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March 19th, 2009
12:17 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Bonus battle & a new bailout

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/18/aig.bonuses.congress/art.dodd.cnn.jpg caption="Sen. Dodd told CNN Wednesday that officials in the Treasury Department asked him to add the bonus loophole to the stimulus bill before it was passed."]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

The controversy surrounding bonuses at AIG hit a boiling point Wednesday when company CEO Edward Liddy testified before a House Financial Services subcommittee.

Liddy, who was grilled by lawmakers, addressed one of the key questions surrounding the controversy: When did officials first learn that AIG was planning to give those bonuses that CNN first reported on last December?

Liddy said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke knew about the payments for three months and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner found out about them two weeks ago - a week before Geithner has said he first heard of the bonuses from his staff. The Treasury Department, however, said Liddy was mistaken.

Meanwhile, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN Wednesday that he was responsible for language added to the federal stimulus bill to make sure that already-existing contracts for bonuses at companies receiving federal bailout money were honored.

Dodd acknowledged his role in the change after a Treasury official told CNN the administration pushed for the language.

Both Dodd and the official, who asked not to be named, said it was because Obama administration officials were afraid the government would face numerous lawsuits without the new language.

CNN’s Chief Financial Correspondent Ali Velshi is in Washington today to interview Secretary Geithner and ask him how the provision protecting AIG bonuses got into the stimulus bill and what Dodd’s role was.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in the House plan to introduce legislation today to try to recoup bonuses paid to Wall Street executives with taxpayer money.

The measure would tax individuals on any bonuses they receive from companies getting $5 billion or more in TARP money. Bonuses for people with incomes over $250,000 would be taxed at a 90% rate. It affects bonuses received after Jan. 1, and applies not only to employees but former employees as well.

As for AIG, Liddy says he has asked those who received $100,000 or more to return at least half of it. But he says he will not release the names of those executives for their own safety.

Separately, the Obama Administration today announced a new $5 billion bailout for the nation’s auto-parts suppliers, which have been hammered by the severe downturn facing Detroit’s automakers.

The rescue plan would pump money into dozens of the country's biggest suppliers to help pay for all the parts shipped to the Big Three automakers – but that have not been paid for. Dozens of suppliers have been struggling as car sales have tumbled and bills for previous parts shipments have gone unpaid.

The number of Americans filing initial claims for jobless benefits dipped last week, but the total number of people continuing to receive benefits set a fresh record high.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 646,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 658,000. The number of people receiving benefits for one week or more, however, increased by 185,000 to 5.47 million.

That is once again the highest number on records dating back to 1967.

The Fed announced Wednesday it would buy $300 billion of long-term Treasurys over the next six months in order to try and get credit flowing more freely again.

The central bank also announced plans to buy an additional $750 billion in mortgage-backed securities, a move designed to lower mortgage rates.

The Fed also left interest rates unchanged at a target range of 0% to 0.25% - where they have been zero since December.

Gas prices rose 1.3-cents overnight at $1.933 a gallon. 11 states and the District of Columbia have regular unleaded gas prices of $2 and higher. 39 states have regular unleaded gas prices below $2. The highest gas prices are in Alaska ($2.508). The cheapest gas prices are in Wyoming ($1.748)

Finally, Americans are losing confidence in their ability to keep their current standard of living.

Thirty-nine percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released today say they're very confident they'll be able to maintain their standard of living over the next year. That's down 6 points from last year.

The number of homeowners with a mortgage who say they are very confident that they can continue to meet their payments is also down, as is Americans' confidence in their ability to pay debts such as credit cards and car loans.

Additionally, only one in four parents of children younger than 18 say they are very confident in their ability to pay for college. And only one in five who have not already retired say they are very confident in their ability to save enough to retire comfortably.


Filed under: AIG • Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Gas Prices • Oil • Wall St.
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. sarah whelan

    And the truth will set you free....It is sad the state the Americans are in and the choices they have made. It is also unfortunate that it is always the little guys are the ones being held accountable. I think all should be held accountable.....All who partook in this Gov't, AIG,Congress. Why was it not stated exactly where the funds were to be allocated prior to the funds being given. I believe the ones that provided the funds should be held strongly accountable for not doing their do dilligence. The BIG PICTURE is clearly being ignored....This is what troubles me and the larger concern it creates for the American people. Taking the funds back does not solve the greater Problem at hand.

