Tuesday, January 27, 2009

AIG to Pay $450 Million To Keep Swaps Staff…

Absolutely unreal… Speaking of signs, here’s one that’ll make you proud to be a taxpayer:

AIG Said to Pay $450 Million to Retain Swaps Staff

By Hugh Son

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- American International Group Inc., the insurer saved from collapse by government money after losses on credit-default swaps, offered about $450 million in retention pay to employees of the unit that sold the derivatives, according to two people familiar with the situation.

About 400 workers at the financial products unit may get the money in two installments, said the people, who declined to be named because details of the payments were confidential. The business was responsible for about $34 billion in writedowns since 2007 as the market value of swaps AIG sold to banks plunged amid the subprime mortgage market collapse.

The payments bring to more than $1 billion the amount AIG has committed to keep its employees from leaving. The New York- based insurer in September took a federal bailout to avoid bankruptcy and is selling subsidiaries to repay the government. AIG said the program was disclosed before the government rescue, which is now valued at $150 billion.

“I was extremely disappointed -- but not surprised -- to learn that AIG will be awarding bonuses to the very division that drove the company into the ground,” said Representative Elijah Cummings, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in an e-mail. AIG shouldn’t be awarding “millions of unmerited dollars to employees while at the same time begging the U.S. government for financial life support.”

Maintaining Value
Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy, 62, has been providing data on employee compensation to Congress, saying retention programs are needed to keep the value of the units from eroding as AIG seeks buyers. The payments have drawn criticism from legislators including Cummings, 58, the Maryland Democrat who has said that the awards are unnecessary while employment markets are weak and has called for hearings into the compensation.
Now that’s a sign of the times alright. Hey, is there a song that goes…

Crime, Crime, everywhere a Crime!

Taking people’s money and not returning a dime!

Hide this, don’t show that, can’t you see the Crime?