Wednesday, March 18, 2009
By The Associated Press
Published: March 18, 2009
WASHINGTON - WASHINGTON - The head of insurance giant AIG goes to Capitol Hill this morning, where he'll reluctantly defend millions of dollars' worth of bonuses doled out to employees despite the company's need for a $170 billion government bailout. Edward M. Liddy, who took over AIG last fall, says the bonus payments, while "distasteful," had to be paid.
Liddy, chairman and CEO of American International Group Inc., has become the reluctant defender of princely employee bonuses that members of Congress - and much of the American public - find indefensible.
AIG, the giant insurance company that has received $170 billion in government assistance, is paying more than $200 million in bonuses to keep employees from fleeing its troubled financial products division. On Wednesday, Liddy is to pull up a chair at a congressional witness table and take the heat.
Rep. Barney Frank says Congress should rewrite a Depression-era law that the Federal Reserve used to give American International Group its initial government bailout.
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