March 17th, 2009
10:17 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 03/17/09

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Tonight on AC360°, we’re following all the latest on the AIG front as the outrage over billions in bonus payments boils over. Today we learned that AIG gave more than 73 employees in its Financial Products subsidiary (yep, that’s the rogue unit that nearly drove the company into the ground with its risky investments) bonuses of $1 million or more. 11 of those employees no longer work at AIG. New York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said the top 10 bonus recipients combined take was $42 million, with the top recipient getting more than $6.4 million. Now lawmakers are scrambling ot find ways to get the billions back. It’s your money after all – taxpayer bailout funds paid for the bonuses. We want to keep the live blog on this one topic. So, please share your thoughts on AIG below.

And, don't miss Tom Foreman's webcast on the AIG outrage during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")

2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)

3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)

4) No links

5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (302 Responses)

    i have to say, i love seeing any of our shows originating outside of new york and/or dc. always always always gives a fresh perspective that you can't get when you stay in one place

    March 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  2. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Hi Tom! Your "Road to Rescue" reports have been great! How is NOLA?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  3. Sandra

    Barack Obama's a mover and shaker, but he doesn't give any detail. This calls for a recipe for disaster.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  4. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @Tom...I'm on board with a bill to tax a large portion of those bonuses. I think that's a great, logical move on the part of the government (albeit way too late).

    How 'bout we get all those AIG people who got bonuses to go down to N.O. and help rebuild (with their bonus money and sweat).

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  5. Jonathan Wilson

    Hi everyone! Last night I commented and asked what European banks received money from AIG. Today I saw a map on CNN of all the countries that received our money and how much they received. The whole world including Asia has our money now. My question tonight is how many banks around the world that received our money gave bonuses to their employees?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  6. Maren in Oregon

    Mr. Gonzales has a real reason to be mad as hell, and that he can take any of it anymore is a miracle. Why? NOLA is so corrupt that this will never work without federal government intervention

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  7. Karen C

    Why is this so difficult? I don't get why they can't get people in to build this stuff??? I mean, seriously? 3 years and one cottage?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  8. Robert, Reno, NV

    NOLA is a sad display of how government really works. Why do the American People stand for it? Why can't we get more parties to choose from regarding the president? We get a rich old guy or a rich young guy... pick one. I love democracy and the US, but, we have to find a better way.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  9. Jack Evans

    Let AIG Fail and stop providing Taxpayer money to AIG. The money already spent is a SUNK COST, and the Government needs to stop wasting good money after bad money. Companies can get insurance from a company other than AIG.
    Veshi explained what AIG does, not what would happen to the companies if they lost their AIG insurance.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  10. EJ (USA)

    hey all…sorry to join late, but it’s been a pretty wild st pat’s day around here.

    Hi Tom – You just reminded me – I have a margarita in the fridge. I need to get that out.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  11. Dave Hearn

    Split AIG into two companies. One for all the business for US clients owned by US tax payers and a second company owned by AIG to do business with non US clients and no US funds could be used for anything but US clients. Let the chips fall where they may for the non US concerns.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |

    My producer, Katie, and I are enjoying the chance to point out that some folks are "winning" in this economy...that volunteer in my old home of New Orleans summed up my usual sentiment about such times: focus on the good, keep working to make the bad better, and life will improve

    March 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  13. Isabel, Brazil


    I am happy to have started!

    We were waiting, anxious! 🙂

    March 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  14. EJ (USA)

    So how are the levees now? Would they be able to withstand another hurricane like Katrina?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  15. Kaki

    Garnish wages of each member of Congress. They got us here and so far have remained unscathed.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  16. Lauren--NY

    Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody. Always good to see Anderson in the field. Anybody who thinks that my generation is the "generation of entitlement" should probably look behind him.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  17. Maren in Oregon

    OMG! I thought it was my computer!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  18. Rob

    Time to get tough…
    For the US AIG employees, forcibly draft them into the military. Make them serve at military pay and order them to divulge the secrets of the Credit Default Swap war. Force them to work hard at low pay.
    For the non-US AIG employees, make them enemy combatants and lock them up!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  19. Steve - southern Illinois

    AIG – sure they're a bunch of greedy pigs. But I still blame Bush – for everything!!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  20. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    KIRA, I'm still trying to get my heart rate to slow down...wait, I have to pick-up my hair (that I pulled-out) off the floor!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  21. Isabel, Brazil

    Excellent matters on volunteering!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  22. starr formerly known as vincent

    Good evening Anderson et al, and fellow bloggers,

    Good to see you in New Orleans again Anderson! Also good to see that volunteers are still coming in and doing the work that still needs to be done.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  23. Karen C

    wow. I thought you guys had closed shop! I still say they should audit several years of returns of anyone receiving a bonus at AIG. More than one way to skin a cat. Of course, if they aren't USians, that wouldn't do much. Who are these people? Even I am beginning to get pretty unforgiving of letting these companies get away with this stuff.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  24. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Hellooo Anderson, and everyone…..
    Happy Patrick’s Day……

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  25. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    @Mike in GA – Think you might've hit it on the head there! 😉

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  26. gayle mccauley Malden,Mass.

