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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)
  1. Maren in Oregon

    @Aaron Brown – frankly, I'm glad they are being controlled to a degree. Constant screaming by fans and over-excited teens on Spring Break can sink a live newscast just as fast. It is a point thought – bring back the Greek Chorus

    March 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  2. Fay - California

    I'm still shaking my head about that report from NOLA–I can't believe that there is no accounting for the money to build the homes and that there is basically no plan to do it–just unbelievable.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  3. Dimitrios Apostolopoulos

    Here is a suggestion... Let the AIG executives keep their bonuses. As a consequence CNN everyday will post a picture, their name and where the live on T.V in the top right corner, minimum six hours a day. Let the public know who they are and where they live. If they don't want to be on T.V and in the spotlight, then they have the option to do the right thing and give the undeserved bonuses back!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  4. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    @Tom Foreman: Liked your report on who is "winning" in today's economy. However, sad to hear there are so many unwanted pets left in shelters.

    I am simply amazed at these AIG bonuses. I would love you CNN to find a person from AIG who actually received a bonus and explain to us Americans why they think they deserved it!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  5. TOM FOREMAN - CNN

    and to those of you talking about taxing the bonuses: for what it is worth, this is a valid technique that has been used before. gets tricky when you talk about doing it to a whole industry, but in this case...individuals with bonuses...not sure i see a downside.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  6. Gerry In Toronto

    The real question to ask AIG, is why is it taking them so long to sell assets. Assett sales were to be used to break the company up and repay the government, but so far they have not announced a single sale.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  7. TOM FOREMAN - CNN

    thanks for asking about Nola (our dog)...she is wonderful. my wife and girls got her to bark for me on a video message they posted to my phone since i'm here in ny all week.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  8. Isabel, Brazil

    The voluntary work is very rewarding for those who do.
    And it does not cost much ... few hours a week or even once a month made the difference, if we doarmos this time to help others.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  9. Lori from IL

    Hello all - glad the blog is finally up - I about gave up, thought it was just me.

    Anderson - Hope you are enjoying your time in NOLA. Have a crab cake for me!

    While it may be taxpayer money initially returned in Geithner's plan won't they still be required to repay the totality of the loans? So, in the end the taxpayers will not cover the bonuses? Would be interested in David Gergen's take on this.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  10. Robert, Reno, NV

    Why can everyone on the AC360 blog 'see the light' with AIG and in letting it fail but government is just not getting it? I love Ali, but, he needs to explain what happens if we let it fail? My guess is very little... other companies will pick up the parts.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  11. Cherry B - Ms

    Mr Foreman, glad to see you here tonight. We certainly have learned alot from your good work through this economic disaster.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  12. Lauren--NY

    Jo Ann, I agree; I can't imagine what it must be like to be in their shoes.

    I feel terrible for the Neeson-Richardson family. Such talent and good will from those people. I hope she's okay.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  13. Esma

    I'm so glad to see that many volunteers in the NOLA area!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  14. Elaine

    AIG bonuses...outrageous is putting it mildly.
    We keep hearing we can't afford to have them fail....excuse me,
    obviously, they have already failed or we taxpayers would not be bailing them out. It's even more obvious, it will be unending....how come our legislators can't see this?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  15. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @Greg...that AIG MOST WANTED list (with pics) is a great idea.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  16. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Well, it is about time. Hello Everybody!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  17. Tim in Columbus, Ohio

    I wonder how the bonus was calculated for any given employee. What were the criteria to earn one? If this is how the crew that bankrupted the company is treated, I wonder what they would have received if the company had done well?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  18. Bea

    Obama thought he could leave Geithner and Summers to handle this. We need some outside counsel who can think outside the box. The attorneys who wrote the opinion letters for AIG and the NY fed and others apparently can't do that, but I'd love to see those letters. The other problem is those firms have a conflict because so many of them represent companies that might need a bailout.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  19. Maren in Oregon

    @Tom – Yes a different perspective for sure. More energy – of a different kind. Between T-shirt & Prada – I pick the shirt. Interesting stories, too.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  20. James Hidle

    Why don’t you say anything about Sen. Chris Dodd writing the legislation so that AIG could give out those Bonuses. Sense he got more money from AIG for his campaign than anybody else.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  21. Martha

    There are approximately three hundred million people in this country. AIG has received One Hundred Seventy-Five Billion Dollars in bailout monies (more or less). If my math is correct, that is Fifty-eight point three million dollars per person. As a taxpayer, a million dollars per person would have been alot cheaper and even Congress couldn't have argued with that. Then if AIG went under, so be it. By the way, is my check in the mail?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  22. Xavier - Portland OR

    Let us all pray for AIG. Pray that they are brought down to a level that let's them know to never bite the hand that feeds them. "We the people".

