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  #31  
Old 03-23-2009, 10:49 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: The Bailout


Cuomo says AIG execs agree to return $50M bonuses - Yahoo! News

Cuomo says AIG execs agree to return $50M bonuses

AP Thursday, March 19, 2009,

By SARA LEPRO, AP Business Writer Sara Lepro,
Ap Business Writer 2 hrs 48 mins ago

NEW YORK New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Monday that 15 employees who received some of the largest bonuses from American International Group Inc. have agreed to return the more than $30 million worth of payments in full.

In total, AIG employees have agreed to return about $50 million of the $165 million in bonuses awarded earlier this month by the troubled insurer, Cuomo's office said.

Cuomo said he still hopes that more AIG employees will return their bonuses. At most, Cuomo said his office could hope to recoup $80 million of the bonuses roughly the amount paid out to American employees.

"I applaud the employees who are returning the bonuses," Cuomo said during a conference call with reporters. "I think they are being responsive to the American people."

Cuomo said 9 of the 10 people receiving the largest awards have agreed to return their bonus. Additionally, 15 of the top 20 bonus recipients have consented to returning their money. Cuomo said some have refused to return the money, while others are still considering it.

"We are deeply gratified that a vast majority of Financial Products' senior leadership have expressed a willingness to forsake their recent retention payments," wrote spokeswoman Christina Pretto in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. She added that the company is continuing to review the responses of the other employees.

AIG has come under heavy criticism because the bonuses were given to employees after the company received $170 billion in government bailout money. AIG Chief Executive Edward Liddy told Congress last week that some of the employees were willing to give the money back. But Liddy has expressed concern that the company may not be able to attract and retain talented employees if they believe their compensation is subject to adjustment by the Treasury.

Excuse me, but employees who BANKRUPT a company ARE NOT entitled to a bonus at the expense of the American taxpayers and if you don't think you can attract and retain talented employees because their compensation is subect to adjustment by the Treasury, you would be wrong. The Treasury told DODD to change the language in his BILL to provide for exhorbitant bonuses. I would surmise that the bonuses paid to the executives of AIG, at this point, have been adjusted by the American people WHO PAID THEM.

I'm sure there are plenty of qualified, unemployed people out there who would jump at the chance to work for AIG with or without a bonus.

When applicants apply for employment, will they be working for AIG or the Treasury Department? Obviously, you are now 80 percent owned by the government; although we've been told that the taxpayer's bailed you out and, in actuality, WE SHOULD OWN YOU.


Pretto said Monday that a "handful" of senior-level executives have resigned from the financial products division, and that there will likely be more resignations to come.

"We do believe that at this point it's all manageable," she said.

Cuomo said he doesn't plan to release the names of the employees who have agreed to return the bonuses, and said there is no implied threat that if an employee doesn't consent to returning the bonus that their name will be released. Cuomo had sought the names of the employees who received bonuses from Liddy through a subpoena.

Since the American people have paid bonuses to the executives of AIG, we are entitled to know their names.

He said his office is continuing to assess the security of the employees.

About 400 employees and future employees in AIG's financial products division received bonuses. Documents provided by AIG to the Treasury Department said the awards ranged from $1,000 to nearly $6.5 million. Seven employees were to receive more than $3 million. Last week Cuomo said AIG paid bonuses of $1 million or more to 73 employees, including 11 who no longer work there.

Separately, Connecticut's consumer protection division has subpoenaed AIG, demanding that the contracts and names of employees who received the bonuses be provided by March 27. Gov. M. Jodi Rell has said she wants the division to determine whether the bonuses can be voided under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.

AIG's financial products division is headquartered in Wilton, Conn.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says his office also demanded the bonus recipients' names and the amounts.

Last week, the House passed a plan to slap a punitive, 90 percent tax on bonuses paid to AIG employees whose family income surpasses $250,000. Not all of the AIG employees earned more than the income threshold specified by the House bill.

But President Obama has signaled opposition to the House's tax bill on constitutional grounds.

