AIG Ripoff Gets More Maddening

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger.

It's even more disgusting than we heard yesterday. According to the Wall Street Journal, AIG, the financial giant that has taken more than $170 billion of our money to save it from extinction — and given lots of it to other financial companies — is paying almost half a billion dollars in bonuses (my emphasis in first quoted paragraph)

to employees in its financial products unit. That division was at the heart of AIG's collapse last fall, which compelled the U.S. government to provide $173.3 billion in aid to keep it running….

Those payments are in addition to $121.5 million in incentive bonuses for 2008 that AIG will start making this month to about 6,400 of its roughly 116,000 employees. AIG, which was rescued in September as it faced potential bankruptcy, is also making over $600 million in retention payments to over 4,000 employees.

Together, the three programs could result in roughly $1.2 billion in retention and bonus payments to AIG employees.

Who's worse? The legislators and executive-branch people who let this happen, or the AIG executives who are showing themselves to be supremely greedy, and who must be laughing at the rest of us by now. Close call…