    March 20, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  2. Darin

    I think the Govt. should have the right to say no bonuses. Had the govt. not stepped in to bail AIG out, would they money have been there to pay bonuses. Not to mention given the current state of the business how can you justify bonuses for this type of job performance. I need a job like this. No body is bailing me out for my losses in the markets. I am a firm believer that the stimulas money should have been distributed out to the public (we proved we like to spend) and companies would intern get the money as people pay down debt and spend the money for their wants and needs.

    March 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm |
  3. Darin

    Why is this such a difficult issue. Had the govt. not stepped in AIG would have been forced into bankruptcy or close to bankruptcy and my guess is the company would not have had the funds to pay the bonuses. Also, who rights contracts that allow these types of bonuses for this type of job performance.

    March 19, 2009 at 8:23 pm |
  4. Agrownman

    Whats odd is have people who already have millions & billions of dollars and is still trying to get more.Its nothing but corperate greed and heartlessness.In a country like american,i feel Know one who works and legal job should be suffering,and its alot of suffering people out here..We need that money.I think the american people would manage the money better if was handed to us. "Why is the goverment giving money to people who don't need it?"

    March 19, 2009 at 8:05 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    AIG and the bonuses are certainly a mess – only the government could create a mess this big. Taxing the people who got bonuses that the government okayed from the beginning seems unfair – especially at 90%. Give with one hand and take away with the other.....sounds about par for the course.

    And another bailout – when do they stop – when all the trees that make paper are gone? Our money is going to be worth as much as Confederate money was worth at the end of the Civil War if this goes on much longer.

    March 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  6. Rose from NY

    Our politicians are beyond hypocritical. Sen. Dodd should be charged criminally. It appears he has been bought and paid for. The corruption in Washington is far more egregious to me than the AIG bonuses.

    Taxing the bonuses 90% and demanding the names of the recipients is a frightening precedent. I feel like I woke up today in a different country.

    March 19, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  7. Joy in Seattle

    Let's see if we get this right....

    The government wrote bonuses into the bill. They knew about the bonuses ahead of time. They still bailed out AIG. Then, when the American people yelled about it, they put on a false show. Everyone is acting outraged at the company doing what they told the company was okay in the first place. And their great solution is to tax the money we gave them in the first place.

    This is pure insanity. Government is broken and needs fixing.

    March 19, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  8. Robert Owens

    As the congress feigns absolute shock at the negative news surrounding bailout funds, where was their scrutiny before passing a 1200 page, 750 BILLION dollar bailout? The american public makes me laugh, the "little people" thinking it's fine to be bailed out for bad decisions. For them only. Reminds me of the old joke about the man who asked the woman "will you sleep with me for 10 million dollars"? Yes says the woman. Will you for 50? asks the man. What do you think I am ?gasps the woman. We've already established what you are ,now we"re negotiating a price,the man replies. As much as I may identify and empathize with the frustration of the public, we ALL need to take responsibility for our own actions.I guess I'll never be a politician with this attitude! THANK GOD.

    March 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  9. Kim

    I am surprised people are surprised by the bonuses. The government had a knee jerk reaction. Nobody asked questions, nobody set rules. We just handed over the money. It's too late to change the rules of the game, how dare we try? Lesson learned – nobody gets a cent without oversight and legislation. Get over it and move forward, These employees should not be made to pay back bonuses they earned legally, even if others feel it is unethical.

    March 19, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  10. Mike, Zephyrhills, FL

    Sen Dodd and Rep John Boehner need to both Resign!!

    Many people were involved in this TARP , and it should be repealed and these banks assets sold and closed up. People need to be jailed.

    Bernanke needs to be fired and also jailed for lying and covering up. The Fed has the power to use tax payor monies at their discretion.

    Henry Paulson worked for Goldman Sachs and worht almost a billion dollars. AIG paid Goldman billions out of TARP money and many others got this money, guess thats why no one wanted to tell us where it went too.

    Now we know why people cant get loans!!

    March 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  11. Joanne

    Yes – the taxing of the income at a higher rate is interesting but how will these people process their 2009 taxes? Will they get a higher tax return for paying this tax and recoup some of the money in there 2009 tax filing?

