If you worked for AIG, would you return the bonus?

aig protest

Associated Press

Yesterday, there was a firestorm in Washington D.C., where AIG CEO Edward Lilly was grilled by Congress regarding the multimillion dollar bonuses that some AIG executives received, after the company received federally-funded bailout payments. Everyone from President Obama to Congress and the common man reacted with anger that AIG would continue to pay bonuses considering the collapse of the company and their acceptance of federal funds to stay afloat, even though Senate Banking committee chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) now admits including a loophole clause in the bailout plan that allowed for the bonuses. Liddy has asked that the executives who received bonuses return half of the money. He stated that a few have stepped up voluntarily to return the bonus.

If you were one of the AIG executives that received a hefty bonus, would you return it? If you would keep the bonus, tell us your reasons why.

75 comments Add your comment

sandra bacon

March 19th, 2009
6:29 am

I will not retuurn the bonus money, this is what all CEOS have done past and present, everyone knows and keeps quiet, this was on-going before Obama took office, all past presidents knew it , they are part of this mess, they need to bring their money back too

Lorraine

March 19th, 2009
2:53 pm

Yes I would return the money.

Sandy

March 19th, 2009
2:57 pm

Yes, I would also return the money. I think I would feel guilty keeping it and knowing that so many people are suffering, losing their homes and jobs. The executives are already making a lot of money for their bad decisions. And if this was a bonus for staying with the company, why are past executives also getting bonuses???

sharon

March 19th, 2009
2:57 pm

Hell to the naw!

Damon

March 19th, 2009
2:59 pm

Nope I would not hand over a single dime, its mine AIG and myself signed a contract saying its mine and there is nothing the government or any private citizen can do about it. That would be me attitude if I was one of those execs.

Business Traveler

March 19th, 2009
3:07 pm

I would keep my money. A contract was agreed to, signed and fulfilled. Those 73 employees kept $1.1 trillion dollars of toxic derivatives from infecting the market. They earned that money. They are not the employees that caused the mess (or as our POTUS says, they inherited it) they have been charged to clean it up.

Keep your money. I would

Dan

March 19th, 2009
3:10 pm

I love how people are saying what bad decision they made. People who have zero clue of what their jobs are or what the contracts said. It could be if that person wasn’t there they would have lost 400Bil instead of 200bil. The real perpetrators are those who defaulted on their loans and helping them keep houses they couldn’t afford in the first place just feeds the problem

Michael

March 19th, 2009
3:19 pm

All of you people that say you would return the money would quickly change your mind if you were in the same situation. These people have earned this money and it is rightfully theirs. It is not the governments place to find out how to illegally tax individuals because they didn’t do the research before giving away tax payer dollars like it was growing on trees. I don’t think there should have been any bailout, but the government cannot seize private property out of “fairness”. If Andruw Jones got a signing bonus of 5 million dollars then hit sub .200 the next season causing his team to perform poorly, the team doesn’t get to go and sieze his bonus. The government may have some say in the future contracts and dealings of AIG because of the stake they now have in the company, but they can’t turn back the clock on deals that have already been made.

kevmoor2005

March 19th, 2009
3:19 pm

Naw, in this economy i would keep every dime of it. It was given to me a bounus, so why give back a bounus???

Suga

March 19th, 2009
3:23 pm

Oh Hell no. I’d cash that check and be on the first plane to wherever they don’t have these damn tax laws. The Cayman Islands come to mind…

Auggie Doggie

March 19th, 2009
3:25 pm

Yes, I would give it back, just as soon as the members of congress who voted for the bailout gave back their salaries.

Valerie Billings

March 19th, 2009
3:34 pm

Yes I would return the money. It should not have happened in the first place. Hopefully they all will give it back including the CEO if he got any.

reservoirDAWG

March 19th, 2009
3:34 pm

Not a chance. If I sign a contract with an employer I expect it to be binding. If Obama and his cabinet of dumba$$es had any forsight they would have structured the bailout to have wording prohibiting any tax money AIG receives from going to bonuses.

