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March 17th, 2009
07:50 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 3/16/09

Editor's Note: We received a lot of comments about the AIG bonus story last night. Many suggested the government should refuse to pay the bailout money until the bonuses have been revoked. Another opinion called for AIG to file for bankruptcy, which would void the bonuses.  A few, though, suggested a humorous way to deal with the topic – publish the photos of the executives who took the money. Lastly, AC360° was thanked for the great program and for using the L.A. Staples Center as a backdrop.
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Re the AIG bonus payouts, why can not AIG/Feds management refuse to pay and then tell the recipients to sue. Regardless of outcome, the US taxpayers loose but the court cases might prove interesting. We might find out what was really going on. What would be the problem with that strategy?

Re:AIG and bonuses – We tax payers now own 80% of AIG. Why can't we take AIG to bankruptcy court and void the bonus contracts as part of a restructuring? Maybe if we (the government) initiate this bankruptcy process, the employees with bonus contracts will wake up and agree to terminate those contracts.

I am tired of hearing how angry people are over the big bonuses that AIG continues to give their executives. There is a simple fix to all that and I believe if my idea is put into place, some of the bonus money would be returned promptly while job creation would be in the works. How is that, you ask? Create a public website with the names and pictures of the one receiving the excess money. After all, AIG is now our company, right? We the people are bailing them out and it should be public knowledge on who is receiving this cash. Let the public do the dirty work. Those execs will be so scared to even go outside and they will be forced to hire lots of security just to protect themselves and therefore draining all of their bonus money. That creates new security jobs! YAY!

Dear Anderson and 360 Staff, Thank you for a great show tonight. It was nice to see L.A. and the Staples Center as the backdrop; I used to live in L.A and go to Kings games and have fond memories. Nice to hear from the panel who enlightened us about the stimulus plan and the guy who talked about "innovation," how this is the time to differentiate yourself from everyone else. What a great idea! Plus you had Dr. Phil, who showed us how the crisis can be an opportunity for the family to pull through together and be closer. I was touched by what he said. I've been a long-time viewer of the show, but I must say that I learned so much in this edition of 360. Tonight's show was inspired and inspiring. Thanks again.


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Howard.s Williams

    poetry Pyramid Schemes: Pyramids must be strong and that should be the case. How can it be strong when it don't have any base. Money piles high up the equilibrium. But if the base not proper then it will tumble down. So the cash minus plus bites the dust. While they burn he made off with billions. But what a hell when the rice can't swell they put him in a cell. In the mean time they cant find money to pay back the bank that they borrow. Due to that fact everyone is filled with sorrow now it's too late because the interest rate done escalate.Then investors only left with a fraction of the decimal.boy this situation sounded realy criminal.The silly lure of making more simply gone through the door. When the odds against you lie in cotton still you bruise.So when invest your money solid foundation you should choose.The world is full of wise wolves in sheep clothing do disguise. The offer you high interest rates so they can keep your pirze. So if you think I am joking check out the world recession. They say that it all started by some silly leader man. Eight years of mismanagement make the world nearly collapse. So they pass a stimulus package trying to bring it back. Job losses and foreclosure ravage through global towns. every money is shaken dollars,pennies shillings and pounds. I am Howard.s. Williams in Kingston Ja. W.I.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  2. Heather,ca

    From what Ive read and seen and heard,AIG did not have these contracts on bonuses prior to needing the gov bailout money or the new guy in charge. This was never done. I have a feeling someone in the Bush administration made a deal with AIG. If a company that insured ponzi scams and everything else that is so big faces going under and needs the gov to help it stay in business why would they create a new bonus policy that they never had before. Doesnt add up. Something is going on that needs to be investigated. You see a new guy in charge but we have no way of knowing if they are following the law.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  3. Tom Laframboise

    I think that the executives of AIG need to help them selves first by getting rid of all bonuses then ask for help. We shouldn't use bailout money to pay off bonuses. They shouldn't be rewarded for doing a BAD job of Managing, instead they should ALL be replaced.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  4. Jonathan R

    Why has the Obama administration completely failed, not just with AIG, to use the Bankruptcy laws in dealing with this crisis. The taxpayers should not be the only ones to feel the pain. The truth is that everyone should feel the pain that the mistakes made by the geniuses on Wall Street have wrought, especially those same geniuses. Under the bankruptcy laws these bonuses could be revoked. Under the Bankruptcy laws the taxpayers would not be bailing out, we would be reorganizing institutions that desperately need it. Under the bankruptcy laws we would not have to pay 100 cents on the dollar. Yet the Obama administration refuses to run any of these companies through bankruptcy.