    What is the impact? I would hope they cannot claim these taxes paid and then get a return.

    March 19, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  12. Paula Calder

    Bonuses are not the big news – According to Glen Beck the Feds asked Treasury to print $1 trillion dollars yesterday afternoon and they did!! We will all be hauling wheelbarrows full of dollars around to buy a loaf of bread if this keeps up.

    March 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  13. Karla Hendrickson

    3-18-09
    For the first time in decades, I am proud of this country. ELECTING OBAMA WAS A MAJOR MILESTONE. I believe there is hope. We still need to clean the “Houses” in order to complete this process.
    This country’s foundation is a government for the people by the people. Currently as you can see, it is a government for the career politician by the career politicians. We need to get rid of incumbents.
    Politicians have free health insurance, vote themselves raises every year, have a retirement (that you & I would die for) & I hate to think of all the perks that go along with it.
    Republicans claim “Democrats want Big Government.” What the Democrats are really doing is funding programs that help people. Republicans solve, so called “Big Government”, by De-Regulation. That means, every man for themselves.
    De-Regulation is how we got into this mess. De-Regulation helps lobbyists. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. They don’t want the government in their business because, how can they protect their golden salaries and golden parachutes if somebody is watching? Decades ago the Airlines and Savings & Loans were De-Regulated. Remember the mess the airlines got into and really hasn’t totally recovered. Remember the Savings & Loan featuring the Keating Five? And, remember what a failure that was? We should have learned De-Regulation invites subliminal corruption. Some current Senators and Congressmen were serving when that happened, and they were still reelected???? They think they are an authority on Obama policies and why they won’t work?????
    I think of all the money floating around D.C. to sway votes for lobbyist. Lobbyist represent corporations that only have one thing in mind and that is to make money, despite the residue, pollution, & health threats these businesses are knowingly emitting. The sick thing is; they do it until they get caught or a huge accident happens.
    Ever since the late 70’s, the quality has gone down and CEO salaries went up at the expense of the American Worker. All CEO’S, now think they deserve a multimillion dollar salary.
    Scare tactics by Republicans are becoming more obvious. They want to scare you into voting for them. That mentality is the real enemy. Radio talk shows are the most obvious with scare tactics. This is a form of psychological terrorism.
    Politicians shouldn’t serve more than two terms. Incumbents respond, “Experience is necessary.” Of course they are going to say that, their mother, brother, son, daughter, cousin, etc. are all lobbyist. When you vote for incumbents, you are voting for their big happy family in D.C.
    As far as conflicts of interest, I wonder how many incumbents would go to jail if their conflict of interest was uncovered
    INCUMBENTS HAVE GOT TO GO.
    What about all the committees our elected officials are in that preside over all our affairs? They do not sound very effective.
    Since we have the internet now, I want elected officials to live in their districts, pay for their health care, and eliminate their retirements. After they serve their two terms, they can go back to their job they had before. Has anyone noticed how wealthy politicians are when they come out of office?
    INCUMBENTS HAVE GOT TO GO.
    Every night on the news, politicians opposing Obama, are viewing their ideas. We are told this won’t work, that won’t work. My response is, “HEY!! MR. CAREER POLITICIAN, if you say experience is necessary for the job, why are we in the shape we are in???? Since you have been in office for 2-5 decades, it is fair to say, you helped us get here.”
    INCUMBENTS HAVE GOT TO GO.
    We have to get rid of them. Let’s help Obama be successful.

    March 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  14. Larry

    Now Sen. Dodd is saying that he was 'encouraged' by the Obama administration to include that clause, giving A.I.G. executives the bonuses' in the bill that all 10 Democratic Congressmen signed, including Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Charles Rangel, etc.

    Why are we not angry and outraged with those who put that clause in there? Are we so enamored with the Obama administration that we can't believe he'd do anything as said by Dodd?

    March 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  15. Michele Gomis

    With great diffidence and respect may I inquire why my comments don't get moderated (approved hopefully) as quickly as others? Call me undestandably curious.

    An email note would be greatly appreciated. If I'm doing something which puts my comments on the razor's edge or in an ambiguous status I'll do my best to improve. If only I could know what the problem is.

    Thanks!

