Politics and Media Headlines 3/18/09
by Caro, Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:14:22 PM EDT
Lee Judge (permission to post this cartoon has been requested)
Payback time for AIG: Treasury, Congress go after the bonuses (McClatchy)
In an effort to quell a mounting furor, the Treasury Department said late Tuesday that it would require American International Group to repay the government more than $165 million in bonuses doled out last week to the executives blamed for driving the firm to insolvency.
MORE MORE MORE
No Easy PR Fix For AIG's Bonus Blowback (by Michael Bush, Advertising Age)
Even PR pros are shaking their heads at the blundering giant insurer, which is fast becoming not only the poster boy for financial-industry greed, but also a company seen as too arrogant or stupid to keep out of its own way.
I'm thinking that what Liddy said below is not going to help his case.--Caro
AIG chairman says retention payments distasteful (AP)
The chief of failed insurance conglomerate AIG acknowledged Wednesday to skeptical congressional interrogators that the company's multibillion bonuses to employees were "distasteful" to many Americans including himself and that "I share that anger." Lawmakers from both parties expressed fury over the company's behavior.
I understand there were "Fire Geithner" protest signs in the audience for this hearing. If anyone finds photos or stills of those signs, please point me to them.--Caro
GOP congressman calls for Geithner to resign or be fired (On Politics, USA Today)
Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., called today for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to resign or be fired. His spokeswoman, Stephanie DuBois, says that "to the best of my knowledge" Mack is the first member of Congress to do so.
Daily Show: IndigNation! Populist Uprising '09 - The Enragening
Protestors attempt to teabag the White House, Jon blames the media, and Glenn Beck cries.
The Tipping Point? (by James Kwak, thanks to Economist's View)
$165 million, of course, is less than one-tenth of one percent of the total amount of bailout money given to AIG in one form or another. Yet it may turn out to be the $165 million that broke the camel's back. The AIG bonus saga neatly encapsulates many of the problems that we have identified with the financial system and with the bailout to date... However, this scandal may yet serve a purpose... Perhaps the AIG bonus scandal will force the administration's hand toward the decisive action that we need.
Wednesday: He thinks this is funny?? (by riverdaughter at The Confluence)
Dana Milbank at WaPo wrote a piece yesterday about the outrage building against the protected lifestyles of the rich and finance. He tells of a moment in the White House when Barack Obama addressed the issue. I won't even go over the obvious point that Obama, Geithner, Summers and Congress should never have allowed the bonuses to happen in the first place while union workers were forced to negotiate their compensation in their contracts. Here's the thing that has me steaming: "As the president read from his teleprompter yesterday about `this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat,' he developed a tickle in his throat and tried to clear it. `Excuse me,' he joked. `I'm choked up with anger here.'"
Obama Received a $101332 Bonus from AIG (Right Side Politics Examiner, a conservative website)
Senator Barack Obama received a $101,332 bonus from American International Group in the form of political contributions according to Opensecrets.org. The two biggest Congressional recipients of bonuses from the A.I.G. are - Senators Chris Dodd and Senator Barack Obama. The A.I.G. Financial Products affiliate of A.I.G. gave out $136,928, the most of any AIG affiliate, in the 2008 cycle. I would note that A.I.G.'s financial products division is the unit that wrote trillions of dollars' worth of credit-default swaps and "misjudged" the risk.
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