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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2009, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Whoops ........

CNN) -- Senate Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN Wednesday that he was responsible for language added to the federal stimulus bill to make sure that already-existing contracts for bonuses at companies receiving federal bailout money were honored.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, appears on CNN's "The Situation Room" on Wednesday.

Both Dodd and a Treasury Department official who asked not to be named said the administration pushed for the language because it was afraid the government would face numerous lawsuits without it.

Dodd, a Democrat, told CNN's Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer that Obama administration officials pushed for the language to an amendment designed to limit bonuses and "golden parachutes" at those companies.

"The administration had expressed reservations," Dodd said. "They asked for modifications. The alternative was losing the amendment entirely."

On Tuesday, Dodd denied to CNN that he had anything to do with adding the language, which has been used by officials at bailed-out insurance giant AIG to justify paying millions of dollars in bonuses to executives after receiving federal money.

He said Wednesday that the "grandfather clause" language "seemed like innocent modifications" at the time. Watch Dodd's interview with CNN's Dana Bash »

"I agreed reluctantly," Dodd said. "I was changing the amendment because others were insistent."

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Dodd said he did not speak to high-ranking administration officials and the change came after his staff spoke with staffers from Treasury.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, AIG chief executive Edward Liddy called the roughly $165 million in bonuses "distasteful" but necessary because of legal obligations and competition.

"We have to continue managing our business as a business -- taking account of the cold realities of competition for customers, for revenues and for employees," Liddy told a House Financial Services subcommittee. "Because of this, and because of certain legal obligations, AIG has recently made a set of compensation payments, some of which I find distasteful."

Pennsylvania Rep. Paul Kanjorski, the hearing's chairman, responded to Liddy's statement by arguing that AIG should have refused to pay all the bonuses -- regardless of its contractual obligations with the bonus recipients.

"Let them sue us," said Kanjorski, a Democrat.

Liddy, who joined AIG after the bailout, said some employees have returned their bonus money.

Senators and representatives have vowed to get the bonus money back, but questions have arisen about why Congress didn't act to prevent the bonuses in the first place.

"Well, the only lever we have in this is the fact that these corporations have come to the Congress of the United States and want a taxpayers' bailout," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Wednesday on CNN's "American Morning."

"If it weren't for that, we would not have any leverage on how any individual corporation is being run, and we don't pretend to have any leverage on any corporation today in the United States that's not seeking federal help," said Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. Related: Grassley defends 'suicide' comment

AIG, an ailing insurance giant, has received more than $170 billion in federal assistance. Taxpayers now own nearly 80 percent of the company.

In a letter to Congress on Tuesday, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo confirmed that AIG paid 73 employees bonuses of $1 million-plus each this year after it received federal bailout money.

AIG will have to return the $165 million it paid in executive bonuses to the Treasury Department, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday.

Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, on Tuesday introduced a plan that would impose a hefty tax on retention bonuses paid to executives of companies that received federal bailout money or in which the United States has an equity interest. Watch Grassley describe how the tax would work »

Other lawmakers, such as Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York, said it would be unfair to use the tax code as punishment, but Grassley said it's not a question of being fair.

"It's unfair what they did to the taxpayers by paying bonuses when they don't have the money to pay bonuses," he said. iReport.com: Sound off on AIG

AIG Chairman and CEO Edward Liddy has defended the bonuses, saying the company needed them to retain top talent and because of contractual rights. He has pledged to reduce 2009 bonus payments, which AIG refers to as "retention payments," by at least 30 percent.

Libby is testifying Wednesday on Capitol Hill. He's likely to face tough questions from lawmakers despite not being at the helm of AIG when the financial fiasco happened. He took over about six months ago.

Obamafest is off to a hell of a start for sure !!!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2009, 06:12 PM
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Oh, look, Dodd is a fucking crook. Is anyone suprised?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2009, 06:18 PM
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mmmm not surprising by any means. All politicians are crooks, but godamn, the Democrats take the fucking cake!


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2009, 07:10 PM
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Good call Prez O letting these extreme liberal idiots run your Presidency, huh?


If you like the IRS, DMV and the Post Office, you will love Obamacare!

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
Robert A. Heinlein

I have to agree with a quote from former Treasury Secretary William E. Simon: "Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote."
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2009, 09:36 PM
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Hrm.. Rumor has it, the only reason Congress needs to keep AIG alive, is that AIG underwrites the insurance for Congress's Pensions...

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2009, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by AL P View Post
Oh, look, Dodd is a fucking crook. Is anyone suprised?
He's not the only one. There seems to be plenty on obamas cabinet as well.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 04:03 AM
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Those bonuses are staggering, but the depressing thing is, they amount to less than 1/1000 of what we've given AIG.

Give me a dollar.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 06:02 AM
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I mentioned in another earlier thread, that this is a dog and pony show like no other. Obama and Dodd both got over $100k from AIG, and no one wants to talk about that...
What a bunch of sorry-ass crooks.

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