The Senate is soon expected to take up its own plan on the tax.

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  #32  
Old 03-23-2009, 11:11 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: The Bailout

Yeah, well, I'm confused.

Why is it that Cuomo is involved in the bonus payments to AIG executives?

Is it because AIG headquarters are in New York?

Shouldn't this matter be between the AMERICAN PEOPLE and the Treasury Department?

The two entities who funded their bonuses!

On another note, why was it stated that under CONNECTICUT law, if the executives weren't paid their bonuses they could sue for twice the amount?

Are Connecticut and New York one state?

Last time I checked, they were two states.

Just because many of the EXECUTIVES of AIG live in Connecticut, does this allow them protection under the CONNECTICUT WAGE (not bonus) law, if AIG's headquarters are based in New York?

Last edited by BlueAngel : 03-24-2009 at 10:10 AM.
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  #33  
Old 03-23-2009, 11:16 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: The Bailout

Since the American taxpayers paid the bonuses of the exeuctives of AIG, Cuomo, we are ENTITLED to know their names.
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  #34  
Old 03-24-2009, 12:02 AM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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As an AMERICAN TAXPAYER, my money is being used to bail-out FAILED/bankrupt financial institutions and I DEMAND to know the names of the individuals to whom I am becoming in debt to in order to keep them afloat.

This includes the names of the AIG executives, the Merrill Lynch executives and any and all before and after them.

I have a suggestion, CUOMO.

How 'bout you withdraw $100,000.00 or more from your personal bank account and bail-out a company of which I know is bankrupt without inquiring as to any information regarding the proprietors of the company.

Deal?
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  #35  
Old 03-24-2009, 12:08 AM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: The Bailout

WE, the AMERICAN taxpayers who are providing bonus/bail-out money to the executives of companies such as AIG who bankrupted their company, DEMAND TO KNOW the names of these executives.

I don't particularly care to reward poor performance, but, when I'm forced to by the American government, I require the pertinent information.

Such as, NAME, RANK and SERIAL NUMBER!
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  #36  
Old 03-24-2009, 12:51 AM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: The Bailout

I am a voice for all Americans.

Inasmuch, as we are suffering the repercussions of the economic fall-out; without jobs, without health insurance; living in tent cities and have been forced by the government of the United State's of America to bail-out bankrupt financial institutions and the executives of these institutions with bonuses so they can continue to live their lavish lifestyles as we suffer, I demand to know the names of the people whom I am financing at my detriment.

Plain and simple.
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  #37  
Old 03-24-2009, 10:34 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: The Bailout

You know, THEY can tell us that a certain number of executives at AIG have agreed to return the bonuses that they stole from the American taxpayers, and, therefore, are assured by Cuomo that their names won't be released, but how do we know this is a truth?

The government lies.

Duh!

So, again, as an American taxpayer, regardless of which executives have returned bonuses and which executives of AIG and Merill Lynch have not, I request that their names be released.

I'm paying them and I don't appreciate giving my hard earned money to someone I don't know.

What's the problem with US knowing who THEY are?

I have no problem with it, why do they?

They are executives of a company.

What's the problem in disclosing their names?

Is this some sort of TOP SECRET operation or something?

Last edited by BlueAngel : 03-24-2009 at 10:39 PM.
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  #38  
Old 03-25-2009, 10:45 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: The Bailout

The New York Times on the Web: Server Error

DEAR Mr. Liddy,

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.

You and I have never met or spoken to each other, so I’d like to tell you about myself. I was raised by schoolteachers working multiple jobs in a world of closing steel mills. My hard work earned me acceptance to M.I.T., and the institute’s generous financial aid enabled me to attend. I had fulfilled my American dream.

I started at this company in 1998 as an equity trader, became the head of equity and commodity trading and, a couple of years before A.I.G.’s meltdown last September, was named the head of business development for commodities. Over this period the equity and commodity units were consistently profitable — in most years generating net profits of well over $100 million. Most recently, during the dismantling of A.I.G.-F.P., I was an integral player in the pending sale of its well-regarded commodity index business to UBS. As you know, business unit sales like this are crucial to A.I.G.’s effort to repay the American taxpayer.

