A.I.G., the black hole which has already swallowed more than $170 billion in taxpayer-funded bailouts, is paying its top executives $165 million in bonuses today.
A.I.G chairman Edward Liddy said that the firm was contractually obligated to pay out these bonuses since they had been agreed to before.
[If the firm had gone bankrupt -- which it essentially has -- would it still have been obligated to pay these bonuses? And a "bonus" is supposed to be an extra payment given at the end of the year for a job well done in a profitable year for the firm.]
The bulk of the bonuses are for employees at AIG Financial Products, the branch of the company responsible for selling credit default swaps, the very instrument which drove A.I.G. under.
Liddy explained, "We cannot attract the best and brightest talent to lead and staff the AIG businesses....if their compensation is subject to....arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury."
How "best and brightest" can these employees be if they are the ones responsible for socking the taxpayers with a $170 billion bill? And that argument about how the employees might go elsewhere if not richly compensated is wearing a bit thin: there are very few elsewhere's for them to go to anymore.
"A.I.G." must stand for Always Incredibly Greedy.
[All Income Governmental?]
Expect the townsfolk to come out with their torches and pitchforks.