NEW YORK TIMES
NY Times Reporting of AIG's Bonuses [Greg Pollowitz]
The absolute cluelessness of Team Obama should be bigger news, shouldn't it? From the NY Times today:
Treasury and Fed officials said they knew that A.I.G. paid $55 million in bonuses in December.
But administration officials said that the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, did not personally become aware until last week that an even bigger round of payments was due on March 15. Administration officials said Mr. Geithner learned of the deadline early last week, when the Federal Reserve Bank of New York alerted him that the bonus payments were coming due.
Mr. Geithner, according to Treasury officials, insisted that the bonus plan was “unacceptable” and called Mr. Liddy on Wednesday to demand changes.
A.I.G. executives said they would never have proceeded with the bonus payments before getting approval from the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
“We would never make any important business decisions without discussing them with our government managers and owners,” said one executive, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
A.I.G. has so far declined to identify the employees receiving the bonuses, some of whom are thought to be foreigners who worked out of offices in London.
The tangle over bonuses highlighted a broader confusion over who actually controls the insurance conglomerate. The Treasury and the Federal Reserve have both pumped vast amounts of money into the company, but the two agencies have never made it clear which of them is in charge.
Both agencies have insisted that neither of them “owns” A.I.G., or controls its management decisions, even though the federal government owns almost 80 percent of the company. As a result, the Treasury and Fed officials have repeatedly resisted forcing the company to disclose more about how A.I.G. was spending taxpayer money.
I'd say it's about time for Geithner to go, but it might take until 2011 to find a replacement.
03/17 02:05 PMShare