Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mega Taxpayer-Funded Bonuses

Gives Connecticut’s Blumenthal Data on Bonuses

American International Group Inc., whose compensation policies before and after its U.S. bailout are being investigated, turned over information on its executive bonuses to Connecticut’s attorney general, who said the insurer paid out $218 million.

That amount is more than the $165 million in bonuses previously disclosed by the New York-based company. The insurer provided a list of bonus amounts and contract terms to Richard Blumenthal, who said the information supports his view that the basis for paying the bonuses is “completely unjustified,” according to a statement he issued yesterday.

“These contracts rip the rug from under AIG’s excuses -- revealing no basis under Connecticut law for these mega taxpayer-funded bonuses,” Blumenthal said. “AIG’s own documents reveal that it turned an emergency bailout into a meritless handout, paying windfalls to employees as reward for financial failure.”

Blumenthal said he asked AIG’s lawyers to explain the difference in total bonus amounts.

“We don’t know why the numbers are different,” Blumenthal said today in an interview. “That’s what we are asking the company to explain.”

The documents Connecticut received showed that 418 people received bonuses, from $1,000 to $6.4 million, he said. At least 73 people made $1 million or more, and there were seven people who made $4 million or more, Blumenthal said.

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