Rage Against the AIG/Wall Street Machine

In a grotesque misuse of public bailout funds, the American International Group Inc. (AIG) moved forward with over $165 million in bonuses to corporate executives, even though they needed $170 billion in federal bailout money to keep the company afloat.

It’s simply outrageous. The U.S. unemployment rate is at 8.1%, yet AIG’s corporate executives are receiving lavish bonuses and keeping their jobs after their company has been crippled beyond self-repair. Now I’m not so radical that I’d call for AIG executives to commit suicide. But had AIG been forced into chapter 11 bankruptcy or been liquidated due to the company’s failures – as it clearly would have without government aid – no corporate executive would have received a bonus. They wouldn’t even have a job.

I continue to be astonished at the clueless defenses that are launched in AIG’s defense, especially from the likes of CNBC’s Squawk Box host, Rick Santelli, who fails to see the morality that lies beneath the whole AIG bonus scandal and thinks the public outrage over the $165 million is like worrying about 16.5 cents.

He just doesn’t get it. We’re not outraged at the amount of money relative to the overall bailout package. We’re outraged at the sheer lack of values and respect that these Wall Street fat cats have for the American people. We’re outraged that they aren’t losing their jobs while our friends and families suffer from losing their jobs and life savings. And we’re outraged that they don’t get it.

We need our government to stand up for American taxpayers and stop the excesses of Wall Street – it’s time that AIG be held accountable for the money that you and I are paying to prop them up. Take action against the excesses and extravagance of AIG’s corporate bonuses – and make sure U.S. Secretary Geithner holds those who are responsible for AIG’s failures accountable.

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Steven Mitchell
Steven Mitchell1 years ago

And no one including the former CEO, Hank Greenberg, (who escaped prosecution because the statute of limitations had expired) will ever be prosecuted in the U.S.

Hank Greenberg, Sandy Weil and the execs at Enron (see the extensive listing of profiteers without punishment at the Trinity College (Texas) website that is dedicated to it, should have to return their wealth to the American people but they never will. Instead while you are struggling they live in multiple houses in some of the plushest environments on Earth.

becka w.
becka w.2 years ago

Salaries need to be EQUALIZED.

Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun4 years ago

Thank you for posting

Deborah R.
Deborah R.6 years ago

I am totally astonished at the Bailouts, I have been one of BOA customers, with many accounts, C/D's, money Market Savings AND for well over 20 years AIG continues to take automatic payments from my BOA account to pay for a Life insurance policy on my husband written through AIG. Duh! I can't even cancel that policy - been too long and paid out too much! I am sitting in an 5th wheel R/V 2008 Fleetwood Quantum that BOA financed for 20 years. I have sent them certified mail, pictures of serious defects, documents of the massive problems with this unit. I continue to tell them this R/V is a piece of junk and to PLEASE STOP FINANCING THESE FOR 20 YEAR TERMS. They apparently have a better relationship with the R/V center in Ocala, Fl. than with me a customer of theirs since they bought out Barnett Bank. Go figure talk about being between a rock and a hard space!

Michael S.
Michael S.6 years ago

Tara N If Obama isn't careful with the FED and this bailout, he could well end up losing his job. Just imagine where that will leave us when Newt and Palin take the reigns.

Michael S.
Michael S.6 years ago

Pamela don't forget Goldman Sachs either, or Citigroup, Bank of America.............Also Paulson got a 200,000 dollar tax deferment for simply becoming Treasury Secretary! I wonder who paid his taxes?

Michael S.
Michael S.6 years ago

janine you are right! Obama did not cause this crisis though I fear he will add on to it by listening to the Wall Street insiders who are in charge of this bail out. Geithner, Paulson, Summers, Bernanke, they are all players in the same canard and are following in the steps of their lord and mentor Arnold Greenspan who allowed this entire mess in the first place. This crisis began 35 years ago when Greenspan was appointed Fed chairman by Ronald Reagan. Since then every president, regardless of party affiliation has been in lock step with him. In spite of this, George W. Bush did more damage then any of his predecessors, in fact more then all of them combined. But we must remember that it was not only republicans behind this nonsense. There were plenty of democrats in there too!

Michael S.
Michael S.6 years ago

Well Nancy S as George Bush himself once said....

"There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

Michael S.
Michael S.6 years ago

And Thomas I'd like to add you are right! We too share the blame, not because of inaction but because we are not smart enough to understand how Wall Street truly operates and the government too for that matter. We've been left in the dark for decades and now is the time to finally wake up! I agree with most of what you said!

Michael S.
Michael S.6 years ago

Arild, we need to do more then regulate Wall Street. I think Dona S has it right. Look at the regulators who were already there playing tittily winks! The answer is first of all not to bail them out, but to declare a bank holiday as FDR did, seize the largest of these toxic entities to see what's salvageable then sell off the rest piecemeal back to the private sector. We need to honor the anti-trust laws Teddy Roosevelt gave us and insure that no entity is ever allowed to get too big to fail so this nonsense never happens again. We should also be putting these people in jail, not giving them trillions of dollars.