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The Piglets are beginning to squeal over A I G (2098 hits)

Oops- big double oops. Senator Dodd the outspoken Congressman against the bonuses for AIG --now states after being grilled on CNN that he did not KNOW that the bonuses were in the stimulus (Recovery) act that he signed!!

He was "completely unaware of the bonuses until last week" --come on--we the people have known about this for months! This statement is the hallmark of "lying Washington D.C. style"

UPDATE: Dodd put out the following statement this evening:

"I'm the one who has led the fight against excessive executive compensation, often over the objections of many. I did not want to make any changes to my original Senate-passed amendment but I did so at the request of Administration officials, who gave us no indication that this was in any way related to AIG. Let me be clear " I was completely unaware of these AIG bonuses until I learned of them last week.

" Reports that I changed my position on this issue are simply untrue. I answered a question by CNN last night regarding whether or not a specific date was aimed at protecting AIG. When I saw that my comments had been misconstrued, I felt it was important to set the record straight " that this had nothing to do with AIG.

"Fortunately, we wrote this amendment in a way that allows the Treasury Department to go back and review these bonus contracts and seek to recover the money for taxpayers. Again, I have led the fight to curb excessive executive compensation, and will continue to do so."

No--I think he got caught and he never imagined the backlash across the country..why am I having deja vu--from the Nixon years? I was in my 20's -I remember Watergate very well--especially the lies from Nixon himself, and they were very similar in form.
Posted By: Marta Fernandez
Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 8:09AM
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I remember listening to Dodd on the radio 3 months ago talking about this. Even back then, we had already heard stories about AIG spending millions on parties, spas and “massages,” and other luxury perks and junkets for its employees and execs. There was outrage then, and Dodd was on talking about how, “this time,” we will have accountability in the bill to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

At the time, I thought, “we’re screwed” because listening to him Dodd didn’t strike me as the sharpest tool in the drawer, nor did he seem to have any passion for what needed to be done, namely, making sure that there is accountability to the tax payers for the TARP funds and the money isn’t misused. Every dollar of that money should go towards its mission of fixing the economy. Dodd fumbled and stumbled in his explanations then, and I think, while he may have lied about this last night, I am more apt to believe that it was his own incompetence, derived at from years of a comfortable existence in Congress, where everything is done on a wink and a nod, where what appears to us as warring parties are sitting down in Mr. Henry’s on The Hill backslapping each other over beers, that caused his explanation last night to be less than exact.

That said; guess who was the largest recipient of campaign contributions from AIG this past election cycle? Dodd! Guess who’s number two on the list? I’ll be *&%$@ if it isn’t Obama.

Now, I love Obama, he’s class and he’s still my president. I think he’s an improvement by exponential proportions over The Decider. This won’t change that. But I have to give him some advice here: you need to be more hands on. There’s too much at stake here and too many people are depending on you, Mr. Change, to make a difference, and this is looking like business as usual in the worst way. You can’t have that. You need to get down in the weeds and if the devil’s in the details, its time to go to hell on this. There’s too much at stake here, for the nation and for you politically. Nothing that has happened with this AIG fiasco should be a surprise to you or anyone in your administration. You tapped Geithner because he has a reputation of being “smart” when it comes to finance, but he has to start proving his worth. Geithner was at the right hand of Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who was obviously crooked when he cooked up the bailout of AIG. The same issues of accountability arose way back then. I know you brought in Geithner in part because he knew where all the bodies were buried at Treasury and the Fed, but that’s even more reason why you have to keep him under close reign.

Axelrod and Jarrett warned you about all this, and you decided to not take their advice; you decided to look to DC instead of Chicago. Obama, go back to your roots!

Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 9:25AM
Hmm-firstly when you are accepting donations you do not know the drama behind the donors. seocndly--Obama has been known to give back funds from his campaign war chest. Why would his campaign manager warn him ? last year? and what is Jarrett saying that makes you write this? if what you are saying is true--I hardly think Obama would have been as forceful against AIG as he has.
Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 9:44AM
Marta Fernandez
I'm sorry, I stand corrected: Obama is fourth on the top recipients list of campaign contributions from AIG:

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000000123&type=P&state=&sort=A&cycle=A

It might seem gratuitous that I threw that in there. But that was to underscore my point about the political implications of how this is being played out and what’s at risk in that regard.

As for the warnings, I’m talking about Lawrence Summers, Geithner et al. These guys have very close ties to Paulsen, Wall Street firms like Goldman; too close, and so given that, I would advise Obama not to trust Geithner to make policy on his own at this stage. Too much political capital is at stake here.

