Blumenthal wants action on AIG bonuses

John O'Brien Feb. 4, 2010, 10:16am


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal wants someone to stop American International Group from paying $100 million in executive bonuses.

Blumenthal on Wednesday wrote Kenneth Feinberg, the special master in charge of the Taxpayer Assisted Relief Program, urging him to prohibit all bonuses by companies that still owe the program money.

Blumenthal said AIG reportedly still owes $124 billion.

"The AIG retention bonuses are a slap in the face to the hard-working taxpayers who saved AIG through bailout loans and stock purchases," Blumenthal said.

"Without taxpayer bailout funds, AIG would have failed or been sold to a third party -- rendering these bonuses worthless."

Feinberg said Wednesday that reducing the bonus payments could be tricky because of guarantees the company made to its employees years ago, the Washington Post reported.

"(T)here's a limited amount of leverage when you have valid, grandfathered contracts," he told the paper.

Blumenthal said the company has no cooperated with his requests for information.

"This arrogance is reinforced by the disclosure of the pathetically small concessions by AIG employees and by their failure to repay a promised $45 million in previous bonuses," Blumenthal said.

"Please take aggressive action to establish basic fairness and equity to Wall Street compensation. The United States taxpayers deserve no less."

Blumenthal is running for U.S. Senate this year.

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