October 8th, 2008
07:37 PM ET

AIG: a (real) welfare queen

See the report by AC360°'s Joe Johns and Steve Turnham on AIG tonight, the first in our new series "10 Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse."
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/08/aig.blog.jpg caption="Former CEO of AIG Martin Sullivan, center, waits to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday. "]
Steve Turnham
AC360° Producer

Remember all those stories about welfare moms driving cadillacs? They were 99% myth. Here's one that isn't. The insurance giant AIG takes 85 billion in taxpayer money, throws a nice little 400,000 dollar pedicure party for it's top earners, then comes back for another 37 billion welfare check.

AIG has an explanation. And you'll hear it tonight on AC360° as we begin our countrywide hunt for the top ten most wanted culprits of the collapse.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Bailout Turmoil • Joe Johns • Steve Turnham
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Real_Whirled

    I want the the AIG execs names! I want to personally Thank them for spending my money on something that I can't afford. It's fantastic that so many American's have to go along with this bailout knowing it's the ONLY way to fix the credit lock and the housing issue while these fellas, their wives and families are living so large. I can't put into proper words the utter disgust I have for these people at this time. I wish this blog had volume because I am pretty loud and fed up with being taken advantage of. We need to get together as a society and come to one agreement, since we can't seem to agree on anything else. I suggest these folks pay all that money back out of their own pockets with interest at the standard rate of 24% and then sit their asses in jail...Kill their health insurance, stop their 401k and freeze their offshore bank accounts.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  2. Derwin Jackson

    Its very funny that this collapse happen right when Bush is leaving office, why is he not holding these CEO accountable for there actions.
    He is the President and he's been doing what he wants to do anyway, you know why he not saying anything or doing anything bc their all his
    friends and he letting them fatten up while they can before he leaves office, and they will never be touched. SICKING and we just keep turning the other cheek! We are some sick American

    October 9, 2008 at 12:42 pm |
  3. Mike

    Mr. Cooper:
    Your goal of wanting to punish the guilty for America is admirable.
    I thank you for that, because I am as angry as hell. As a retiree, I
    have lost much of my 401 savings with little time to recover the loss. Greedy people like your first named, Joe Cassano, should indeed be prosecuted. It's very likely he will not be found guilty of breaking any law, but it would send a message which will affect his future employment.
    However, Mr. Cooper, you are wrong in starting with Cassano. There
    are hundreds of Cassano's who gamed the system and "took our savings". You're taking the easy and politically correct path in doing
    I hope you have the courage to include the leaders in Congress
    who allowed this system. Specifically, you should name Barney
    Franks and Cris Dodd in power positions associated with the
    housing and financial systems that made it possible for greedy
    CEO's to do their bad deeds. These "leaders" are STILL doing
    their thing. They should, as a minimum, lose their power positions.
    The voters will decide further action on them.
    Hopefully exposure by you and others, will help Congress do the
    right thing and make greedy people think twice before hurting

    October 9, 2008 at 11:16 am |
  4. a allen

    the interview before the house oversight committee was just a show. These guys are all buddies. They have to make it look like they
    are upset, but it's just a game they play (good guy, bad guy). After all we just turned around and are giving them some more money. Is that what you do when you disagree with what they are doing???? No, take care of all your buddies no matter what.

    October 9, 2008 at 10:12 am |
  5. Bart G.

    From what I understand the money was not used by CEOs for their own personal gain, but to reward top sales people for their efforts. I don't think this is as big a deal as everyone is blowing it out to be. It comes out to be a $4,400 bonus for their top employees. That's actually not that much. Of course there was 100 of them so it adds up. It's just poor judgment in timing.

    October 9, 2008 at 10:09 am |
  6. mj

    The should all be tried for treason with the Bush Adminstration and shot on national tv. Both parties are a joke, and backed by people just like this. We should all give them real change, and vote for the Independent party. All these politician do is lie, and steal. It's no honor amongst thieves. In other country, if you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, you get it cut off. REVOLUTION. After the bailout, which everyone was against, because its not going to help, and people are still going to lose jobs, I can't believe that states are running out of unemployment benefits, that we pay with our checks. It is definitely going to be war in the streets. And to make matters worst, this is keeping our defensives off of being attacked by other countries. Don't be surprised if we get attacked because of Big business/Politicians GREED. THANKS FOR NOTHING.

    October 9, 2008 at 10:07 am |
  7. Nancy, Washington State

    These jerks should be made to live on 8.00 and hour for the next ten years. Get a taste of reality. This is the problem...Greed, and nothing more.

    October 8, 2008 at 11:25 pm |
  8. C. J. Grube

    In want the AIG Executives that enjoyed that $440K Retreat Junket to be fired Now – The Executives that are responsible for the failure need to be replaced now. We cannot allow them to be in charge of getting AIG back on their feet with our money.

    I mean No Car, No Expenses, No Pension or 401K, No Golden Parachute and these executives pay back that $440K immediately.

    This literally makes me sick. - How many more friends do Bush, Paulsen and Bernake have that will be treated as if they are above the law.

    Their actions are criminal.

    October 8, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  9. Antoni4Change

    Does Paulson carry any weight at all. CEO s aren't afraid to grab the money and run infront of this old fat cat.

    October 8, 2008 at 9:17 pm |
  10. Rick

    Can't Paulson make them give that money back with his expanded powers? If not, then I'm with Mike's comment, "off with their heads!"

    October 8, 2008 at 7:53 pm |
  11. larry

    Hopefully the top 10 will include:

    Fannie Mae
    Freddie Mac

    October 8, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  12. Annie Kate

    In the reports of the ten most wanted culprits of the financial collapse will these people face charges for what they have done or not done? And on AIG are the same people in charge now that were in charge when they had to be bailed out? I would think management would be changed out so the bailout doesn't get squandered and frittered away too.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 8, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  13. mike - moreland, ga

    These people are behaving like the sort of arrogant aristocrats that brought about the French Revolution, and we know what happened to them. All we need now to make the story complete is to have a recording of one of them saying "let them eat cake".

    October 8, 2008 at 7:46 pm |