Texas Pete

March 19th, 2009
3:36 pm

Actually I hope they are forced to give it back. Not that I would if I were them. I just decided that if the Obama admin. is going to start voiding contracts, it will set a precedent for me.

sd

March 19th, 2009
3:37 pm

I thought about it and I would return half of the money. I figure that I AM entitled to it since i met my end of my contract, however, since the money to be paid to me was supposed to be AIG money and since it is in fact tax dollars, I would return half as a compromise.

Audrey in Georgia

March 19th, 2009
3:39 pm

Yes, I would return the money. Contractually speaking, the terms of the contract changed
when the company became 80% owned by the government. Since one of the parties
in the contract changed ownership, and thus, rendering the contracts null and void.
They can either pay the money back or PAY IT FORWARD! That school in South Carolina
still needs a builder. I’m thinking the AIG Technology High School!

Erin

March 19th, 2009
3:48 pm

Simple, Yes.
Just to shut everyone up. Although, they legally signed a contract with a bonus so they have a right to keep it. AIG is legally obligated to fulfill those contracts. If they didn’t they would have gotten sued for more money which I am sure us tax payers would have had to cover.

Andrew Brown

March 19th, 2009
3:50 pm

I wouldn’t return a single penny of it.

The precedent this sets is very scary to me.

BUSH

March 19th, 2009
3:50 pm

I would not give it back, in fact I would use my bonus to run a smear campaign against Obama so we can get him out ASAP.

priscilla

March 19th, 2009
3:51 pm

yes i would return most of it not all of it.

Andrew Brown

March 19th, 2009
3:55 pm

Also, I mean no offense against anyone here, but I find it very difficult to believe that any of you would hand back most of a million dollars out of guilt, especially to an organization that clearly has proven it doesn’t have the acumen to use it wisely.

Bill

March 19th, 2009
3:58 pm

I wouldn’t think any of them would return the money. I suspect none of them have any idea of how to useful work so what would they do for a living other than be a flunky in such a company.

kristin

March 19th, 2009
4:04 pm

Nope!
#1 My family comes first
#2 How many hours does the average executive work (70+ hrs a week)
#3 Bail out had nothing to do with their contract wit AIG.

Sadly the American Public really has NO IDEA what is in these bailouts and stimulus plans. They pushed through Congress so quickly there is no way to understand the ramifications.

Barbara

March 19th, 2009
4:05 pm

I would hope that someone would have set down with those that were to get a bonus and delayed the payment unitl the company was in better shape and not just increase the burden. I agree this should have been handeled with the bailout was set up. But as usual we jumped into the fire before we made sure we had a rope attached. We do things in a panic insted of thinking them through. Just like this stimilus pkg. What a waste.

Thogwummpy

March 19th, 2009
6:32 pm

No, I would NOT return it. These were NOT performance based bonuses, they were contractual. And after all, any person that makes more than $70K seems to be despised by the media/activist/parasite poor anyway…so let me weigh ginned-up public opinion (that will hate me no matter what) against taking the money? Be smart and take the cash! By the way, most think executive bonuses is the problem with AIG…but bonuses were less than 1/10th of 1% of the AIG bailout funds. We are going to let worship of non-industrious people morph into mob fascism real quick if we’re not careful. America’s poor are so narcisitically spoiled, they won’t do the jobs immigrants now do. Wanna see real poverty? Go to Africa—then whine about the stuff our loafers aren’t getting for free!

Rob

March 19th, 2009
6:50 pm

This was not AIG’s money to give out it belonged to the tax payers. To give bonuses to the very people who caused the company to go broke is total stupidity.. Whoever got bonuses should just be happy they have a job period

Patrick

March 19th, 2009
7:02 pm

No, I would not return it. How can I pay the IRS the 90% tax of the bonus if I give the money back to AIG? AIG isn’t recognized as a charity organization in the tax code but maybe it should be.

The Truth Hurts

March 19th, 2009
7:08 pm

No I would not return it if it was part of my contract to receive it and Obama and the rest of the Democrat phonies agreed to it as they did by passing the bill, and all you losers on here saying you would return it…no wonder you work at McDonalds your whole life…once a loser always a loser!

