Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
AIG: Let us eat cake
The AIG bonus brigade launch a charm offensive:

AIG’s new management team last year proposed that its employees give up their “retention” bonuses, or at least reduce them. The response from the 370 or so employees set to rake in $450 million in bonuses through 2010?

Take a hike.

“We suggested that early on, but there are people who feel this money was due them,” a source close to the company told The Hill.

It apparently didn’t matter that taxpayers have provided $170 billion and counting to bail out AIG. “Quants,” the people who put together the computer-programmed algorithms behind the complicated hedges and trades that brought down the company, pushed back hard against any notion they should sacrifice their bonuses, the source said.

If that doesn’t warm the hearts of taxpayers and lawmakers alike, maybe this will: Many of those receiving bonuses already have made enough money not to have to work again.

Not all of the workers in AIG’s financial products division were taking home million-dollar bonuses. But according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the division’s top recipient got $6.4 million, while the top 10 bonuses totaled $42 million. Seventy-three people received bonuses of $1 million or more, according to Cuomo, who subpoenaed the company for information.

It’s terrible; it’s disheartening,” the source said.
Okay, maybe not so long on the charm... And who gives a crap about the "quants?"
The beleaguered company believes AIG’s quants, who created the complicated credit swap defaults that got much of Wall Street into the financial crisis, are the only ones who can unwind them. If they leave, it could make today’s crisis worse.
What? There are no smart, unemployed people left in New York? It gets worse:
AIG’s previous management signed contracts providing $450 million in bonuses to the financial division. On Friday, $165 million went out the door, and another $230 billion is set to be paid in 2010.
Where is the Bastille when we need it? Hey, at least they've convinced Ruth Marcus.

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