Diary

OPEN THREAD..AIG Spends our Bucks while the Economy Sucks

Swamp Yankee has a Fox link

Henry Waxman, the Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives’ chief investigative committee, flashed images of a luxury hotel on to television screens.

Mr Waxman showed off pictures of the grand staircase, sparkling fountain and white columns at the St Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California. AIG executives had…according to the congressmen…convened there for a week-long retreat just one week after the US Treasury saved it from certain failure with an $85bn (€62bn, £48bn) bail-out. Bills showed the fallen insurer…and, some argued, US taxpayers…had paid nearly $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals and $23,000 in spa charges.AIG insiders on Tuesday admitted after the hearing that the company paid for the retreat but said it was designed as a reward for a group of high-performing self-employed life insurance agents…not AIG executives. Even if the distinction had been made, it would not have been likely to make a difference.

I’ve been saying since Day one…The Salesmen are getting rich at the Taxpayers expense.

Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Baltimore, one of the poorest cities in the US, pointed out the rooms cost more per night than some of his constituents faced in monthly mortgage payments…for houses they were now being thrown out of.

Look who was there! Code Pinkos! That must mean we are winning the War…glad to see they are keeping busy.

It was also a chance for Congress to rake a couple of AIG executives..Martin Sullivan and Robert Willumstad..over the coals which they did, though it wasn’t the most brutal coal-raking ever witnessed on Capitol Hill.

They Focused on these areas…

One, huge pay packages received by senior AIG executives even though it was clear the company’s earnings would take a hit because of bad financial-market bets made by some of its executives.

Two, the overly optimistic reports some of those same executives made to the public and investors at a time when the company’s financial situation was deteriorating.

Three, the failure of top managers to accept blame for the company being put in such perilous financial straits. Listening to them, it was all the fault of the accountants who made them mark down the value of investments few people wanted to buy who caused AIG’s woes.

Four, an executive in AIG’s London office who was fired for making many of the bad financial bets that eventually swamped the company’s finances but who was given a $1 million a month consulting contract with the company and

Five, the $500,000 or so AIG spent on a week-long retreat orchestrated by one of its subsidiaries for executives. It occurred a week after the federal government’s bailout of the company. Even the former AIG execs had to admit the retreat held at a very pricey resort was probably a bad idea.

We the People knew this would happen…I’m so mad at all the Critters I could spit.