Obama’s AIG timidity

September 15, 2009

I’ve been pretty amazed at how silent the Obama administration has been about Robert Benmosche’s antics since becoming the well-compensated CEO of American International Group–the defacto government owned insurer.

But after reading this story in The New York Times, I was shocked to learn that many in the Obama administration are warying of looking like they are injecting themselves into the company’s affairs. That’s the case, even though many on Team Obama are upset with Benmosche’s $9 million pay package and his desire to move slowly in selling AIG’s assets.

WTF? Intefere, please. The taxpayers didn’t bailout this company so its high-living CEO can do as he pleases. The Obama administration has never sought to put anyone on AIG’s board–maybe it should.

James Kwak at Baseline Scenario is equally puzzled and disturbed by the administration’s hands-off approach to AIG.


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The government should have bought shares in the open market at knock down prices when it had the chance. Upon obtaining effective control, it should have immediately removed the board and all upper level executives and replaced them with civil servants paid on the civil service salary scale. Next steps should have been closing down all derivatives trading and firing the staff involved.

Nobody in Congress or in the media has the guts to ask Obama tough questions. Like, for example, why the hell does his administration approve Benmosche’s absurd and insulting compensation package which is 10-20X the most highly compensated and skilled physicians in this country?
Here is another question for ‘Bama. Why does he think US citizens tolerate his incessant lying and incompetence? Or, here’s a good one, why does he have a deep seated hatred of the white man?

Posted by jed frimantauge | Report as abusive

That’s quite harsh. When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

We should educate ourselves about Corporate term insurance and Re-insurance. That would be boats, plains, trains, space shuttles, cargoes and beautiful Twin Architecture that gets wiped-out. By-the-by, how is that claim going ?

Posted by Casper Lab | Report as abusive

Love it when people talk about things they have no knowledge of. Ed Liddy wwas working for a $1 and was literally running a garage sale at AIG, under that plan tax payers had no chance of recuperating anything Selling our entire xPRD book to Deuutsche at a loss of $450m was the biggest example. Benmosche has put a decent plan in place we can now hope to surivive and maybe even payback the tax payers. We dont love in a socialist country which means the government doesnt take over companies and start running them. Plus think about it for a moment, the US government is a debt holder, since when do debt holders have any say in running a company. And lastly Benmosche’s $10m pckage was approved by Fineburg, such a compensation package is essential when you have a tirrion dollar assets on the balance sheet. Not sure how a physician will be qualified to run that :)

Posted by Zia | Report as abusive

Don’t like brain surgery or rocket science? OK, this is 20-30 times the scale of salary of the president of USA.
Actually this is the salary of all presidents and prime ministers of USA, UK, Japan, France, Germany, Russia and 10-20 more smaller countries

Do not like comparison with government bureaucrats?

OK, this is factor 50-100 of salaries of Stanford/MIT professors with Nobel prize.

Get real. This crockery has to be stopped. Financial bureaucrats are the same idiots like all other idiots around you. Did they predicted this recession? They did not predicted this recession. Not a single one. They together are responsible for this crisis and you pay them through the nose.

I’d be agreed to any salary to him if he say: OK, pay me $20M backdated to 2009 if AIG will be $300 in 3 years, till then pay me $1

Posted by Reu2009 | Report as abusive