March 18th, 2009
10:01 AM ET
5 years ago

AIG's Liddy: 'I share that anger'

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Edward Liddy, chief executive of bailed out insurer American International Group, will tell Congress Wednesday that he found the company's controversial bonuses 'distasteful,' but necessary because of legal obligations and competition.
Edward Liddy, chief executive of bailed out insurer American International Group, will tell Congress Wednesday that he found the company's controversial bonuses 'distasteful,' but necessary because of legal obligations and competition.

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) – Edward Liddy, chief executive of bailed out insurer American International Group, will tell Congress Wednesday that he found the company's controversial bonuses "distasteful," but necessary because of legal obligations and competition, according to a written copy of his testimony.

"We have to continue managing our business as a business - taking account of the cold realities of competition," Liddy will tell the House Financial Services subcommittee. The hearing is set to begin at 10 a.m.

"Because of this, and because of certain legal obligations, AIG has recently made a set of compensation payments, some of which I find distasteful," he added.

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Filed under: AIG
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Charlotte from Charlotte

    So, were the bonuses legal? Is there no recourse?
    If so, then move on. This story is getting very old.

    March 18, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Jen, Cali

    What's with blaming ONLY Congress? Doesn't O have an equal responsibility to know what he signs?

    March 18, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. Brian Crooks

    Competition?! Who's competing to hire the guys that bankrupted AIG?

    March 18, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  4. demwit

    I love Obama.., he can do no wrong with my tax money! And I certainly support giving him more!!

    March 18, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Los

    You know how there's separation of church and state? What we need is separation of state and business. I don't mean that in the GOP "All government intervention is bad" way, what I'm saying is that the way that business is able to basically *buy* politicians, that's got to stop.

    March 18, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. demwit

    Come on people calm down! Obama is savvvvving jobs!!

    March 18, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Brad, California

    Yeah, right. Retention payments to retain the "talent" that created a large part of the world economic crisis, which is in reality, holding the American people hostage by telling us that the people who created the mess are the only ones bright enough to fix it, and therefore in need of being retained. That's a simple terrorist tactic.

    We watch as our congress puts on a wonderful show for the benefit of the American people, with republicans and democrats arguing to determine who can be the most outraged.

    Wake up senator, wake up congressman! People are bright enough to see through your charade, and as long as you have AIG or some other crisis of your own making going on, the public can't concentrate on your personal and institutional failures.

    So while AIG and others continue to crawl forward on the taxpayers' dime, we as a nation need to realize that AIG is just a mirrored symptom of the lack of oversight and relaxation of rules and regulations created by the self-serving ignorance and stupidity we the people have sent to Washington, in some cases the same people for decades.

    We can't change without changing!

    Settle it, get it over with. The AIG employees who created the mess should be banned from the American financial industry for life, and the American financial industry should be reeled in tightly. Certainly our government has the authority to do that.

    If Americans are at all concerned with what's going on in our country, then take some personal responsibility in 2010 and choose anything that does NOT have the word "incumbent" beside it.

    March 18, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Scott, Tucson

    And why are we not outrage at the salaries and automatic pay raises that congress and the senate earn for their poor job performace? Maybe we the people should be demanding that they return 90% or, all of their paychecks back to the treasury until such time they truly deserves a paycheck.

    March 18, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Todd

    Obama is in over his head.....He can make a show of this, to once again hide the Billions (in pork) he signed off on last week and immediately turned around and talked about being against pork.

    He took their money to talk his way into the White House, knew of the bonuses when he also voted for this bailout, and then complains once he knows that the U.S. citizens are upset that there's nothing HE can do about it.

    This guy is a joke. Can't wait to find out what he didn't mean next week!!

    March 18, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. jt

    Rich lies, politician lies and the poor suffers...what a world we live in, hope President Obama will make a difference, this time.

    March 18, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Ian

    If we had let them fail this wouldn't be an issue. Get over it.

    March 18, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Tom in Delaware

    From Wiki-Pedia: A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a trial. Bills of attainder are forbidden by Article I, section 9, clause 3 of the United States Constitution.

    Chuck Schumer has now gone 'Full Retard'with his insane claims about taxing the AIG recieients should they mot be intimidated to part with the bonus money.

    The Democrats wrote the TARP and The Stimulus Bill and could have included any langauge they wanted to prevent these bonuses, just like they demanded the UAW change it's contract before the Big Three Bailout...they choose not to.