Dodd is incompetent, Geithner is weak in a go-along-to-get-along type of way, and Obama appears to be way too trusting of them all. Hence my advice boiled down: don’t trust them and watch your back!

Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 11:14AM
It's not a question as to his placement -- but like he said "I am President" this man gives me the impression that he is solid as a rock!
Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 12:19PM
Marta Fernandez
I’m not worried about Obama; he’ll handle his business, as they say. But another thing: this bonus brouhaha could just be the distraction to take our eyes off the really big stuff going on in the background. I heard someone on Talk Left today make the point that, while we’re looking at 170 million in bonuses, what has happened to the 170 billion we’ve given them so far? For example, AIG gave Goldman $13 billion to make them whole, dollar-for-dollar, on their risks on the CDSs. Why does Goldman have to be made whole, instead of getting a percentage on the dollar, when they took the risk (and essentially making the taxpayer eat the loss)? There are other banks, Deutsche Bank, Citadel, etc. that got billion dollar payouts from AIG for the same purpose.

Here’s some AIG background for you. Some of this stuff is absolutely incredible. DOJ has been looking into this for some time now. Given the way the company apparently has been throwing money around, the bonuses appear to be par for the course.

Did Cassano And AIG Commit Fraud?
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/03/did_cassano_and_aig_commit_fraud.php?ref=fp2

And check out the deal Cassano got from AIG.

“Mar 31, 2008: Cassano "retires" with a million dollar a month consulting contract and a $34 million golden parachute. According to one investor lawsuit filed in January, Cassano had earned $280 million over the previous 8 years -- more than AIG's CEO.”

This is, as they say “stupid money.”

AIG Documents: retention plan, bonus agreement, etc.
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/03/read_the_docs.php

The contracts appear to have been written with future events in mind, e.g. the possibility of legal and even criminal actions to be taken.


Here’s Robert Reich on the bailout. He makes the political points I was attempting to make earlier.

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/robert_reich/2009/03/in-the-wake-of-aig-obamas-firs.php

AIG is stinking to high-heaven. I’m glad Obama has taken steps to dispense with the bonus nonsense, because there’s some real serious stuff here. And he’s right: putting the regulations in place to prevent this stuff is an absolute priority.

Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 12:57PM
Keep it real. all of the people in the senate and house both the white and the house of reps had knowledge of what was in the package or are they just going with the flow. I am not convinced that this is not just a scam to get the rich richer or get the not so rich to be unrich..either way a dozen in one bank and twelve in the other.
Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 1:28PM
Hmmm who is this Cassano? a million a month? as we say "I ain't mad at you" somebody show me how to do that!! no on the serious side--even back in 1997 AIG was a humdinger in dealing with healthcare claims , so the fraud issue is there I am sure. Mr.Obama stated this afternoon that he has to follow the letter of the law, because he does not want them suing the government and getting their bonuses back plus some! he is thinking like a lawyer.
Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 7:37PM
Marta Fernandez



Cassano headed up the Financial Products division, the group responsible for the credit swaps. They are essentially investment bankers. Anyone wanting to get into this would need a degree in finance or economics, and would need to have gotten that sheepskin from either an Ivy League school, Wharton or Stanford, or have some connections where you were able to get an opportunity to make your bones at lesser known firm. Or be an alumnus of Goldman.

The short story is these swaps were insurance policies on those mortgage-backed securities that would pay off in the event the holders of them lost money. What got AIG in a bind was, deregulation said they did not have to put up cash reserves to cover them in the event they had to payout, so they didn’t. BTW, these are the regulations Obama has vowed to put back in place, thank God. The housing market went south; they owed their customers hundreds of billions, and the rest as they say is history, or where we are now. Cassano’s problem was DOJ had started investigating them for fraud several years ago and they actually began to dig up some dirt. He resigned and got that deal the article mentioned. The question I have is this: how much is enough? If I had made $280 million over the last eight years, I wouldn’t want for a nickel more. (But that’s me talking now) How much can one man have? Many if not most of the people who were getting these bonuses were already millionaires many times over, so really in the context of the times we’re talking sheer greed.

What TARP has done, is pull back the covers on a lot of the stuff that goes on. In their rarefied world, its “business as usual,” so no one thought that the bonuses would be as big as deal as they turned out to be. As Irma said, they do this all the time. This is why some banks had said recently they may give back the TARP money, because they don’t want their dirty laundry aired in the process. But expect a lot of dirt to fly in the coming weeks and months.

