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AIG bonus row continues

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AIG bonus row continues

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In the latest round of the AIG bonus row the insurance companies boss Edward Liddy has faced angry politicians arrives at the US Congress.

He said he found some of the 165 million dollars of bonuses distasteful but AIG had a legal obligation to pay them and they were part of what he called “the cold realities of competition.” That did not satisfy lawmakers who want the taxpayers’ money back. Democratic New York Senator Charles Schumer said: “We will take this money back by taxing virtually all of it. So, let the recipients of these large and unseemly bonuses be warned: If you don’t return it on your own, we will do it for you.” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank added: “It’s time to exercise our ownership rights, we own most of the company, and then say as owner: No, I’m not paying you the bonus, you didn’t perform.” There is massive public anger over the bonuses .. which include one payment of 6.4 million dollars to a single AIG executive. On the streets of New York one man said: “In my opinion, AIG represents one of the greatest welfare frauds we have ever seen.” Another woman added: “I think it’s horrible that the big wigs should get big bonuses when the little people are in jeopardy of losing their jobs. I think it’s horrible.” Liddy told the members of Congress that he realises “the patience of America’s taxpayers is wearing thin” but said the best hope for the government getting its money back is to keep American International Group in business. He inherited this problem having taken over AIG six months ago when the government first stepped in to try to stabilize the stricken insurer.