    March 19, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  16. John Elefante

    After all this banter, I can't believe that our elected officials believe the solution is getting $165mm back from AIG. What am I missing here?
    If we take it back, someone will say that we gave them $165mm more than necessary. WE should be telling AIG to get the money back and use it for the purposes originally intended.

    Then ask AIG to provide a detailed list of where this money has been allocated to ensure there aren't any other questionable usages.

    We should be getting similar lists from the banks. How has the money been used? type of loans made. Then track that against the industry and report that to the public so they see their tax dollars are being used positively.

    March 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  17. leo wojtanowski, clarks green, pa

    The Associated Press recently published an article about AiG
    bailout. The report said AIG is a "global company" and their situation is a huge problem for millions of customers in 130 countries. My question is:
    Why is the US the only government attempting to save this corporation? Are other countries also lending financial aid, i.e. Great Britain, since the debacle emanated from the London-based headquarters of the AIG financial group that seems to be the source of this financial nightmare.
    Has any reporting been done on this angle by CNN ?

    March 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  18. John from Stockton, California

    COOPER!!!!!

    AIG, what a mess!

    I am sad to say that I worked for AIG back in the 90's Their arrogance is unmatched in the insurance industry. "We're AIG, and our (you know what) does not stink.

    I read on the CNN site that due to all of the countless billions given to them, tax payer money that is, that we now own 80% of the corporation.

    Being that we, the american public, are now majority owners, I say we get to attend the next board meeting, and vote to make sweeping changes at the top.

    Even a dysfunctional monkey could run that corporation better.

    Stay cool.

    John

    March 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  19. xtina, chicago IL

    SO much for "change" in Washington.

    Obama's only response to AIG bonuses is "tax them 90 per cent!?" Oh that's real good

    March 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  20. womanwithstixs

    When their IQ's reach 40 they should sell.

    March 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  21. Larry

    Obama has to give up on his 'martyr complex', its wearing very thin.

    The government isn’t gonna try and get any money given to Goldman-Sachs, why, because its a big recipient of investment from Warren Buffet.

    Treasury Sec. Geithner is lying about when he knew about A.I.G. same with Obama, Dodd, Rangel, Franks, and the rest of these Democrat conspirators who can no longer get away with trying to gloss everything over with their own denials of ‘Not Me’ ‘Just heard about it the other day’ ‘Sorry, I don’t watch CNN’ That escape clause in the contract signed by the Senate & House didn’t get there by itself.

    March 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  22. Maureen (Boston)

    The Congress and Treasury did nothing about all the taxes owed to the USA by all the comanies getting bail outs. Also they did nothing about the bonuses until the people where outraged. Now they think the people are so stupid to think they can monitor the 90% tax on bonuses paid out by the bailout companies. They will try to fool us over and over again. People of America wake up! Vote these people out of office.

    March 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  23. Michele Gomis

    AIG callousness notwithstanding and all the rest, I find it childish to see how badly everyone wants to make everyone else look bad rather than FIX the problem.

    Please, can all the people in the Legislative branch move on beyond the 3rd grade? Enough nonsense, already. Reset the agenda!

    This is not a display of leadership, it's a game of Dodge Ball.

    And America, wittingly or un, sets the example for the rest of the world in how a Democracy is supposed to function. Our third branch of Government has run amuck. Can the Executive or Judicial act as a righteous check and balance to this foolishness? Thought that was at least part of why we have the 3 branches.

    No wonder, when patience runs out, do the opposition parties in 3rd world countries pull out their armament and start shooting if this is the governmental model we encourage them to follow.

    I guess America needs new Cabinet post: The Department of Patience and Maturity.

    March 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  24. John Trueblood

    see my previous note...i meant to use the word "bonus" instead of "gift.

    Thanks.

    March 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  25. Ardis

    The banks and financial institutions continue to hurt our economy. Instead of trying to help get things moving they are giving bonuses, and raising interest rates across the board on credit cards. Apparently they want more people to go under while they continue to collect as much as they can. The bail outs should be focused on small businesses who actually care about their communities and country. I think AIG has more then proven that they should not have our tax money.