Wall Street has been getting a bad name in all this, but there’s another street that has yet to be called out that is really the culprit here, and that’s K Street in DC. That’s where all the lobby and law firms are, representing every trade and corporation in the US and in the world is set up. Lobbyists fan out from there and descend on Capitol Hill like locusts, leaving piles of money in their wake, in the form of “campaign contributions.” Really, this is nothing more than legalized bribery. That loot is the glue that ties all these corporations, wealthy interests and individuals to congress. And anyone who thinks there is no quid pro quo may as well have been born today. A lot of the language in the bills that routinely go through congress are actually written by lobbyists. They are the ones running the country.

Until we understand how that works, and why it is such a corrupting influence, nothing will change. Expect more of this.

Friday, March 20th 2009 at 8:52AM
Check. keep up the anlaysis you are helping us to think -(well thoe of us than engage in that ancient activity) let's watch the events--bigger than Watergate that was a crime syndicate--this is a soap opera long running, replete with villains. As I wrote on my blogs when the crisis hit last summer,somebody is going to jail,you can pluralize that--it takes time for an investigation,
I know it's hard for folks to follow--I know personally one brother who covered for the politicos in las Vegas--and they had a Limo waiting for him aftter his 3 year stint in the Feds house, and former Senator Cleo Washington from Indiana now a lobbyist for AT&T was kind of annoyed by my observation at the Inaugural that Obama renamed them "Legislative Aides" and will soon be taking away their legal powers! too bad. I know they have to eat, he is in a foto with his wife and has children,that I posted but trust me he is a lawyer, he can CREATE a job--so don't feel sorry for them when their world comes tumbling down!
Friday, March 20th 2009 at 12:20PM
Marta Fernandez
Joe Cassano. AIG 84 bill..bailout partied and wasted 400k..then another 38 billion of our tax money, they bragged about the exotic creative loans for home mortgages. Gambling by underwriting mortgages when they didn't have the collateral. From my own blog back in October--I thought the name sounded familiar!!
Saturday, March 21st 2009 at 9:23AM
Marta Fernandez
Here is my problem with this AIG out burst about Bonus...they are acting like this is the first and only time this has happened! From where I stand, It looks like these bonus at AIG is just peanuts when compared to all of the other bonus paid out over the past few years as business went belly up.Were not some CEOs getting $100millions and stocks also when they got fired.....didn't every fired CEO get out ragious$millions on tho of $millions for running their companys into the ground?????!!!???

What about that conservative white lady always on the tv taling about how bad the democrats are, The one that the McCain campaign had to fire. Didn't she get $40million for running her company in the hole and they ended up laying of 2,000 workers? Lets get real as I repeat for the hundreth time. All of this money games could never have happened if GOVERNMENT had not put it's seal of approval on all of it in the first place!!!!!!!!!!WAKE UP.....
Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM
If AIG did not promise to give these people bonus for distroying the company then why should they get a bonus for distroying the company. It is so simple it seem that everyone is over looking this as it was the CEOs who violated the contracts?

If those CEOs were hired to help the company make money and keep it in business to protect the company's intrestes. To do the best jobs work he/she could do to make the company expand and remaining with a positive and valuable social and economic positive on the stock market and the public. If the CEOs did not work for the best interest of AIG then they violated the purpose of the existance of AIG, and they expect a bonus? This is fraud or maybe even black mail to boot.

What I say will not be made public any time soon because we are dealing with the very people who in SELLING out this country by way of going to Washington, D.C. only to get on the best paying lobby list has caused all of this mess. but, it is still too soon for the finger pointing that is sure to come.

Washington, D. c. and our big business, politicians, lobbyst, American citizens you an't seen nothing yet. Our President is a Street Fighter and trust me he is an angry Black man.C-H-A-N-G-E is in Washington...next stop..prison I never fail to laugh when they try to come up with someone or something to compare our president to....You can't This man comes from the streets...he is still comfortable with those on MAIN STREET....I promise the Washington D. C. that is in our future will not be pretty.

Has any one heard about these recieving the tarp money have not been paying their income taxes? 13 of they owe back taxes to the tune of $200million....I am sure it is still going to get better and better as the IRS has no way so far to explain how this got by them....and all of those politicians also.....


Washing, D.C. is beginning to look like a major crime syndicate(smile)Or a soap opera
Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM
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