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


March 22nd, 2009
11:18 am

Ncgreybr.. You said it better than I could. I agree with every word you wrote. Ethically and morally, that money should be returned and I would return it if I were one of those execs. It belongs to the taxpayers and those executives know it.

The responses on this board frighten me. Financially, I’ve been blessed beyond what I ever imagined, and I have always tried to do the right thing. Money isn’t everything,and I don’t have a need to brag about what I have. Morally, we are expected to help those who are less fortunate. I hate hearing all the greedy people on this blog howl about how the “poor” got us into this economic mess. Wake up, idiots and smell the coffee! There aren’t enough “poor” in this country to cause the kind of breakdown we’ve seen– it was caused by the use of dangerous financial instruments and HUGE dollar losses caused by reckless decisions driven by greed, resulting in HUGE payouts like the ones at AIG and other companies. Our country is doomed if you can’t figure that out because it will continue to happen and you’ll continue to spout off ignorant remarks until you lose YOUR job, YOUR little Cobb county McMansion, and that big Suburu SUV that YOU drive while you hog the roads and destroy the ozone. By then, of course, we’ll be a third world country with a few obscenely rich people and a multitude of poor people and NO middle class.

Pick up a newspaper once in a while OR if you can’t read, at least look at a PBS show– then you’ll understand what really caused this meltdown.


March 22nd, 2009
11:40 am

If this was given as a bonus from my company I would feel no obligation to return it under any circumstance. I received it under guidelines set out by the company and if the guidelines change, so be it.


March 22nd, 2009
11:51 am

The government is trying to anger the public against AIG, while the real culprit IS the government for A. Even loaning the money, and
B. Zero stipulations on how the money could be used. If I were a “producing” contractor for AIG, I would absolutely take MY earned bonus (although probably not with a 90% tax on it). Our government is completely out of control. The current administration has NO fiscal responsibility, it is incredible the amount of spending (with no checks and balances)going on, and the damage will be felt for years to come. My only hope is this immature, irresponsible, inexperienced administration will bring about a change to conservatism in this country in four years. If republicans behaved like TRUE republicans, we would not be in this mess and would have had a competent candidate in the last election. Hopefully, Obama will be the best thing for Republicans since Jimmy Carter.


March 22nd, 2009
11:53 am

I guess I’m a little messed up on this liberal/conservative thingie. Please straighten me out. Was this bailout mess started by the liberal Bush or the liberal Paulson (whose salary on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs was $646 million his last year)? And then didn’t he bail out Goldman Sachs? Hmmmmmm!

As my favorite coclumnist said “Bush went in as a social conservative and came out as a conservative socialist.”

John Ellison

March 22nd, 2009
11:57 am

The politicians in Washington have been bought and paid for by Wall Street. Obama’s $800,000,000,000 Stimulus Bill that he signed last month legalized payment of the bonus money to the AIG executives. The problem is Obama and his fellow politicians underestimated the big public backlash when payment was announced. Now everyone in Washington is trying to cover their political asses.


March 22nd, 2009
11:57 am

“Senate Banking committee chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) now admits including a loophole clause in the bailout plan that allowed for the bonuses.”

Do you know that Christopher Dodd has recieved over $100,000.00 from AIG along with a hand full of other member of the Senate and the House? Now Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CEO’s are going to be recieving more money in bonuses, too. I guess Bernie Franke’s mate will be getting more, too!


March 22nd, 2009
12:07 pm

Suits take care of suits. Period. That’s the way it is, that’s the way it always will be. Until Americans grow a set and actually do something about this you may as well just get used to it.


March 22nd, 2009
12:14 pm

Bernie Franke?


March 22nd, 2009
12:16 pm

Absolutely not! The government knew about these bonuses and never made any conditions before they loanded AIG the taxpayer funds to help keep them afloat. Now because the media has hyped the bonuses up everyone is so outraged. The amount being used for bonuses is slighly over 1% of the money loaned to AIG by you and I(the taxpayers) Now that the bonuses have been made public the government is now all up in arms. Give me a break! Even if the government truly didn’t know about these bonus contracts, that just means that the idiots that were elected to office didn’t read the bill they signed. If I had it my way AIG would’ve not been bailed out and it would’ve gone under and the free market would’ve corrected whatever affect the loss of AIG had. All this is, is another step closer to socialism and a step away from economic freedom.


March 22nd, 2009
12:17 pm

If my AIG bonus was tied to production, then it should be returned without a second thought. If it was tied to a delayed compensation, I would still have to realize that if AIG did not receive the bail out, the company would not be in there. So for me, I would not take the money. I believe they should have not taken it to start with. The greed factor appears to be in effect.