A.S.Mathew

March 19th, 2009
7:21 pm

Since my coscience will hurt to accept money in these hard times, I will
refuse the bonus cheerfully.

gatordowneast

March 19th, 2009
7:21 pm

I like the answer above…when congress gives back their pay, we will talk about me giving back my bonus. Those numbnuts got us in the mess by pressuring lenders to make loans to those who had no business borrowing money.

Jim

March 22nd, 2009
9:35 am

Atlanta Native

March 22nd, 2009
9:37 am

I would keep the money, as Federal law required I be paid the bonus.

Congress enacted the funding and required payment of the bonuses in the legislation. To watch them demand back money they required by law to be paid is farcical.

Almost as fun is watching congress enact unconstitutional ex post facto laws to tax them specifically. (Making them bills of attainer, also unconstitutionsal). If I had such a bonus, I would love watching the courts strike down the legislation instanter.

Chalkdusttorture

March 22nd, 2009
9:44 am

They only ones who should return ANY money are the POLITICIANS who voted for this UNAMERICAN tax. Are the bureaucrats returning the campaign contributions from these companies???? The Obama Administration is turning all of us citizens against each other and gaining power as they pull the wool over your eyes… I’LL KEEP MY MONEY, GUNS, & FREEDOM – You can KEEP your ‘change’….

Scott

March 22nd, 2009
9:50 am

If the bonus was put into a bill ON PURPOSE and was signed off by THE PRESIDENT then I would NOT give it back since it was legal to get it in the first place. Chris Dodd saying he was “forced” to put it in was a joke. If the Democrats had taken the time to read the LARGE bill that they wanted to push through then this would not be happening. But they were in such a hurry to forget what Obama said he was going to do…”I will not allow any bill to go through without first reading it LINE BY LINE so that there are no earmarks or wasteful spending”.

Like Phil Collins sang “Just another day in paradise” If this is paradise then what does hell look like?

Scott

March 22nd, 2009
9:56 am

Part II
Now I see on the news that the people that LEGALLY got these bonuses are being threatened by others.By harassing them,leaving death threats in their mail boxes,etc. But when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wanted to give out bonuses nothing like this is being done. Oh wait…Barney Frank said that they were not gonna do this…CYA eh Barney?

b6542

March 22nd, 2009
10:00 am

fas·cism: We are getting closer and closer. Obama’s Paramilitary volunteers are also on the way.

A political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Work in New York

March 22nd, 2009
10:01 am

The picture is much larger than just the AIG bonus issue. Looking to pass a law to implement a punitive tax is unacceptable. This is the “nose of the camel” under the tent. A tax such as this will soon migrate to anyone who has been good enough at their profession to make a good deal of money. A tax such as this will lead to under employment by the very people we need to move the country ahead as why continue to put in the 80 weeks to have it all taxed away. As far as AIG is concerned, there are not very many people in the general populace that understand credit derivatives, swaps, etc. so grandstanding over this bonus issue is not genuine, but rather people operating (the house and the senate) without a true grasp of the entire picture.

LabRat

March 22nd, 2009
10:07 am

Yes, I’d return it. With intrest. Just to get people off my back. But I’d want a signed and witnessed agreement that I’d get it back, in installments if necessary, when the company became profitable again. If I did have a contract that is.

Adittohead

March 22nd, 2009
10:12 am

NO I WOULD NOT….Do the profoot players on a Team with a 0-11 season record give back their million $$$$ salaries-??..Does a presidential candidate who gets $$$ millions in private donations give any of it back-?? this ia a RED Herring.

bill

March 22nd, 2009
10:17 am

u know after thinking it over as i boarded the plane to boro bora i would defintely take it we me to my new nation

R.O. Smith

March 22nd, 2009
10:32 am

NO, the Dems passed the bill that said i could have it so since they ok’d it id keep it and take them to court if they try to steal it from me via bogus tax hikes

ncgreybr

March 22nd, 2009
10:33 am

I would give it back…but then again, I have ethics.

