Tuesday, October 07, 2008

There's nothing like a pedicure to cheer up AIG executives - except maybe their golden parachutes...

Extracts from
After Bailout, AIG Execs Head to California Resort
Rescued by Taxpayers, $440,000 for Retreat Including "Pedicures, Manicures"

By BRIAN ROSS and TOM SHINE for ABC News, October 7, 2008

Less than a week after the federal government committed $85 billion to bail out AIG, executives of the giant AIG insurance company headed for a week-long retreat at a luxury resort and spa, Congressional investigators revealed today.

AIG documents obtained by Waxman's investigators show the company paid more than $440,000 for the retreat, including nearly $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals and $23,000 in spa charges.

"They're getting their pedicures and their manicures and the American people are paying for that," said Cong. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).

"This unbridled greed," said Cong. Mark Souder (R-IN), "it's an insensitivity to how people are spending our dollars."

Appearing before the committee, Martin Sullivan, the AIG CEO until June, said the company was overwhelmed by a "financial global tsunami," and that "no simple or single cause" was to blame. "I am heartbroken at what has happened," Sullivan said.

Congressional investigators raised questions ... of whether AIG executives sought to "cook the books" and hide negative information from outside auditors.

... Former CEO Willumstad, chairman of the AIG board at the time, said "I honestly don't remember" the concerns raised by the former auditor.

"I find that very disturbing," said Congressman Waxman.

Waxman also said there is evidence the two men changed the bonus schedule once the company began to post losses, so that executives under the "Senior Partners Plan" would continue to make multi-million dollar salaries.

Sullivan was given a $15 million "golden parachute" payment after being replaced as CEO in June.


At 9:59 PM, Blogger kenju said...

This is the most unbelievable thing that has happened in the past 10 years. They should be made to pay every cent of it back to the government, and the executives who made the decision to do that should be fired and never hired again in a position of authority.


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