The profitability of the businesses with which I was associated clearly supported my compensation. I never received any pay resulting from the credit default swaps that are now losing so much money. I did, however, like many others here, lose a significant portion of my life savings in the form of deferred compensation invested in the capital of A.I.G.-F.P. because of those losses. In this way I have personally suffered from this controversial activity — directly as well as indirectly with the rest of the taxpayers.

I have the utmost respect for the civic duty that you are now performing at A.I.G. You are as blameless for these credit default swap losses as I am. You answered your country’s call and you are taking a tremendous beating for it.

But you also are aware that most of the employees of your financial products unit had nothing to do with the large losses. And I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us. I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday and from the press over our retention payments, and that you didn’t defend us against the baseless and reckless comments made by the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut.

Dear A.I.G., I Quit!
Published: March 24, 2009
(Page 2 of 2)

My guess is that in October, when you learned of these retention contracts, you realized that the employees of the financial products unit needed some incentive to stay and that the contracts, being both ethical and useful, should be left to stand. That’s probably why A.I.G. management assured us on three occasions during that month that the company would “live up to its commitment” to honor the contract guarantees.

That may be why you decided to accelerate by three months more than a quarter of the amounts due under the contracts. That action signified to us your support, and was hardly something that one would do if he truly found the contracts “distasteful.”

That may also be why you authorized the balance of the payments on March 13.

At no time during the past six months that you have been leading A.I.G. did you ask us to revise, renegotiate or break these contracts — until several hours before your appearance last week before Congress.

I think your initial decision to honor the contracts was both ethical and financially astute, but it seems to have been politically unwise. It’s now apparent that you either misunderstood the agreements that you had made — tacit or otherwise — with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, various members of Congress and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of New York, or were not strong enough to withstand the shifting political winds.

You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press.

So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.

That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.

On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. In light of the uncertainty over the ultimate taxation and legal status of this payment, the actual amount I donate may be less — in fact, it may end up being far less if the recent House bill raising the tax on the retention payments to 90 percent stands. Once all the money is donated, you will immediately receive a list of all recipients.

This choice is right for me. I wish others at A.I.G.-F.P. luck finding peace with their difficult decision, and only hope their judgment is not clouded by fear.

Mr. Liddy, I wish you success in your commitment to return the money extended by the American government, and luck with the continued unwinding of the company’s diverse businesses — especially those remaining credit default swaps. I’ll continue over the short term to help make sure no balls are dropped, but after what’s happened this past week I can’t remain much longer — there is too much bad blood. I’m not sure how you will greet my resignation, but at least Attorney General Blumenthal should be relieved that I’ll leave under my own power and will not need to be “shoved out the door.”

Sincerely,

Jake DeSantis


-------------------------------------------------------------------

When did Cuomo decide he would name and shame?

Last I heard, he said he wouldn't name any employee of AIG whether they returned their bonus money or not.

Seriously, now, does Jake DeSantis' W2 form reflect the amount of $1.00 as wages earned?

The public outrage is about a bankrupt company being bailed out by the American taxpayer's and hundreds of employees receiving outrageous bonus payments such as you did in the amount of $742,000.00.

If your company accepts billions of dollars from taxpayers because the company is bankrupt and THEY can't pay you, consider that your contract has been renegotiated.

Unless you can prove to the American taxpayers that you worked for one dollar, we don't believe it.

What call from the country did Liddy answer?

Since you know the names of those persons at AIG who brought the company down and the names of those persons who received bonus payments, how 'bout supplying a list so we can be sure that the name's of those persons who bankrupted the company aren't on the same list of those who received bonus payments.

Thank you for donating your bonus money, but we'll need you to submit proof of that transaction, as well as a copy of your W2 form.

Sorry you're facing such a difficult time in your life, but it happens to the best of us.

