The Real AIG Cover Up by the WH!
Government: The administration that is expressing outrage over the AIG bonuses knew about them in advance. They were protected by Sen. Chris Dodd’s amendment to the stimulus package.
Perhaps if the White House had spent less time worrying about Rush Limbaugh and more time watching the bailout money, it wouldn’t have been caught flat-footed voicing faux outrage about the $165 million in bonuses to AIG execs that they now want back and Sen. Chris Dodd wants to tax out of existence.
President Obama was informed about the $165 million in bonuses due employees of the American Insurance Group the day before they were paid out last week, the White House said late Tuesday.
“In the last six months AIG has received substantial sums from the U.S. Treasury,” Obama said after allegedly hearing about it for the first time. “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?”
Well, they justify it by saying they had the administration’s permission. The New York Times reports that AIG executives said they never would have proceeded with the bonus payments before getting approval from the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
“We would never make any important business decisions without discussing them with our government managers and owners,” one AIG executive is quoted as saying.
The $165 million in bonuses were not the first bonuses to be paid. According to the Times report, Treasury and Fed officials said they knew AIG had paid $55 million in bonuses in December.
As Larry Kudlow notes in his column on the next page, “the Obama administration — including the president, Treasury man Tim Geithner and economic adviser Larry Summers — knew all about them many months ago. They were undoubtedly informed of this during the White House transition.”
The fact is, these bonuses were made legal by the $787 billion stimulus bill that President Obama promoted and signed. A provision, now known as the “Dodd Amendment,” was inserted into the bill by the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Chris Dodd, D-Conn. It exempts from any restrictions bonuses contractually obligated before Feb. 11 of this year.
Dodd admits inserting an amendment, but without the language that exempts the AIG bonuses. “I can’t point a finger at someone who was responsible for putting those dates in,” Dodd told Fox Business. “I can tell you this much: When my language left the senate, it did not include it. When it came back, it did.”
So who exempted AIG in the stimulus bill? “Because of negotiations with the Treasury Department and the bill conferees, several modifications were made,” Dodd spokesperson Kate Szostak said cryptically in a response to Fox Business.
Negotiations with Treasury? What did Timothy Geithner know about this and when did he know it? If Dodd didn’t exempt AIG from bonus restrictions in the stimulus, who did?
Coincidentally, Sen. Dodd was AIG’s largest single recipient of campaign donations during the 2008 election cycle with $103,000, according to opensecrets.org. Also coincidentally, one of the largest offices of AIG Financial Products, the division that concocted the goofy financial instruments that doomed AIG, is situated in Connecticut.
The second-largest AIG recipient, at $101,232, was the “choked up with anger” President Obama. If AIG gives back the bonuses, will the president give back these and other campaign contributions from troubled institutions?
Maybe President Obama can answer these and other questions when he appears on Jay Leno Thursday night. Then again, maybe not.
Oh but where has almost half the bailout money to AIG gone?
God Bless, The Truth Tracker Jason R. Bootie