March 16th, 2009
10:12 AM ET
9 years ago

Congress to grill AIG executive

Liddy will be in the  hot seat on Capitol Hill later this week.

Liddy will be in the hot seat on Capitol Hill later this week.

WASHINGTON ( - Lawmakers outraged about the bailout of American International Group will get another forum Wednesday, when the company's CEO is set to go before a House panel probing the government's involvement in the embattled insurer.

Edward Liddy, the AIG chief executive, is sure to be grilled about $160 million in bonuses paid to senior employees last week.

AIG has received three bailout packages, totaling more than $170 billion, in large part because it had issued risky credit default swaps - a kind of insurance for bad loans made by banks and investment companies.

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Filed under: AIG • Congress
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Mark Stout

    AIG is getting a bail-out from the tax payers, but fail to realize that if it was not for this generous contribution to them from the tax payers that they would all be on the unemployment line and there would be no money for there large BONUSES

    March 16, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Mel

    You know, I'm very Democrat but I'm getting sick of this. Stop giving AIG money. They're taking advantage of the gvt. And start holding them responsible. Its time for prison for the heads of this company. They are stealing that money from the American people.

    And its time to make laws that will not allow this to happen again.

    March 16, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. xenia

    AIG should have been forced to file bankruptcy rather than being bailed out by the taxpayers. The contracts would have been renegotiated in the Bankruptcy Court and the taxpayers (who didn't vote to give AIG several bailouts) would not have to foot the bill for big bonuses for executives who failed to do their jobs in the first place.

    Bonuses are for people who do a superior job not for those who cause their companies to fail!

    March 16, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. Nana68

    You are right Rick, but so many people only hear what they want to
    hear. They don't listen to facts nor understand what has and is happening. Time and time again Obama has said no quick fix and
    a lot of this was in place before he came into office.

    March 16, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Joel in Iowa

    If AIG is a federally held company... aren't we able to see employee salaries? All other federal employees' wages are part of the public record. Why not these guys? And aren't most contracts in a "buy out" reviewed?

    hmmm? How many standards do these bankers have?

    March 16, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. paula

    I like the title: "Congress to Grill AIG Executive". Too bad they don't mean on the BBQ. Then again, this one appears too fattened up to be palatable.

    March 16, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. S Callahan

    I agree with Glens comment . This is so emesshed and needs to be unraveled.

    AIG is right to be concern about long term treasury involvement we do want to keep private separate from government..but the boundary was drawn when they accepted government monies...then it became a taxpayers concern (and should be so with their represenatives). Giving bonuses in itself is not the sin....the sin is in the extravagance of the bonuses. Lighten the load..alot..and the public outcry will wain!

    March 16, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. Bill

    It is simple either AIG stops the bonus payments or let AIG go out of businsee.

    March 16, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Will-South Dakota

    Why bother? NO ONE in Congress can do anything about it, AIG will get away with it and then ask for more bailout money and life goes on. Congress is powerless.

    March 16, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. LIP

    Barney Frank steps up to the plate and says "these guys need some rules to play by". Let me see, Barney Frank, the same guy that said two years into W's second term, "the banks don't need any kind of rules" is now saying just the opposite?
    Barney needs to have his feet held to the fire for what he said in the past that ultimately took all of us down and now he needs to have some one slap him around for acting like this is a revelation he has come up with.
    Whoever voted this guy in, vote him out.

    March 16, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. GeorgiaE

    I cannot believe that our Congress and Senate were not aware of AIG's ripoff of the American taxpayers. Where is the oversight? It's time to throw these bums out of office and elect people who have the best interest s of the USA as their top priority. Only then will this country be free, strong, safe, prosperous and a world leader again.

    March 16, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Leta

    I would make sure none of these funds went to the mortgage lending fruad of this industry.....make them shake and see what fall's on the floor......

    March 16, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Duane in Philly

    A lawsuit if AIG doesn't pay the bonuses?? LOL! It would be impossible to find a jury willing to grant millions of dollars in bonuses to executives–no matter what is written into contract.

    March 16, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. Charlotte

    I agree – bonuses should only be paid for stellar performance. So far AIG execs have been a black hole rather than superstars. There is likely language in whatever "pre-existing contracts" they are talking about, that ties bonuses to performance, in which case there should be a legal out for not paying them. If not, the AIG HR dept should be the first to go because they sure set up stupid hiring packages that encumbered the company for bonuses even when not earned. I also agree that all available investigative powers from SEC and FBI to FCC and state/local agencies should throw their efforts to uncovering every single, pathetic, trivial (and nontrivial) example of waste, fraud and abuse that anyone at AIG has ever committed, and throw the book at the lot of them from the top down. If we cannot get our money back legally at least we can get payback by making their lives a merry hell.

    March 16, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. charlie in maine

    The execs are trying to have it both ways. Woe to us if we let them. They want to be socialists when it is time to get the money and free-market capitalists when it is time for them to spend it.

    They need some cash and the need to be regualated NOT one without the other.

    March 16, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. DP

    I say fire the people since they caused a $61 billion loss. Does that void the contract since the employees did not hold up their end of the bargain by creating profitable deals. There are plenty of talented out of work financial managers right now who would be willing to work for AIG.

    March 16, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Leta

    AIG - Contract: If you screw the American People and can capture 100,000,000 each every year for fruadulent mortgages that you know the buyer can't afford then re-mortgage that same piece of property to lets say 5 other buyers. Then we can pay off that property and it can be ours.....paid at the American People's expense......hey, the government will bail us out if we only screw 3 buyers......and AIG will pay you the AIG LOAN OFFICER a 50% BONUS....WIN WIN FOR AIG!!!

    Some times the solution is not so complicated!!!! More than not it really is simple.

    March 16, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Andi

    I don't know if this is true, but I just read that AIG is the holder of the pensions of our lovely Congress. That would explain the money funnel to AIG, but, again, I don't have good info. Anyone?

    March 16, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Scott, Tucson

    I would like for AIG to put out their political contributions list for the public to see.

    March 16, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. no corporate politics

    We have end the donations political candidates get from corporations. It is either lobby money or bundles / PACs (Obama).

    Only then can our government do what is needed beyond this "good talking to" the president and congress is doing.
    DNC / RNC = corporate stooges.

    March 16, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. no corporate politics

    @ Scott "I would like for AIG to put out their political contributions "

    "McCain and Obama collected $103000 and $82600 from AIG"
    many web sites reporting from Federal Election Commission

    March 16, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. Scott the Independent

    With an 80% investment in the company i say its time to call a board meeting and have some termination notices handed out.

    March 16, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Citizen

    Let these executives go. There're all replaceable.

    I need a bailout.. my home value has fallen

    March 16, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Kevin in Ohio

    Doesn't the government own an 80% stake in AIG now? So what is stopping the government from doing what they think needs to be done here?

    March 16, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. SIMP

    no more money for AIG. They need to arrest all these crooks and don't give them anymore money, this is ridiculous.

    March 16, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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