AIG = "Always Invest in Garbage," then pay garbage buyers $165 mil. in bonuses

I wish this were an Onion article, but it’s all too real and reported by the New York Times:

[AIG], which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year…

The payments to A.I.G.’s financial products unit are in addition to $121 million in previously scheduled bonuses…

A.I.G., nearly 80 percent of which is now owned by the government, has defended its bonuses… Edward M. Liddy, the government-appointed chairman of A.I.G., said at least some bonuses were needed to keep the most skilled executives.

There’s a legitimate argument for paying multi-million-dollar bonuses to executives in AIG’s many profitable, low-risk business units. But paying $165 million to executives in the very unit that severely damaged the world’s economy and has cost taxpayers $170 billion (and counting) is insane!

“Retention bonuses” for those who bankrupted their massive company, cost U.S. taxpayers a fortune, and helped wreck the world economy?!?!? Are their resumes looking so good now and the financial job market so strong that we’ve got to pay these losers $165 million or they’ll leave? How ‘bout we pay 'em nothing and kick 'em out the door?

Posted by James on Sunday, March 15, 2009