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Make your voice heard in Washington D.C.--AIG getting their first big check at our expense. (1716 hits)

If you had to find one single group of people to blame for our economic crisis, you'd definitely have to consider the financial products division of AIG.

They made huge, bad bets on the housing market that have cost taxpayers $170 billion...so far. That's more than $500 from every American.1

But get this: The Washington Post just reported that these people are receiving $450 million in bonuses—and they got their first installment yesterday.2 They destroyed our economy, and now they're being rewarded for it with our bailout money!

We can't let this stand. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Congress need to do whatever it takes to get our money back.

Can you sign our petition today and then pass it on? We'll deliver it to Secretary Geithner and the congressional committees that supervise AIG. Clicking below will add your name:


After you sign, please forward this to friends and family to make sure the outcry is impossible to ignore. The petition says: "Under no circumstances should the AIG executives who helped create the financial crisis receive bonuses. That's our money and you should do whatever it takes to get it back."

The government may need to get creative to recover these bonuses, but where there's a will, there's a way. And some folks in Congress get it. Representative Barney Frank and Senator Russ Feingold are already investigating ways to get the money back.3

Secretary Geithner already shamed AIG into reducing the bonuses they planned on paying out. But seven executives in the financial products division still received bonuses of more than $3 million each. These people wrote literally trillions of dollars in insurance contracts—those infamous credit default swaps—that they could never hope to cover. And they're getting huge bonuses for perpetrating this fraud.

AIG's main defense is that they have to honor the contracts with these employees. But let's be clear: AIG would be bankrupt and these folks would already have been laid off if it weren't for the government's massive infusion of money. The big car companies took far less taxpayer money, and they're modifying their contracts with autoworkers. AIG should do the same with its employees.4

Geithner and Congress need to do whatever it takes to recover that money.

Wall Street has proven over and over that it's incapable of policing itself. So our elected representatives need to. Sign the petition below and we'll deliver it to Secretary Geithner and Congress to let them know that we're counting on them to step up. Clicking here will add your name:

Posted By: Marta Fernandez
Monday, March 16th 2009 at 1:53PM
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Just signed it. Here are my comments:

“I just heard Obama say that he's going to use every legal option necessary to stop the AIG bonuses from going forward. The people in the Financial Products Dept., even in normal times, cannot be said to have performed in any way that merits them even keeping their jobs, let alone getting bonuses. The attitude AIG CEO Liddy expressed in his letter is indicative of the problem. These wealthy worthies think they are entitled to everything, including taxpayer dollars. Now is the time to put a stop to this foolishness!”

I’ve been posting, writing and pinging all over as well, because this is absolutely an outrage.

The nerve of this guy, Liddy, to send Obama what essentially is an up yours letter at this time. Obama needs to come down hard on these people, if for no other reason than to show them that the administration is not going to be punked like that. The feds (read: “we”) own an 80% stake in AIG, and in normal times having that much interest in any enterprise entitles you to call some shots. The first “shot” to be called is deal with those contracts and do whatever you have to do to prevent these people from getting a dime. They don’t deserve it.

Liddy is trying to treat Obama as if he was born yesterday. He says in the letter these top executives in line for millions in bonuses have decided to “forego their salaries for 2009, and take $1.” But anybody who knows anything about how commission works on Wall Street knows that the salary is considered a pittance compared to the bonuses; that is where they make their money.

As the blog points out, were it not for government money AIG would be in bankruptcy now and these people would be out of jobs. As for Liddy’s contention that the bonuses are needed to keep “good people,” thanks to them there really isn’t a market for credit default swaps right now, and I can imagine the members of this particular group are especially toxic in the financial industry. If this were normal times the SEC and Justice Dept would be crawling all over AIG right now, and people would be looking at jail time down the road. Liddy’s trying to get as much as he can for these people because he knows, best case, they’ve screwed their careers and worst case, the SEC and DOJ is already in pursuit.

Lastly, at some point Obama needs to have a sitdown with Geithner to first, check for a spine, and then find out why he would agree to allow them to have bonuses that are “reduced” by 30% over last year’s bonuses? First of all, whatever was paid last year was over inflated by the bubble. “Reducing” them to 30% does nothing

I’m glad the administration got the message that the anger out there is not “irrational” and just something to be managed lest it prevent it from getting its agenda done, as has been said by various administration spokespersons. The anger is real, its justified and its more than a reasonable response.

Monday, March 16th 2009 at 2:50PM
I will definitely sign and forward. I think the bonuses should be redirected back to the American people. Think about it. 450 million in bonuses. This could be a hugh dent in their payback of the funds they are living off from the American people. If they were made to payback sometimes instead of being given a slap on the hand and sent on to do more destruction, some of these leaders in our country might think twice. I feel enough is enough. They still think we are in the days of slavery where they get something for nothing and live a good life of the sweat and tears of others.. By the way anyone got a job out there where you get paid to screw up, get perks that make no sense and can keep a smile on your face in the midst of other people suffering for your slack? Oh I forgot that job is taken. This mess is sick. And I'm sick of it.
Monday, March 16th 2009 at 4:57PM
My comments: to the Treaswury Secy Geiynet:: The GOP came in with MCI and Enron and they are leaving us with AIG--put a vote before the people in a referendum--
Monday, March 16th 2009 at 5:46PM
Marta Fernandez
Good point Marta; they got us coming and going.

Wednesday, March 18th 2009 at 11:08AM
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