    No one in charge (Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, etc.) has lifted a finger to correct the 'Deregulation' problem that they claim is the source of all our woes, nor has the MSM stuck a microphone into anybody's face to ask why.

    'The Foxes are still in the Hen House'.

    Why is it still possible to attain sub-prime loans despite the knowledge that they have devastated our banking system?

    This just didn't happen 'to' these poor Democrats, it happened 'because' of them.

    If nothin' changes, then nothin' changes.

    Tea Party, April 15th, 2009
    Coming to a city near you.

    March 18, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. matt

    The dumb thing about our government is the fact that Dodd (and throw away his Party affiliation, it really doesn't matter), but the fact that Dodd wrote the provisions for AIG's bailout $ AND he received campaign contributions from AIG...where is the conflict of interest clause in our government???

    March 18, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Ian

    If we had let them fail this wouldn't be an issue.

    March 18, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Mel

    Uh huh. I don't believe him.

    March 18, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    If the company had been managed like a business in the first place, then AIG wouldn't have drowned in it's own paper garbage of bad loans and even worst management. Boy, sometimes the stock holders are sure stupid.

    March 18, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. rob

    He's a liar–get back the money..Liddy should be in jail for treason . all contracts can be broken

    March 18, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. brack obama is just b.o.

    Campaign Contribution to Congress by AIG
    Open secrets ^ | 09.16.08 | Perdogg

    Top recipients of AIG contributions
    Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 7:40:06 PM by Perdogg

    Dodd, Christopher J (D-CT)
    Senate $104,300
    Obama, Barack (D-IL)
    Senate $45,111
    McCain, John (R-AZ)
    Senate $41,200
    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY)
    Senate $36,831
    Baucus, Max (D-MT)
    Senate $24,750
    Biden, Joseph R Jr (D-DE)
    Senate $19,975

    March 18, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Steph

    On Sept. 16, 2008, the federal government took over AIG (see WSJ article on 9/16/08). Just for the record, Bush was still the president. Both McCain and Obama received large campaign donations from AIG. No one (in either party) demanded more control over what AIG did and how execs were compensated. We, the American people, didn't stay involved and demand we have more information. We are all to blame, and we need to stop this stupid arguing and demand better oversight and transparency.

    March 18, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  20. bob in LA

    If Liddy really shared the taxpayers anger, he would have negotiated lower bonuses or none at all at certianly would have mentioned to Congress they neede to put a provision on the bailout funds.
    Is anyone else sick of the crap coming form the mouths of big business and our government?

    March 18, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ George, Greenville

    Those executives who recieved the bonuses knew exactly what they were doing. They knew there were loopholes in their contracts. I don't work on Wall St. and therefore don't have to worry about my money getting confiscated by the government. Wall St. has already flushed my Roth IRA down the drain. Being from NY, I've always known Wall St. to be full of crooks. Make it a Blockbuster night George and rent the movie Wall St. Maybe then you'll understand the type of scum that works there.

    March 18, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Mickie

    Since many who received bonuses who caused the failure of AIG, why would anybody compete to hire them in the first place. There is such a thing as "earned" bonuses and without seeing the contract, I can't believe it says they get a bonus regardless of performance and results of said performance. There is no reason the government could not amend the IRS by stating any bonuses paid with taxpayer bailout money are taxed at a rate of (99%) and the employees are not even worth that!

    March 18, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. Fed Up

    Slobbering Barney Frank says the AIG bonuses "reward incompetence." The same can be said for congressional salaries – they reward incompetence, too.

    March 18, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Tony

    B.S.!!!!!!

    What a joke.

    America, the land of ignorance, greed, deception and lies!

    March 18, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Robin

    Okay, people. Take a deep breath, and do some research. Do not take the tiny spoonfuls that the ticker provides you.

    FACT: Congress KNEW about the bonus structure prior to AIG getting additional bail out money and did nothing about it.

    FACT: AIG is now giving 13billion to Goldman Sachs. Congress knows this, but did not want to bail out Goldman Sachs themselves. So what do they do? They give AIG 30 billion with a "wink and a smile".

    FACT: Geitner knew all about the bonuses. Yet, he does not want to be part of today's "witch burning". Very interesting. Maybe it was because executives of AIG had take a $1 salary and this compensation was CONTRACTED.

    FACT: AIG is/was a very large contributor to President Obama. (Talk about pay back).

    FACT: George Bush is no longer president. Please stop blaming him. This one belongs to Obama.

    This is a DISTRACTION Sheeple. They don't want you to pay attention to where else the money is going.

    March 18, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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