Even those who were raised by school teachers (that must have been difficult); graduated from M.I.T. and are living the American dream, as you say.

Therein lies the problem with so many people in our country.

They believe the American dream is about wealth.

It should be about humanity.

Thanking you in advance,
An American Taxpayer

Last edited by BlueAngel : 03-25-2009 at 11:23 PM.
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  #39  
Old 03-26-2009, 10:24 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: The Bailout

Imagine that.

The UNITED STATE'S POSTAL SERVICE is now requesting a bail-out.
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  #40  
Old 03-29-2009, 11:10 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: The Bailout

The economic collapse was aided by the many financial investment companies/banking institutions who subsequently received a taxpayer bail-out together with outrageous bonuses paid to the executives of these companies.

Sounds like a pay-off to me.

I don't recall that there was a demand from the White House for the executives of these FAILED companies to step down.

However, there is now a call for the executive of GM to resign before any bail-out money is approved.

Talk about government intervention.

Any talk of a bonus for the outgoing executive or any of the other executives within the auto industry?

If not, why not?

Is it because they weren't players in the economic collapse, but are merely suffering financially due to the condition of our economy that the FINANCIAL industry helped to create?

GM CEO Wagoner to step down at White House request - Yahoo! News

GM CEO Wagoner to step down at White House request

AP – By TOM KRISHER and KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writers
Tom Krisher And Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writers – 15 mins ago

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner will step down immediately at the request of the White House, administration officials said Sunday. The news comes as President Barack Obama prepares to unveil additional restructuring efforts designed to save the domestic auto industry.

The officials asked not to be identified because details of the restructuring plan have not yet been made public. On Monday, Obama is to announce measures to restructure GM and Chrysler LLC in exchange for additional government loans. The companies have been living on $17.4 billion in government aid and have requested $21.6 billion more.

Two people familiar with the plan said Sunday that the Obama administration would give GM enough government aid to restructure over the next 60 days, while Chrysler will get up to $6 billion and 30 days to complete an alliance with Italian automaker Fiat SpA. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make details public.

Wagoner's departure indicates that more management changes may be part of the deal, but it is still unclear who will be in charge of GM. The automaker recently promoted Fritz Henderson, its former chief financial officer, to become president and chief operating officer. Many in the company thought he would eventually succeed Wagoner.

Detroit-based GM issued a statement Sunday saying that the company expects the administration to make an announcement about the automaker's restructuring soon but that "it would not be appropriate for us to speculate on the content of any announcement."

A person familiar with Chrysler's management said the company has been given no indication that the government will require any changes at the Auburn Hills, Mich., company, which has been led by former Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli since August 2007. The person also spoke on condition of anonymity because Obama's plan has not been made public.

Wagoner, 56, has repeatedly said he believed it was better for him to lead GM through its crisis, but he has faced sharp criticism on Capitol Hill for what many lawmakers regard as years of missteps, mistakes and arrogance by the Detroit Three automakers.

Wagoner joined GM in 1977, serving in several capacities in the U.S., Brazil and Europe. He became president and chief executive in 2000 and has served as chairman and CEO since May 2003.

Wagoner, in an interview with The Associated Press in December, declined to speculate on suggestions from some members of Congress that GM's leadership team should step down as part of any rescue package.

"I'm doing what I do because it adds a lot of value to the company," Wagoner said in a Dec. 4 interview as GM sought federal aid from the Bush administration. "It's not clear to me that experience in this industry should be viewed as a negative, but I'm going to do what's right for the company and I'll do it in consultation with the (GM) board (of directors)."

Auto industry analysts credit Wagoner with doing more to restructure the giant automaker than any other executive. But given that he has been at GM's helm for so long, many of his critics say he moved too slowly to take on the United Auto Workers and shrink the company as its market share tumbled.

"Given the history, a change in management could hardly hurt and might do some good," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday.