I don’t expect them to give it back. Their pay schedule is that they get a base pay and then work for a “bonus” depending if they deliver the goods. The contract apparently doesn’t say the goods have to be “profitable” goods or “saleable” goods. Those contracts were poorly written giving the people an incentive to get ANY goods into the coompany. The employees getting these bonuses knew they were delivering toxic goods but none of them had the guts to try to stop it. It is greed on the part of the company and the executives in particular.

As for the current CEO…he has been put there by the government to oversee the bailout. It’s not his fault.

My question is why do we want to “retain” these people who distroyed the company? Give their ill gotten gains and shove them out the door. NO ONE in their right minds are going to ever hire them. I keep hearing that “they” are the only people who know how to get AIG out of this mess since they were the ones who got them into it. There are plenty of honorable people out there on Wall Street who are out of work and could get that company back on track.

As for the comment from “The Truth Hurts” about us “losers” working at McDonalds. I could probably buy and sell you with what I keep in the household account. You CAN have integrity and be successful…well maybe not you, but a lot of people can. I can!

Wesley

March 22nd, 2009
10:39 am

NO, NO, NO I would not give it back and I would sue the GOVT for this bill that congress is trying to pass to tax them at 90% that is unconstitutional. Why are they not reporting the AIG gave away $90 billion of the $170 billion that they got in the first place?
This President is LYING when he said that he was shocked at the bonusus, the wording was in his spending bill that allowed them to keep the bonusus anyway. If he would have kept his word about putting this on the internet for 5 days for the americans to read we might have seen this coming.
WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!
STOP DRINKING THE KOOL-AID!!!!!!!!

Lance

March 22nd, 2009
10:43 am

Oh Hell No. This was part of their predetermined pay plan. Many people rely on bonuses, commissions, etc versus salary. All you damn liberals need to get a life or move to France.

Chalkdusttorture

March 22nd, 2009
10:43 am

ncgreybr – do you really have a clue of what happened to AIG?? Me thinks not… The employees that wrote the credit default swaps DIDNT NOT RUIN THIS COMPANY. You my friend have been BRAINWASHED by the media and Obama. The Credit Default Swaps that AIG wrote are what SAVED the other financial institutions that bought them. THIS IS WHY THE GOVT HAD TO BAIL OUT AIG. Systematic Risk – Not just because some AIG employees made some bad choices and they felt ‘obligated’ to help. Did AIG force all of those people into ‘liar loans’ that preceded the Real Estate Market crash? Did AIG force your neighbor to stop paying on his mortgage? THIS IS WHAT BROUGHT DOWN AIG. The CDS’s that AIG guaranteed paid out because of AMERICAN greed not AIG greed.

Russell

March 22nd, 2009
10:45 am

It’s nice to see how generous some of you people are with others money.

jwr

March 22nd, 2009
10:48 am

some of you who think punitive tax laws, etc to take those bonuses back are forgetting two things: First, the company is now owned by the government. Second, while that million dollar bonus may seem sexy now, it will be looking a lot less sexy once the IRS has a team of auditors going over your past 5 years’ returns with a fine toothed comb…and don’t expect much sympathy from the federal tax court, either.

NIK

March 22nd, 2009
11:00 am

I would not have taken it in the first place.

Steve Baird

March 22nd, 2009
11:02 am

No I would not return. There was a contract to do certain things and if I had completed them I would deserve the money. The money given by the Gov. is a loan, it will be paid back and giving bonuses is part of everyday business. If the money was just “given” then we would have a say, but it wasn’t so we don’t need to get involved.

ncgreybr

March 22nd, 2009
11:10 am

“Chalkdusttorture; I guess I must have missed the part where someone held a gun to AIG’s head and made them write the Credit Default Swaps on material that, with a little investigation, would have shown was a bad deal for AIG. Try rereading your post. YOU make MY point! The CDS’s that AIG bought weren’t bought because AIG was altruistic or because they were trying to “save” the other institutions. They thought they would make money from it. (They didn’t!) It was ALL ABOUT GREED!