Friday, March 20, 2009

How'd the Vetters Miss This? Obama Special Envoy Served on AIG Board

Why, I'm outraged! I wonder if Chuckie Schumer and Barney Fwank will be demanding some money from him?
Obama administration special envoy Richard Holbooke was on the American International Group Inc. board of directors in early 2008 when the insurance company locked in the bonuses now stoking national outrage.

Holbrooke, a veteran diplomat who is now the administration's point man on Pakistan and Afghanistan, served on the board between 2001 and mid-2008. During that period, AIG undertook the aggressive investment strategies that led to a near-collapse and forced a multibillion-dollar federal bailout.

President Barack Obama has insisted his administration was not responsible for AIG's financial woes, and a White House spokesman said Thursday that Holbrooke was unaware of AIG's decision to award retention bonuses to key employees.
The best and brightest, always totally unaware of what's happening on their watch. Holbrooke apparently made out very well.
According to the SEC filings, AIG paid Holbrooke $267,943 in fees and stock awards in 2007; he was paid $232,865 in 2006. Compensation figures for the six months he was on the board in 2008 are not yet available. By prorating his 2007 compensation, he could have earned about $107,500 in directors fees and stock.

Between 2001 and 2005 the records indicate he earned $200,000 in director's fees. He also received 2,400 shares of AIG stock and options to purchase 10,000 more during that period.
Meanwhile, here come the lynch mobs.
Now these executives are toxic, and those communities are rattled and divided. Private security guards have been stationed outside their houses, and sometimes the local police drive by. A.I.G. employees at the company’s office tower in Lower Manhattan were told to avoid leaving the building while a demonstration was going on outside. The memo also advised them to avoid displaying company-issued ID cards when they left the office and to abandon tote bags or other items with the A.I.G. logo.

One A.I.G. executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared the consequences of identifying himself, said many workers felt demonized and betrayed. “It is as bad if not worse than McCarthyism,” he said. Everyone has sacrificed the employees of A.I.G.’s financial products division, he said, “for their own political agenda.”

The public’s anger, he said, “is coming from bad facts as a result of someone else’s agenda — or just bad facts period.” Instead, he said, the so-called bonuses were in fact just payments that had been promised long ago to workers, including technical and administrative assistants.

A.I.G. employees are not the only ones seeking protection: An executive at Merrill Lynch, where bonuses have also come under fire, said that some employees had asked whether the firm would cover the cost of private security for them.
I hope these thugs in Washington are happy now that people's lives are in danger.

Now we even have socialist bus tours of AIG employees' homes. Classy.
The Connecticut Working Families party, which has support from organized labor, is planning a bus tour of A.I.G. executives’ homes on Saturday, with a stop at the company’s Wilton office.

“We’re going to be peaceful and lawful in everything we do,” said Jon Green, the director of Connecticut Working Families. “I know there’s a lot of anger and a lot of rage about what’s happened. We’re not looking to foment that unnecessarily, but what we want to do is give folks in Bridgeport and Hartford and other parts of Connecticut who are struggling and losing their homes and their jobs and their health insurance an opportunity to see what kinds of lifestyle billions of dollars in credit-default swaps can buy.”

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