March 22nd, 2009
12:17 pm

Heck, no, I wouldn’t return it. Thank you, US Government, for the bailout, but we all know that the US Government didn’t do AIG a personal favor. It was in the best interests of the government to make sure that AIG didn’t fail. I have a contract with AIG, not the U.S. Government. If the government wants to take over AIG — and wouldn’t THAT be a hideous precedent — then they can re-negotiate my contract, but in the meantime, my contract is with AIG, I did the work, I met the terms of my contract, and if that contract delineated a bonus, then no, the bonus is MINE. I don’t see how becoming poor and struggling would help anyone.


March 22nd, 2009
12:18 pm

I would have given back the bonus. And I would have done it as grandiose as I can, because I think the government is poking into the private lives of every recipient- trying to drag up some dirt.

I don’t think the money’s worth all of that scrutiny from the government and/or the media.


March 22nd, 2009
12:21 pm

“Greed is good.” This is what the neocons were all about- no regulation, and everyone is able to do what they want, and to look out for themselves. I’d keep the money and say “Good-bye!” to anyone who wanted it back.

Besides, government shouldn’t be telling private companies how to run their business. This is simply happening now because the Republicans lost, and will change when they come back.

For those who have lost their jobs, or have to take mandatory pay cuts, or have to work harder, you should stand on your contract as well. Look out for yourself, and yourself only. Take what’s yours, and only worry about yourself. The other people will take care of themselves, or go crying to the Democrats.

EJ Moosa

March 22nd, 2009
12:22 pm

I would have earned it. It’s why I would have stayed there. The losses would have been greater had you decided NOT to retain my services. So I would have paid for myself.


March 22nd, 2009
12:26 pm

To those of you who say they would keep the money because of a signed contract, I assume you back the UAW and it’s retires who signed contacts with the auto makers.


March 22nd, 2009
12:31 pm

Give it back to who? Those bunch of crooked, incompetent theives at A.I.G.? Wait a minute! That’s me!

Eleanor Rigby

March 22nd, 2009
12:31 pm

Yes, I would have taken it and I ain’t mad at ‘em. I’m mad at our government for giving billions of dollars in bailouts. It was the wrong decision and I don’t believe it was vital. Be wary of anyone trying to push something through in a hurry. It’s usually a scam.


March 22nd, 2009
12:36 pm

Absolutely! When AIG accepted taxpayers’ dollars something should have changed with the way they do business. They can’t go on with “business as usual” when they needed the federal government to bail them out. If we (taxpayers) have to make sacrifices, then I expect the big time executives to do the same dang thing! Greed and corruption is what got us in this mess! We can’t continue in this direction and expect different results. Wake up people and stop being so selfish.


March 22nd, 2009
12:40 pm

Meetoo: That is apples and oranges and you know it. AIG and it’s bonus contracts with its workers were not negotiated through a union nor do the amounts of those contracts even come close to retirement or benefits packages that UAW strangles auto manufacturers for.


March 22nd, 2009
12:45 pm

HELL NO! Can you say Recession?????


March 22nd, 2009
1:01 pm



March 22nd, 2009
1:12 pm

NO I would not give it back! AIG should not have given out this money in the first place. That is AIG’s fault and those that mis issued this money are the ones that need to be removed from the company immediately!

My anger is with the government for mixing taxpayer money with a private company and term it a “bailout”! They just handed over this money and AIG, like others, went on with business as usual! AIG should have never paid the bonuses!

Now is the time to take AIG over like it takes over a bank and sell it off to more smaller and stable companies.

As taxpayers we have real problems facing us like Congress not paying attention to what it is doing. Ask each Senator or Representative IF they actually read the bill before they voted on it and I bet that they got the cliff notes version and didn’t even bother reading that!

We are now in a situation whereas we as voters need to make some hard choices coming up. We first need to take back our ability to vote on more issues as a society. Sure it would take more time but the voter gets to decide by majority.

Next we need to outlaw these political contributions from corporations. Limited money given to anyone running for office to $500 per adult per election and only from his/her own district – except for the president since that office is the only one that needs to go national and that one too needs to be limited to $500 per adult per election.

And finally – NO MORE BAILOUT MONEY except directly back to the taxpayer!


March 22nd, 2009
1:26 pm

“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.”

It was AIG’s blind willingness to insure (cheaply) mortgage-backed securities irrespective of risk that led investors to keep buying them, as they could use CDS’s as a hedge. If the derivatives market had been better regulated, AIG would’ve been required to keep enough cash reserves on hand to pay its counterparties in the event of a housing collapse. Consequently, CDS’s would’ve been more expensive; the market for mortgage-backed securities would’ve been smaller; and fewer questionable mortgages would’ve been issued.


March 24th, 2009
3:39 pm

Yes people, bonuses should come from companies that are doing at least OK, so part its profits are shared among its employees. If the companies are failing (to say the least); then the logic outcome is NOT BONUSES. Stop with the “I’m entitled attitude”

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