Among his biggest accomplishments as CEO, Wagoner presided over a landmark contract agreement with the UAW in 2007. In that four-year agreement, the automaker successfully transferred nearly $50 billion in health care liabilities to the union as it sought to reduce labor costs, especially huge liabilities to retirees.

In 2004, Wagoner sought to reduce GM's brands by shutting down the Oldsmobile line of cars — a costly project because it required huge payouts to dealers. He also sought to streamline the company by selling the company's defense unit to General Dynamics Corp. for $1.1 billion in 2003. He has also reduced the company's work force by tens of thousands and closed factories around the country.

But Wagoner's critics say GM relied for too long on sales of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles for its profits and was unprepared for a drastic market shift when gasoline prices hit $4 per gallon last year.

During the Congressional debate over whether to give GM and Chrysler loans last year, many lawmakers criticized Wagoner, including Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Banking Committee.

Dodd accused automakers' top management of having a "head-in-the-sand" approach to problems and said Wagoner "has to move on" as part of a government-run restructuring that should be a condition of financial life support for the auto industry.

David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., said Sunday that Wagoner's departure gives the government a rationale to provide additional aid to the automaker. He was not surprised by the move, but said he is disappointed because he considers Wagoner a capable leader.

"I think that as a condition for further government support, this helps give them a little cover with the public," Cole said. "Essentially he's taking one for the team."

Cole noted that other automakers have been shaking up management as well. Toyota Motor Corp.'s president, Katsuaki Watanabe, recently said he would be stepping down as the Japanese automaker weathers financial difficulty. Also, France's biggest carmaker, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, abruptly ousted CEO Christian Streiff on Sunday, saying "exceptional difficulties" confronting the auto industry require new management at the top.

In the financial sector, where the overwhelming majority of government bailout money has been directed, some corporate leaders found their days numbered. The CEOs of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were forced out after the government took over the companies in the fall. Robert Willumstad, the former CEO of American International Group Inc., left the company in September, just a day after the government pumped $85 billion into the insurer to keep it from going under.

The terms of Wagoner's departure are unclear. However, GM disclosed in its annual report last month that it cannot make severance payments to Wagoner or other senior executives under the terms of its governments loans. Wagoner is eligible to retire under GM's salaried employee and executive retirement plans, but the amount he would receive is unclear.

Nardelli's departure is less likely than Wagoner's because Nardelli is "relatively new" to the automaker, with less than two years at the helm, Cole said.

GM and Chrysler were required by the Bush administration to get major concessions from debtholders and the United Auto Workers, with a deadline of March 31 for signed contracts. But very little headway was being made with either party this weekend as they awaited Obama's announcement.

Members of Obama's auto task force have said bankruptcy could still be an option for GM and Chrysler if their management, workers, creditors and shareholders failed to make sacrifices. Both companies are trying to reduce their debt by two-thirds and convince the United Auto Workers union to accept shares of stock in exchange for half of the payments into a union-run trust fund for retiree health care costs. The deals also call for executive pay cuts and labor costs that are competitive with Japanese automakers with U.S. operations

___

Associated Press Writer Ken Thomas reported from Washington, D.C. AP Auto Writer Dan Strumpf contributed from New York.

(This version CORRECTS that GM sold its defense unit to General Dynamics; the unit was not named General Dynamics.)

------------------------------------------------------------------

Excerpt:

"Dodd accused automakers' top management of having a "head-in-the-sand" approach to problems and said Wagoner "has to move on" as part of a government-run restructuring that should be a condition of financial life support for the auto industry."

Huh?

The automakers are suffering due to the economic collapse that was aided by the financial industry and DODD accuses them of having a "head-in-the-sand" approach to problems!?!

I think you, DODD, have your head in the sand.

I suggest, as a taxpayer, that some of the bail-out money provide for bonuses to the workers at the automobile factories.

And, I further suggest that those persons at Merrill Lynch who received bonuses be asked to step down.

Thanking you in advance,
A Taxpayer

Last edited by BlueAngel : 03-30-2009 at 08:09 AM.
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