    Greetings to ALL!AC360 and ALL my FB friends!!You did post late,I thought my computer was mad at me!! I say to the AIG bonuses,TAX it at 98%,as i heard earlier today! Maybe then other companies in the future who want/need bailout money will think twice about asking for it if they know they will pay 'penalty' taxes.This is becoming a joke.........

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  27. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    It is nice to see Anderson back in NOLA, but sad to see that not much has changed.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  28. Carla

    Of course I do not know terms of the AIG bonus contracts, but I hear that they are retention based. I also read that 11 were paid to people who no longer work for AIG. On the surface that does not make sense to me. Again, I dont know terms, but the basis of a retention bonus is that you stay with the company – hence "retention" bonus. Just wondering?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  29. Eddy

    If the govt.is too irresponsible to take back the $ given to these crooks at AIG,every law abiding American should simply hold back their tax payments until this fiasco is settled. I won't, unfortunately, hold my breath for this, since I believe too many otherwise rational & decent Americans are still numbed by the idea of buying McMansions & SUVs instead of freedom & pride.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  30. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    Thank goodness the blog got started! I almost fainted from the withdrawal! 🙂

    March 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  31. Lillian Miller

    I am a 90 year old woman whose only remaining assets are in AIG stock. I thought the nest egg I had saved after working 60+ years would last; but the small pension and social security I received did not keep up with booming inflation, and I have had to draw down on my savings. Since I do not have family that can help me with chores, I have to pay people by the hour to help me and do the things I used to do for myself.

    If AIG fails, I will have scraped bottom. There must be many other investors, just like me, who will be affected adversely. I am desperate and worried.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  32. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Little bit of a late start tonight. Were there technical difficulties?
    Yes Chris!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm |

    hey all...sorry to join late, but it's been a pretty wild st pat's day around here. on top of which, i am absolutely mesmerized by all these twists and turns over AIG...takes a lot to amaze me anymore, but frankly...this is amazing

    March 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  34. Esma

    Happy St. Paddy's Day, everyone: Anderson, Tom, David Gergen, all at AC360, the Tribe, and all the bloggers. And hello New Orleans!!! I miss you!!!

    The more I find out about AIG, the more I want more people held accountable. Why can't the company be broken up into smaller, more manageable ones?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  35. Cherry B - Ms

    Bea, I had a difficult time getting on the blog, as well. Oh well, we go here.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm |

    HEY GUYS!! Sorry for the late start. Glad you all stuck around anyway!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  37. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Good evening Anderson, Tom and everyone! So far I'm loving the every city every night on the road to rescue! Absolutely amazing!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  38. kristen

    Don’t have a whole lot of confidence that Geithner can push to get back that $450 million back in bonuses from AIG. He was around when the original tarp was developed with no strings attached. Dummy! The fact that the admin is just getting around to deal with this ridiculous problem is just proof that the admin is not focused enough on the real problems.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  39. mike - moreland, ga

    What are all the "free market" "law of the jungle" people complaining about regarding AIG? Maybe they have finally realized that, in the jungle, they are lower on the food chain than they thought they were hahaha.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  40. Cherry B - Ms

    Hi everybody! Anderson, so great to see you in New Orleans. It's so good to see the volunteering there, expecially today, with everyone so angry about AIG. Nice to see something positive.

    Don't think the country has come together like this since 9/11. Out of shock, sadness, anger then. Now just sheer anger!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  41. Kelly - Arizona

    And we wonder why our teenagers are the generation of entitlement! Look who they get to look up to!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  42. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    Good evening bloggers!!! I'm infuriated that we are stil rebuilding New Orleans–what have we been doing all these years? Thanks for the bday wishes last night!!!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  43. Robert, Reno, NV

    How can we be upset with AIG? The government was the one that gave them the money with zero oversight or rules! And THANK YOU to all the volunteers in NOLA!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  44. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    Good evening, everyone!

    Little bit of a late start tonight. Were there technical difficulties?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  45. Bea

    Wow, did anyone else have a hard time getting on the blog? Hello. If the US owns 80% of AIG why it shouldn't it be able to get access to the outside counsel letters and all correspondence leading up to the bonuses including corporate minutes? Subpoena them. Maybe they have to sue to get it in discovery.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  46. Sean, Soldier in IRAQ

    Hello everyone. Anderson glade to see you in the BIG EASY! New Orleans is a wounderful place. Enjoy the culture.
    As always prayer time here through out the city is going on.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  47. Brent

    The Obama administration once again showed its ignorance in dealing with AIG and the banking crisis. Strings should have been attached but instead they had to push this bailout bill through without anybody reading the darn thing and to think we have 4 more yrs of this kind of crap!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  48. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    Good evening everyone

    March 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  49. Michelle, FL

    Ah good here's the blog, I thought it was just me having issues. Good evening everyone!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  50. EJ (USA)

    Hello – Anderson has a very excited crowd behind him!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
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