President Barack Obama has called the bonuses that AIG paid its employees an “outrage,” but Obama himself received a “bonus” of sorts from the insurance giant — more than $100,000 in campaign contributions.
In fact, the $101,332 that the Obama campaign received was larger than the amount AIG donated to any other candidate except Sen. Chris Dodd, according to Opensecrets.org.
Newsmax reported on Tuesday that the Connecticut Democrat, who received $103,100 from AIG, inserted language in the $787 billion stimulus bill that allowed all bonuses awarded before February 11, 2009, to be paid to AIG executives.
AIG contributed to 18 Democratic members of the Senate in the last election cycle, including Hillary Clinton ($35,965) and Joe Biden ($19,975), and 34 Democratic House candidates.
The insurance firm also contributed $59,499 to the Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain ($59,499), 14 other GOP senators and 21 Republican House candidates.
All this while AIG was headed for a fourth quarter 2008 loss of $61.7 billion, the biggest quarterly loss in corporate history.
AIG has received $173 billion in federal aid.
“Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay,” President Obama said Monday. “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?”
Meanwhile, a “tidal wave of public outrage” swamped AIG on Tuesday, the Washington Times reported:
“Hired guards stood watch outside the suburban Connecticut offices of AIG Financial Products, the division whose exotic derivatives brought the insurance giant to the brink of collapse last year.
“Inside, death threats and angry letters flooded e-mail boxes. Irate callers lit up the phone lines. Senior managers submitted their resignations. Some employees didn’t show up at all.”
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