Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama and the AIG Revisited

Obama's stimulus bill protects the AIG bonuses

Update 19 March 2009

BREAKING: I was responsible for bonus loophole, says Dodd

Sen. Dodd told CNN Wednesday that officials in the Treasury Department asked him to add the bonus loophole to the stimulus bill before it was passed.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Senate Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN’s Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer Wednesday that he was responsible for adding the bonus loophole into the stimulus package that permitted AIG and other companies that received bailout funds to pay bonuses.

Watch: I'm responsible for bonus loophole, Dodd says
On Tuesday, Dodd denied to CNN that he had anything to do with the adding of that provision.
Full story

When did Geithner know about AIG bonuses?
Frank: Ownership key to recouping AIG bonuses

Dan Spencer
Right Side Politics Examiner
March 18, 12:53 AM ·

What outrageous crocodile tears.

President Obama feigns choked up anger and Democrat Congress critters bloviate and threaten confiscatory taxes. It is all an act -- an attempt to cover one's posterior.

The Associated Press reports the Obama administration and members of Congress have known for months that American International Group was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while surviving on taxpayer bailouts:

It wasn't until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.
[. . .]
So far, the administration has been unable to match its actions to Obama's tough rhetoric on executive compensation. And Congress has been unable or unwilling to restrict bonuses for bailout recipients, despite some lawmakers' repeated efforts to do so.

The situation has the White House and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the defensive. The administration was caught off guard Tuesday trying to explain why Geithner had waited until last Wednesday to call AIG chief executive Edward M. Liddy and demand that the bonus payments be restructured.

Not only did lawmakers and administration officials know about A.I.G.'s plans to pay hundreds of millions of dollars of bonuses last fall, but even more infuriating is the fact that language in Obama's so-called stimulus bill actually protects the A.I.G bonuses.
The "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," provides at Section 111(b)(3)(D)(iii):
[. . .]
`(iii) The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary
I can't help but wonder what, if anything, those bonuses Obama received from A.I.G. had to do with this mess. I am comforted that, except for three Senators, the entire Republican Congressional delegation voted against Obama's so-called stimulus.


The AIG Bucks Stop at Obama’s Desk - DC Examiner
AIG Outrage - Larry Kudlow, National Review
The Real 'Outrage' Behind AIG's Bonuses - Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times
AIG Anger Depletes Obama's Political Capital - Washington Post