News & Politics

AIG Blame Gets Passed Around


Everyone remains angry at AIG, but as the first rage-wave subsides, some parties are looking to affix blame on persons rather than initials. Some notice that Chris Dodd did not end the bonuses in the terms of the bailout legislation. But as that directive came from Treasury, blame also falls on Secretary Tim Geithner. Senator Charles Grassley wants Treasury investigated.

The Times‘ DealBook sees the fault in the original bailout provisions engineered last year, which causes Talking Points Memo to renew its call to shift focus back to the counterparty corporations to whom the bailed-out AIG threw $120 billion. In One Ear… Out The Other returns our attention to the AIG corporate culture in which “there could never be losses on the SSCDS (super senior credit default swaps),” toward the maintenance of which fantasy officials ignored and froze out their own accountants (and then walked away with millions).

AIG continues to play the newly-good citizen and gives the name of one contrite bonus recipient to the press: executive vice president for energy and infrastructure investments Douglas Poling, who got $6.4 million and will presumably return it. (Last year Poling donated a few thousand dollars to Dodd’s campaign.) Given how far this thing has gone, $6.4 million may not be enough to cleanse his name or anyone’s of obloquy.

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