March 21st, 2009
10:22 AM ET
14 years ago

20 states launch AIG investigations

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="American International Group has received $170 billion in government money since September."]
(CNN) - Twenty state attorneys general announced investigations Friday into the $165 million bonuses paid by insurance giant AIG last week, with Connecticut's top lawyer issuing subpoenas to CEO Edward Liddy and 11 other executives.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the Democratic chairman of the General Assembly's Banks Committee want Liddy and other executives to appear Thursday and bring with them "original or copies of documents regarding the AIG Financial Products Corp. retention bonus plan and any related contracts or agreements."

"Now living off supersized taxpayer-paid bonuses, these AIG employees have a moral and legal obligation to appear at this legislative hearing and disclose details about corporate compensation to employees as well as investment decisions by AIG Financial Products Corp. involving credit derivatives and dealings that have led to market destruction," said Blumenthal, a Democrat.

AIG officials are citing a Connecticut law to justify their payment of the bonuses. The law says that employees can sue in civil court for payments withheld that are due them and recoup double the amount of money. Many AIG employees live in Connecticut.

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Filed under: AIG
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Alfred E Neumann

    Wow, launching an AIG investigation.

    It would a better use of their time if we gave these "investigators" a shovel with instructions to fix the potholes.

    More posturing for an evening news sound bite. Can the public be that stupid. Yup!

    March 21, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Republicans for failure

    Dont you just love corporate socialism?Its ok for companies ,just not people on the street.

    March 21, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. joe smith

    wonder if mr madoff was able to get some this money in his hands, maybe there's a connection, could be why the Swiss are relaxing their hold on some accounts there, now this could get very interesting..

    March 21, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Cyrus Shick in Nashville, TN

    All I have to say about AIG is "ENOUGH!"

    March 21, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. joe smith

    maybe some of this money ended up in some canadates re-election coffers, or maybe some seeking office for the first time; now that couldn't happen, could, MSNBC

    March 21, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Paul H

    How can we turn a blind eye the the fact that this stimulus had written into it, and was worded so that these bonuses could be payed, and in some cases would be payed.
    This congress gave these banks, permission to pay out these bonuses. Until now that everyone finds out about them, and gets mad. Now they want to impose their, will and power on them and take the money back.
    This is the United States of America, not the USSR, or China.
    Maybe it's not right to pay those bonuses out on a intellectual, or moral standard. But they do have the right to pay them out, and then they live with the consequences. But for a government to impose it's will, and to abuse it's power like this is worse, because if they get by with this..................?.................. Do you really think it stops here?
    This government is already effecting your everyday lives via Global warming, and a down economy. They are pushing every agenda they can until we wise up, and start speaking up. (Speak while you still have a voice)

    March 21, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Robert Pierce

    I keep hearing that these bonuses are necessary to attract top quality people to these Financial institutions, like AIG. If corporate failure, universal economic collapse, fraud, corruptions, and utter greed is what we get from these "top quality" people, who needs them? They obviously aren't doing anything to better anyone's life but their own. In fact they're ruining millions of people's lives. Who needs them?

    I do have money invested in AIG. Not because I put it there, but because my initial investment company was bought by AIG and I became an unwitting recipient in their failure, fraud, greed and corruption. Not much of that original money is left, by the way. Who needs them?

    I have negotiated several contracts between employees and employers and understand the legal issue behind contractual obligations. Unfortunately, these "contracts" with corporate executives only speak to their fraud, greed and corruption. contracts should reward people for failure, fraud, corruption, and greed. Who needs them?

    In a few days I will be meeting with my financial advisor. Do what I'm going to do America. Take your money out of AIG, and others like them. You can't pay bonuses to "Top Quality Executives" if no one gives you the money to do so!

    March 21, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. jonny

    EVERYONE'S bonus should be determined by the quality of work they did. These guys obviously dd a really bad job, and therefore should not receive any bonus!

    March 21, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. Paul

    Can't blame Bush for this.

    March 21, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Amber

    We have every right to tax those bonuses back. There are no rewards for failure and thanks to TARP, we OWN 80% of that company; not these fat cats.

    The AIG issue is a populist distraction from the real problem, which is the outrageous compensation that CEOs get on Wall Street. It increased tremendously during the Bush administration. The ratio of CEO compensation on Wall Street to the average worker at their company in 2003 was 301-1. In 2004, it was 431-1. In late 2008, a full year into our recession and with businesses and banks failing all over the country, CEO compensation rates were still at 400-1.

    They reward themselves no matter the condition of their company. That is this opposite of free market capitalism. It is socialism for the wealthy. If we taxed back to 2003 levels, we could fund every solar, wind, infrastructure, electric grid, and public transportation project in the country.

    Open the flood gates!!


    March 21, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. SouthernMan

    The money-changers were thrown out of the temple for making money off of other people's money. I'm getting of the parasites and bloodsuckers of the world getting rich off our money. I'm ready to stuff mine under my mattress (if I could get it from the company where my 401(k) is hiding).

    March 21, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. cmc

    Get off the AIG stuff, I say just break this BIG company down into separate companies with appropiate controls. How do you control something that is so big and so out of control? If it is too big to go down then break it up. That is what the rules were before Reagan and his co-horts undid them and looky here what we have and unregulated mess. everything was separate, now it so intertwined that to unravel this mess is going to take some big steps by the government.

    March 21, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. vic nashville,Tn

    Who will investigate the congress !

    March 21, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. worriedmom

    I can say the same for Democrats! remember Geithner was involved with this before his appt to Obama's administration and anyone will do or say anything to win. Proof is being shown with Obama.

    March 21, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. Ryan, New York

    If you thought the AIG bonuses were a waste of taxses, why would you support their state spending additional money on top of what the federal government is already doing about AIG? Epecially if you live in a state where none of the bonus recipients live, like Oklahoma or Montana. Do you people really think that these investigations are going to be cheap? Definitely a good use of tax dollars.

    March 21, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. bk

    Blame Obama and the Congress. They knew the bonuses were in there they are trying to shift the blame away from them and on individuals. If they can do that to them what stops them from doing what they want to other people? What about the raise Congress just got? Our hours are being cut and we lost 600, 000 jobs again this week. This is a diversion. I thought people were smater than that.

    March 21, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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