    March 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  26. John Trueblood

    Like most people in America, I am outraged at Fannie Mae, AIG, & companies giving huge bonuses to their employees in order to "retain" them and reward them for past, lousy performance that contributed to our current financial mess. The recipients already have high paying jobs that pay far more than the average American worker earns in a decade, plus benefits. They should be grateful to work just for their rediculously high salaries, and consider their employ a "gift".

    March 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  27. Melissa

    I do not hold AIG responsible for giving bonuses to employees and find the congressional witch hunt sad and a serious slap in the face to tax payers. If my history is correct, Americans did not want a stimulus package approved the first time; I remember hearing about “floods” of calls from taxpayers pleading to not support the package – Congress and the Senate did not listen then. Now Congress is putting on the Angry face and wanting to know who are the recipients of the AIG bonuses. Does it really matter? Tell me why congress or the senate cannot answer a simple question regarding the biggest spending of all time. Instead we get a “not me” answer – not one politician stepped forward to explain or claim responsibility for the Feb 09 clause. Truly surprising when this bill has such notoriety; I think this sends a message to Americans that Congress and the Senate are either extremely stupid or extremely neglectful when it comes to spending our money.

    March 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  28. Neo

    So Rep. Dodd changed federal policy as a knee jerk reaction because he didn't understand CT. law fully? That law had nothing to do with stimulus. It was a retention bonus earned on EXTRA INCOME received, (not a loan) on the basis that said employee contributed to the company's strong financial portfolio. I don't understand why Dodd didn't consult a lawyer first and allowed himself to be bullied by AIG's hyperbole? How embarassing.

    I don't get a good vibe from this new bailout for the automakers.

    March 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  29. Alan T

    If congress is so upset and wants to get back all the bonus money paid out from companies that received TARP money, then they should return all monies they received in campaign contributions from the same companies that received TARP! All of these politicians should return the Tax payors money to us also. They should lead by example! They should not tell people to do as I say and not as I do!

    March 19, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  30. gary

    Think we need to weed out our corupt politions let's put there heads on the choppin block anderson ur a great reporter u need to leave CNN for FOX news I hear far to much doom and gloom and nothing positive. Surely there is still some feel good news out there somewhwere thanks for ur professionalism

    March 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  31. Rickey

    How can this man be allowed to get away with this. He got contributions from AIG and he was allowed to write or insert whatever he wanted in the Bill? Dodd should not have been allowed to write anything because of the conflict of interest. This does not look like a mistake.
    When are these Idiots going to STOP doing what they want and start doing what the PEOPLE wants. They were put in office to represent us not themselves.
    VOTERS – Please do not forget this.

    March 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  32. Nick (Los Angeles, CA)

    Hello Anderson,

    The public, and our government, is outraged over the AIG bonuses. If rightfully so, then what about Merrill Lynch's irregularly scheduled and secret bonus payments of $3.6 billion ... immediately prior to the eleventh-hour closing of the weekend BofA deal? New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating.

    Should we apply apply the 90% tax to ML, as they too received federal bailout money? What is fair ... where do we apply the 90% tax and where do we stop?

    Nick
    Los Angeles, CA

    March 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  33. Mari

    There are some who are actually supporting the bonuses at AIG ( & Merrill Lynch) saying that they were contractual, legal, and should be paid. Baloney! When the company you work for is failing, why should you be rewarded?

    The blame is squarely on the shoulders of Bush's Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson who was head of Goldman Sachs and wrote the original "bailout bill"! However, you did not hear one peep out of the GOP against him!

    Shame on Paulson for not writing restrictions into the Bill on the use of the money.

    And shame on Congress for not reading the Bill carefully enough to ask WHY restrictions on bonuses and salaries was not included!

    AIG proves with their irresponsibility WHY Wall Street is considered criminal.

    March 19, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  34. Julie

    It is so important to stay positive right now – for everyone -
    but am getting weary of the "Speeches of Obama" and now this
    whole mess that is on top of all the other garbage – it is a bit ironic
    that congress is demanding the names of the AIG exec's when the
    American people have yet to see the congressional timetable regarding the AIG bonus package....it seems like this is business
    as usual for congress and it is so sad. I have faith that America
    will press on but maybe it will not be as a result of the gov. Maybe we
    the American People will really commit to making the necessary changes. And maybe that is how it should be.

    March 19, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  35. Donald Redhead

    With all this BAILOUT frad etc. I think we need to rewrite the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE and take out JUSTICE FOR ALL.

