FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The outrage against insurance giant AIG and its bonus plan continues to mount, with one senator suggesting the company's executives should kill themselves. Republican Charles Grassley told an Iowa radio station the executives should take a Japanese approach toward accepting responsibility and "come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I'm sorry and then either do one of two things - resign, or go commit suicide."
What do you think should be done about the AIG bonuses?
Grassley later backtracked, saying he didn't really mean they should kill themselves. Grassley is only one of many angered with AIG's plan to pay its executives $165 million in bonuses after the company took more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money.
No wonder Grassley is hot; according to a letter from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to Congressman Barney Frank, 11 of the people who got these retention bonuses are no longer there. The top recipient got $6.4 million; and the top ten recipients combined got $42 million.
Democratic Senator Chris Dodd has suggested possibly taxing AIG executives who got bonuses. And, House Democrats are trying to find a way for Congress to force the company to return money used for bonuses.
For its part, AIG insists it's legally required to give employees these bonuses under contracts that were negotiated before the company got bailout money.
Here’s my question to you: What should be done about the AIG bonuses?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Gerry from Toronto writes:
This is an industry were bonuses make up 75% of pay. Any institution that takes federal money should sign up to pay bonuses in restricted stock, with additional stock incentives designed to turn the company around and get the feds their money back.
Gloria from East Bay, California writes:
Class action lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit! Taxpayers of the United States of America VS. AIG. Give us our money back, you arrogant, sneaky thieves!
Is it too late to freeze the bonuses? The government needs to get its big gun attorneys to look into the validity of the contracts; it should also deduct this money from the bailout's bottom line. Meanwhile, AIG execs should be forced to stand on street corners and beg! Their placards could read, "Will work for bonus!" Only then will they know what America really thinks of them. It won't be pretty!
What kind of weird system is it where you have contracts that legally require you to give bonuses to your employees, even if those same employees drive the company into the ground? Forget the bonuses, they need to find the person who negotiates employee contracts and fire them.
Senator Grassley has it right. It's time to stop talking in gray zones.
You mean the government did not know AIG was committed to giving huge bonuses before we gave them the bailout money? Government is looking more and more stupid. We should take back the taxpayers’ $170 billion and let them file for Chapter 11.
Jack, simply supply the American taxpayer with the names, photos, and addresses of the AIG execs, and perhaps they will not need to kill themselves.