You would think that executives at a company that’s so poorly managed that it requires vast government aid wouldn’t be getting big bonuses but apparently not:
An official in the Obama administration said Saturday that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner had called A.I.G.’s government-appointed chairman, Edward M. Liddy, on Wednesday and asked that the company renegotiate the bonuses.
Administration officials said they had managed to reduce some of the bonuses but had allowed most of them to go forward after the company’s chief executive said A.I.G. was contractually obligated to pay them.
Obviously, I’m not in a position to comment on the legal issues. But certainly there’s nothing preventing moral suasion from being deployed against the recipients of these funds. There are a lot of people in need right now in the world—people losing jobs, people suffering—and a lot of charities that probably need that money a lot more than AIG executives need it.