I'm not sure I endorse suicide for AIG honchos, but I wouldn't mind if they released a breakdown of the people who are getting the bonuses, so they can be publicly shamed. If the Boston Herald can do it with public employees salaries, why not these bozos?
Mrs. noternie and I were discussing bonus-gate last night. We got stuck on the fact that they might not be able to do anything about the bonuses now, given they were part of legal contracts. And even if they would've thought to make the bailout money contingent on renegotiating contracts with those bonuses, could they have?
The reason the gov'mint gave AIG so much bailout money is that the company was "too big to fail." So if we (as a country and economy) can’t afford to let the company fail, how can they prevent bonuses?
Even if they knew the bonuses were due and went to AIG and said something like, "we won’t give you this money until and unless you are able to renegotiate away those gross bonuses" what kind of leverage does the gov’mint have?
Let’s be honest: they aren’t saving AIG to save the jobs in the mail room or secretarial pool. Businesses go under all the time with nary a peep. They’re saving AIG to prevent a domino effect. So how does the gov’mint call their bluff? AIG knows you won’t let the first domino tip over a measly $160 mil or so.
I don’t know how stay away from it, but having any companies that are so big you can’t allow them to fail seems like a real problem.
Replacing board members and CEOs (without paying golden parachutes); now there’s something Obama and his folks might be able to insert as a condition of bailout money.