    AIG has said they are worried that if the bonuses weren't paid they would lose the people needed to handle the crisis. Really? Where are they going to go? Who is going to hire them? Nobody is irreplaceable.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  5. Michele Gomis

    Regarding AIG: the longer the depression continues while we stagger towards recovery and normalcy, more and more sordid details will emerge. I think we need to asses our Gross National Moral and Ethical Product (GNMEP). I think it is a suitable subject and deserves scrutiny. No cop-outs because it MAY allude to Christian values. Christian values (upper or lower case), after all, underlie our national and political culuture, however faulty the understanding and "application," and however stridently the amoral among us want to discount them.

    Just a thought, guys.

    Somewhat off subject: I understand and appreciate the technology that was unavailable only a short time ago which allows us (viewers) to particapate and actively respond to what's happening. Some of my comments have been critical of the news media (and deleted (surprise!) by the blog moderators) but generally the merdia do a credible job of keeping us informed. Some of the information goes into the "over load" zone and some is pop culture twaddle but still, I generally commend CNN for these well run public venues where comments are welcome.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  6. Ted Lehman

    I am struggling with frustration.
    Because I pay taxes, there are necessities I must forgo.
    These same taxes will be used to pay AIG bonus payouts.
    Only one of these bonus payments will exceed what would take
    me 20 years to accumulate.
    Of course, blame must be placed on an administration that allowed this to happen. If we removed all rules of the road for automobile drivers, chaos would result on our roadways. Without adequate rules for the AIG execs, chaos has resulted from their greed and self interests.
    I pray that we have replaced a do nothing administration in time.
    They do make my case for reducing our congress by 50%.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  7. Gordon Wicher

    Re: The apparent requirement to let government contracts based on bids at prevailing wage.
    I have first hand knowledge of projects that are either federal or state funded that have had the requirement to be bid at prevailing wage. Those projects cost anywhere from 25% to 30% more than they would if bid without that requirement. In one case after I received a bid to do construction work on a building. I was then told that because the work was to be done on government property that it would have to be bid using prevailing wage. When the government bidding process was completed the successful bidder was the same contractor that had previously provided me a bid. The the wining bid was 30% higher than what I was quoted from the same contractor using the same employees. When asked why the cost was so much higher than what I had been quoted, he said he had to bid the project at prevailing wage to the government. Now the question is how much farther would the bailout project money go if contractors could bid projects without having to inflate wages? How many more workers could be hired or how much more could be accomplished for the same amount of investment? Why is it required to pay more than a free market cost to get a project completed? Is it not time to do away with prevailing wage requirements and allow the public who is funding all this to get more for their investment?

    March 17, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  8. James Martin

    Will someone please explain to me why the NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is the one sending subpoenas to AIG? Why is a State Attorney doing this and not the Federal Attorney Generals office Eric Holder? Smells like another rotten fish to put under the nose of the taxpaying citizens. If this was actually a viable option to stop the bonuses being paid and not another smoke screen from the political parties I would think that the Federal Attorneys Office would have jurisdiction over our tax dollars. Next they will be blaming Rush Limbaugh for the Wall Street Bonuses. And please how can Barney Franks ask why are we giving money to incompetent people? Can I suggest looking at Congress in this case as you were responsible for making sure we did not waste the taxpayer’s money? There have been over 500 people in Washington getting been getting paid for incompetency for the past 20 years and he is the leader of stupidity!

