get the shaft there so no biggie!

    March 16, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. HelloooOOOOO

    I want my money back !!! SUE AIG...thats what the people need to DO !

    March 16, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. disgusted

    Kurt C. March 16th, 2009 4:29 pm ET

    So, Obama is going to try and legally deny something that was in the contract before he started handing money out left and right?

    That's a great idea Obama, let's drag all this into court and cost the taxpayer even more money.

    Don't you know it's hypocritical to complain about someone wasting millions of dollars when you just wasted 1.4 trillion dollars? Impeachment time is here.
    ______________________________________________________

    If they can insist GM rework contracts, what is the difference? Just keep up the anti-Obama that you do everyday. Do you have an idea or opinion that requires independent thought?

    March 16, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. JT

    GO GET THEM, OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 16, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. bob

    Forget the lousy $165M. I say clawback the $12B from Deutsche Bank. It is nice to know that taxpayer dollars are being given to AIG to bail out foreign companies.

    March 16, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. jeremy

    how about this just don't give scumbag companies like AIG any more money. let them fail, so progressive companies can get a foothold in this system.

    March 16, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Taa Taa

    Kurt C, this is not about Obama you moron. This is about people like you (you idiot), who don't know anything about anything. We could care less about how you feel about your President, we are talking about our money. And if you want to blame someone (you dipstick), blame your party and Dubya.... (Forest Gump)

    March 16, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Lane

    It's time to let AIG fail. You can't fix stupid.

    March 16, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Staunch Democrat

    The reasons why the Republicans are soo quiet in expressing their outrage is because THEY ARE IN CONFERENCE WITH RUSH LIMBAUGH TO DETERMINE THEIR NEXT RESPONSE....YOU KNOW THE GOP CAN'T MAKE A MOVE UNLESS RUSH BLESSES IT.

    March 16, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Taa Taa

    I agree. We need to sue AIG.... How can we get this started????

    March 16, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Angie in PA

    HOW ABOUT YOU STOP GIVING THEM MONEY! NOW THATS A START!

    March 16, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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