March 18th, 2009
02:54 PM ET
13 years ago

Cafferty: Washington to blame for AIG bonus scandal?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Join the conversation on Jack's blog."]
As outrage over AIG bonuses reaches a fever pitch, many are now wondering why our leaders in Washington didn’t do more to prevent the situation in the first place. The Obama administration says that it didn’t know until a couple of weeks ago that AIG executives were set to receive $165 million in bonuses.

They say that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner found out last Tuesday; and the president learned of all this on Thursday, just a day before the controversial retention payments went through. But Geithner was running the New York Federal Reserve Bank last fall when AIG got a high-interest loan of 85 billion dollars to help prevent collapse — along with its first installment of federal bailout money.

And none of these folks must watch CNN because in late January, Mary Snow did a story on this very program about the insurance giant paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to its financial products unit.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here.

Filed under: Cafferty File
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. with the representative changing every few years

    it is tough to put the blame on anyone except the vague group of washington

    but I blame Bush all the same

    March 18, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. gt

    of course it was chris dodd back room deal

    March 18, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. joseph

    democrats doing what they do best. . . deny deny deny

    March 18, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. joseph

    democrats doing what they do best. . . deny blame bush deny blame bush deny ect. .

    March 18, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Hispanic in Dallas, TX

    That's right, it's Congress who let this cat out of the bag and our tax dollars in the pockets of these AIG executives.

    The Congress didn't know what the heck it was doing giving billions in tax payer monies and now it's trying to put the blame on the company, what did they expect!!

    Some job these elected officials are doing!

    End this now!!

    March 18, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. The J Miester

    GET THE MONEY BACK! ALL OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. mark

    Washington gave them the money without stipulation! I would think so.

    Course even Hillary supporters have to agree the media's affirmative action is getting old.

    March 18, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. eric in texas

    Take things into contrast:
    If those bonuses were part of a contract then AIG must legally stand by that contract. They did not file bankrupcy so therefore the contracts are LEGAL AND BINDING. Congress has not right, neither do the American people of demanding that those bonuses be repaid. I mean, we pay the congress their money and they have been flushing the entire country down the toilet for a long time.

    If you were promised a bonus from your company and did everything to earn it, would you sue if the government tried to take it away? The problem here is once the government steps into to forcibly remove or tax (at 100%) these bonuses, what stops them from doing it to other businesses that they disagree with?

    This administrations actions are leading the entire country to socialism. I don't care what anyone on here complains about. Look at the simple facts. We have a government that is stepping in to run every facet of our society. They are intent on running big business, healthcare, education, etc. That IS socialism.

    March 18, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Yeah, right, sure.... Nobammy didn't know my eye (and I don't mean eyeball)!!! Now, guess what else, ACORN, remember the illustrous community organizing jokers that has a history of voter fraud charges???? They have been selected to partner with the government for the 2010 Census. Your tax dollars at work, once again, supporting the illiterate, indigent, welfare workers that cheat for ACORN!!

    Post this CNN – its your right to keep the taxpayers informed

    March 18, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Rick

    I'm sure Obama, Pelosi and Frank are looking for a backdoor to escape the reprecutions that their giving TAX PAYER money for BONUSES at AIG has caused. Obama, you say the buck stops here, well why dont you finish one thing before making another distraction. Obama Your DISTRACTIONS have caught up with you, now maybe you will see that we the tax payers are upset with AIG, Congress, Pelosi, Frank and of course you yourself Obama. So whats next, you think we are all dumb enough to believe that you can tax just their bonuses, thats a scheme to get a tax through to tax all americans on any bonus.

    March 18, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. yuri

    But of course the name of the game is " blame'! The problem is who is/are the author(s) of this behemoth brute called – blame? Finger-pointin' is so facile and the fury of fellow Americans will forever find and figure out a phenomenon or person(s) responsible for this furore, pretty fast, we feel.

    March 18, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. What a joke...

    So where is all the outrage over Geithner, since he had the most to do with AIG???? Oh since it is Obama's "only guy who can do the job" you hear nothing but crickets.......

    March 18, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Jimbo

    Yes. If the allowed an exception for AIG then how can it not be their fault. This is very poor performance by everyone involved (congress and the white house). How could they have been so careless. At least I hope it was careless instead of intentional.

    March 18, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. The Broker.

    Mister Cafferty. 'Listen to this Guy `Mystery`. 12:53pm eastern Time.
    it snuck in there. Just like Borack Obama.

    March 18, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. DavidinCA

    Both the Obama administration and the Pelosi congress know exactly how these financial businesses operate. Since they did not put any wording in the original documentation restricting these bonuses they in essence approved them up-front. They absolutely knew what they were doing and so all of this outrage is just for show.

    March 18, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. mark

    cafferty's article yesterday gave nothing but praise for Obama. His cabinet is a mess, and his lack of leadership experience is causing Pelosi to run all over him.

    If the media wouldnt have turned on Hillary would we be in this situation? Im not a hillary fan but things would be better.

    United states of the media

    March 18, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. The Broker.

    Should have been Pacific Time.

    March 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. PATC

    When will Dodd, Obama, McCain etc. pay back campaign contributions from AIG? Also where is the news that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Executives (yes we own them too) are getting bonuses?

    March 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. barack is still just b.o.

    didn't know? Then why take out the provision that would have prevented this from happening?

    March 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Big Al

    Jack – If you believe that Obama and Geithner were not aware of this until last Thursday, then I'd bet that you still believe in Santa Claus.

    March 18, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. P. Forbes

    Hey Jack,
    Congress runs the bailout. The AIG bonuses are just earmarks.

    March 18, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. bob in LA

    short answer- NO.
    The average American with any sort of stock, who bought a car that was even slightly out of their price range, who sold thier house and bought a bigger one, who thought the boom years would go on forever, who felt the government was run by poeple that understood what to do with our money. These are who is to blame

    March 18, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. jeff

    Yes they are just as responsible as they in Washington steal more taxpayers money than Bernie Madoff, AIG, the BIG 3

    March 18, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. TerryT

    Buck stops here Mr President?

    The incompetence starts at the top too, I think.

    What is worse that this is happening or that we are to believe the white house is sticking to its 'story' that they only found out about this next week?!?!?

    Maybe you can ask Jay Leno what he thinks.

    I wonder what scripted questions and answers you will vomit up tonight?

    March 18, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Huh...

    So where is all the outrage over Geithner, since he had the most to do with AIG???? Oh since it is Obama's "only guy who can do the job" you hear nothing but crickets.

    March 18, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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