Public outcry could derail future bailout plans. AIG on Sunday took out another $165 million from public funds for “executive bonuses.” AIG, after imploding due to making stupid bets and demanding only $170 billion from US taxpayers, is giving these “retention” bonuses so it can keep “the best and brightest talent.” The Federal Reserve still refuses to answer specific questions about where $2 trillion in bailout funds has gone, a subject that Bloomberg News sued the Fed simply to try and discover.
The Obama administration is increasingly concerned about a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street, worried that anger at financial institutions could also end up being directed at Congress and the White House and could complicate President Obama’s agenda. “The danger, aides said, is that if he were to become identified as an advocate for the banks and Wall Street, people could take out their anger on him.” (Source.)
[Well, duh . . . how do you like being played for a fool?]
According to the NY Times: “A Charming visit with Jay Leno won’t fix it. A 90 percent tax on bankers’ bonuses won’t fix it. Firing Timothy Geithner won’t fix it. . . ‘President Obama may not realize it yet, but his Katrina moment has arrived.’” (Source.)
Here is some info on the recent AIG bonuses: 73 individuals received bonuses of $1 million or more; 11 of the individuals who received “retention” bonuses of $1 million or more are no longer working at AIG, including one who received $4.6 million. (Source.)