    March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  23. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Tom, Happy St. Patrick's day!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  24. Robin in Tampa

    Hi Anderson, it's shameful to see how long it's taking to rebuild New Orleans, when hurricane Andrew hit south Florida in 1992 it didn't take us over 3 years to return back to normalcy.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  25. Dave

    Ali's chart didn't really explain why AIG can't be allowed to fail. The real reason: AIG bet tens of trillions of dollars on those fancy financial derivatives. If AIG collapses, major financial institutions worldwide could therefore lose trillions and also collapse. Result: instant depression. Unless governments around the world print tens of trillions, thereby triggering mega-inflation. $20 a gallon gas, anyone?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  26. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    Hey Sean, Soldier in Iraq...Thanks for joining us. I think it's really great that you participate regularly. Thank you for all your effort and work.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  27. Sam

    Time to get back to basics and start rewarding hard work again instead of greed and unethical behavior,

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  28. Missy

    How can FEMA possibly take money back from NOLA BUT the government cant take money back from AIG-the people who DONT need it?
    love ya anderson! Keep up keeping them honest

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  29. Nattada, Houston, TX

    Good evening Anderson, Tom, AC360 Team, panel members, and all bloggers.

    Hope all is well with everyone.

    How is your trip going, Anderson? Hope you enjoy it.

    Glad to see you back to New Orlean. I will be going to New Orlean the next 2 weeks on weekend. Can't wait to see how everything is going on there myself.

    And I thought I was late because I just came back from class. Then I see everyone just got on. Glad to still get to live blog tonight. 🙂

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  30. Gene

    The AIG bonus problem is a 100% moral problem but only about 0.1% monetary problem. The company owners (we-the-people) should fire all of the AIG people who accepted the bonuses. These people are the one's who ran the company into the ground so what is lost when they are no longer there. Hopefully, when their names are published, no one else will want to hire them.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  31. Robert, Reno, NV

    LET AIG fail. The assets worth saving will be picked up by Allstate, State Farm, etc. What do I care if movie stars are insured against their movies and in keeping Hollywood safe?? There will be other companies that would love to have the chance to do it right! I hate to see anyone lose life savings, but, at this point, it is too late. STOP giving away tax payer dollars and start doing what is right. No one will ever trust AIG again, which means it will never be profitable.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  32. EJ (USA)

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

    lol, you're cute

    I didn't faint but I was just confused. What – no live blog?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  33. Mike

    What is happening with our country!? I think we have completely lost our sense of common sense. We are bailing out failed companies that cost us billions and our hard earned money is being wasted and abused by politicians and their buddies on Wall Street. Waiting for the next bailout...

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  34. Lisa L

    Good evening Anderson,

    I find your show relevant to the work I am doing.

    I love your happy balance of news stories, especially of people getting the chance and support they need.

    I hope you enjoy your travels.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa L
    Sydney, Australia

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  35. TOM FOREMAN - CNN

    oh yes...and most importantly: happy st. pat's day! my heritage is mostly irish...but a good bit of german, scottish, and english too, as best the family knows

    March 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  36. Gerry In Toronto

    How can anyone seriously try to blame Obama for AIG, when $150 billion of the funds sent to AIG came from Paulson. The first 85 billion did not even get senate approval and no one in either the Senate of House even knew the funds had been given to them.

    There were no rules set at all by Paulson. So quit blaming Obama or Geitner.

    Well done Anderson on your New Orleans segment. This investigative reporting is your strong suit. You're the best in the business at it. Do it all the time, this is what Maerica needs from real news men like you..

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  37. Aaron Brown

    every newscast needs people cheering on cue.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  38. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    I am so mad at AIG already give lot bonus to all employees without my knowledge.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  39. Steve - southern Illinois

    If George Bush hadn't driven America into a ditch AIG bonuses wouldn't matter.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  40. Cherry B - Ms

    Incredible to think these people are stilll struggling with housing this long after the storm! I lived in New Orleans years ago and the people there have an incredible spirit.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  41. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    If we are mad about the bailout money I can't imagine how the residents of Louisiana feel.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  42. Maren in Oregon

    It looks like the onoly people who actually care about NOLA are the volunteers, giving their la bor, raising their own funds, doing the work the government of NOLA and Louisiana should be – but obviously aren't – doing. Great for them, Good for them, shame on the rest.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  43. Ken

    This is company (AIG) should be broken up. Take the profitable parts and bankrupt the rest.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  44. Lisa L

    Are you kidding about AIG? Misappropriation of government funds for the self indulgence of 6 million in bonuses to one individual is excessive.

    How many jobs is 6 Million dollars when you are middle class?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  45. EJ (USA)

    That Natasha Richardson story is sad. It's also sad how many news outlets had so much conflicting information. It's like they wanted to be the 1st to kill her off. It was terrible. It reminded me of how much I admire CNN.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  46. Greg

    Hi Anderson, how about showing the names and faces of the AIG employees who received the bonuses, similiar to what you did when this mess started? Call it "AIG Most Wanted".

    March 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  47. Maria

    Happy Evening to NOLA Hero and All,
    Volanteerism and national service are nobel work.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  48. Adrienne

    Happy St. Patrick's day Anderson :]

    March 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  49. Esma

    Are they going to release the names of those who received the outrageous bonuses?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  50. Stacy

    Sean's piece was unbelievable. I really hope 360 will follow up on this story.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
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