    Cut us a break and get to work doing what we sent you there to do and stop screwing us

    March 17, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  9. Troy Wells

    Dear Anderson and 360 Staff,
    When I turned on CNN yesterday to hear what AIG has done, I was stunned. Yet another example of how the financial institutions in this country are taking advantage of not only the government, but the people en mass.
    I have a great solution for all these financial institutions that are taking advantage of the governments charity...as a hard working, tax paying, lower middle class resident of the US (I'm actually Canadian), why not have the Government institute a 'Tabula Rasa' for all of the citizens debt and let these banks wallow in their loss. I am sure the millions of Americans suffering from foreclosure on their homes, or graduating college students starting out their young careers with $80k debt would appreciate it just as much as the hundreds of millions of dollars of bonuses some of these companies are handing out!
    Keep up the good work with keeping them honest!

    Troy
    Los Angeles, CA

    March 17, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  10. Tom Laframboise

    The Government was quick to hit the Auto sector with all kinds of consessions when they asked for a LOAN. They need to do the same with AIG. Also the Government needs to quit misleading the public. The jobs being created today are LOW INCOME jobs. The middle class is being phased out. This means less income tax going to the Government due to lower wages.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  11. Dawn Murray

    RE: AIG bonus scam.......Refurse to pay, let them take it to court and let the attorneys get the bulk of the money that thoses executives get, at least it will go to someone else and keep all those attorneys in a job. Probably even create some new jobs..... Not really funny! Ha!

    March 17, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  12. robert

    The real problem is not bonuses. We, as citizens have not cared what our government has been doing. Blame execs all you want, but they could not have done what they did without the complicity of gov. or taxpayers.

    First, the ""we did not see it coming". Anyone could see it coming if they wanted to. The mortage market? Auto sales? After 9-11, the response was spend to prove your patriotism. Business and the gov. all pushed this, and we brought in.

    The same people that created this mess are now attempting to prove their outrage. Barney Frank? He and his like minded colleagues pushed to keep the mortage market going, and putting more risky paper out there for "fair lending". On the other side, you pick one major republician figure that wanted regulation of financial markets.

    Bottom line- If people do not insist on accountability in Washington, and that means voting their scoundel out, then business will continue to run roughshod over everyone.

    PS- If I hear one more talking head speak about "rule of law" on these bonuses, I will be physcially ill. As others have said, if AIG had been forced into the bankruptcy, all contracts can be voided. Also, do we really need the same people who created the mess being paid to fix it? The reality is, a lot of highly skilled people are one the street, let them try, do not reward greed even more.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  13. Dawn Murray

    I was watching this AM to CNN – they were answering emails. I was shocked when someone wrote saying Who are the AIG guys that are getting these big $$ for loosing billions.....and both the ladies said we don't know, we just couldn't tell you.........come on please, you guys are the NEWS that we are suppose to trust. I took 5 minutes and checked out AIG web site and found lists and photos of board members, names of top executives on all the boards. I can't believe YOU can't find out more on who are getting these funds......or are you trying to hide something we (common folk) citizens should not find out?
    I think it is a good idea to see these AIG people that have the gaul to collect their bonuses? Anderson, can you find out more about these guys and how much each one got. I think AMERICA would like to see this too. Thanks for your show!

    March 17, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  14. Neal B.

    Had the FED not intervened with 170 billion in aid and allowed the collapse of AIG, What legal grounds would these same executives have had to receive a bonus from a failed company. None is the answer and that is exactly what they should get today. Be lucky they still have a job at AIG or if they don’t want the (management) job, then resign (as they should anyway) subsequently making available some positions for younger and upcoming bright people that will welcome an opportunity to make AIG work, and upon recovery, then possibly collect an incentive reward.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  15. Holly Armstrong

    There seems to be a great deal of concern about breaking contracts, even those of AIG.

    Our Internal Revenue Code is full of special interest treats, how about one for the Taxpayers: tax all executives receiving bailout money at a 100% tax rate? This will return that what was given without breaking contracts and a resulting prolonged law suit, costing additional Taxpayer dollars.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:20 am |