    March 19, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  36. Fred Hill

    I would like to know why that our elected officials are so quick to point fingers and call for people to resign when found to be doing things consider unethical – however, they have parachutes for themselves to prevent them from losing any of their benefits even when convicted of Federal Crimes ie., Rep Cunningham.
    Why doesn't Rep Dodd have the dignity to resign for what he has done on the stimulus package. Why doesn't the News Media hound him like they do the CEO of AIG. I am not defending AIG and feel that all the flack they are getting is well deserved. But the guardians of the gate, the people we place in charge to conduct the People's Business need to be held just as accountable if not more so!!!
    Fred M. Hill

    March 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  37. Donald Redhead

    Anderson...It's about time this country makes examples of people out there when it comes to committing Frad. The laws applies to all. At least that's what I was rased to beleive. If there's a different list for crimes committed by middle and lower class people can you post it on CCN. Not holding banks etc. accountable to Frad is crazy.

    March 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  38. Larry

    Dodd should resign!

    The government isn’t gonna try and get any money given to Goldman-Sachs, why, because its a big recipient of investment from Warren Buffet.

    Treasury Sec. Geithner is lying about when he knew about A.I.G. same with Obama, Dodd, Rangel, Franks, and the rest of these Democrat conspirators who can no longer get away with trying to gloss everything over with their own denials of ‘Not Me’ ‘Just heard about it the other day’ ‘Sorry, I don’t watch CNN’ That escape clause in the contract signed by the Senate & House didn’t get there by itself.

    Every Congressman who signed that bill should resign.

    March 19, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  39. RSG

    As grad student I was taught that every manager worth his or her salt need to have facts in front of them before they could. All of our actions need to be based on the law and regulations published to the general public. I fully understand that the ecomonic mess we are in is not President Obama's doing. However, throwing large amount of tax payers money at this crisis without fully having the facts is contrary to good management and common sense. The power of purse is a power on to itself; for the federal governement not to have take protective measures to ensure that no one profited for taxpayer money is something that can not be tolerated. We know now that at least that a cabinet member and Dodd in Congress knew and assisted in hiding this fact form the general public and then wrote legislation that precluded the federal government from taking corrective action. If this was done under the Bush Administration folks would be screaming in the streets. President Obama need to talk straight and stop misleading the public on these isssues. Both men should resign from their public office.

    March 19, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  40. c,ca

    I have to say that I am completely confused about this whole thing.

    If everybody knew about the bonuses in advance – what was this whole show yesterday all about? Congresspeople supposedly "grilling" Mr. Big Wheel AIG. Was that just a chance for Congresspeople to grandstand again? Pretend that they're shocked and outraged that us poor taxpayers are getting screwed and they're going to save us when, in fact, they arranged for the bonuses to be paid. Is it just a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing – no pun intended.

    I wonder if we can ever cut through the manufactured, made-for-TV , phoney outrage, partisanship, and back room deals and get down to the truth.

    I think that's all people want.

    March 19, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  41. Frank Almendarez

    Alberto Gonzales (he knew) was asked to leave his position, why is Geithner (he knew also) getting special treatment....???

    I guess it real does matter what color of skin you have!

    But Alberto was called a liar, Geithner is being called a busy man, and Obama is being called a blame me man or a quick fixer upper.

    We have 1 Hispanic

    We have 1 White

    We have 1 Black

    This is going to be interesting; I am talking about the out come.

    I am really confused now, what does diversity mean, "OH" it all depends on who you know or who you are.

    March 19, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  42. Raymond A Bennett

    I do not believe Senator Dodd when he said that he did not know about the AIG bonuses when he inserted the provisions that allowed the bonuses to be paid. This is just spin to try to duck the responsibility of his actions.

    March 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  43. Jaime- Los Angeles

    C. Dobb said in one report he nothing about it, now he saying he did. Who electes these official and how can we remove them!

    March 19, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  44. Michael "C" Lorton, VA

    It is the same old excuse "plausable denialability,"-–they knew three monts ago--they knew two weeks ago--they knew only two hours before--etc., etc,. etc,. These individuals cannot determine a lie from the truth--to them they are both the same. I'm ashmaned to be an American.

    March 19, 2009 at 12:23 pm |