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AIG Derangement Syndrome

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 17, 2009 10:03 AM

Okay. We get it. Every politician in Washington wants to show They Care by bashing AIG. Which almost all of them agreed to bail out. Repeatedly. But never mind all that.

This, however, is just too much:

Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley suggested on Monday that AIG executives should take a Japanese approach toward accepting responsibility for the collapse of the insurance giant by resigning or killing themselves.

The Republican lawmaker’s harsh comments came during an interview with Cedar Rapids, Iowa, radio station WMT. They echo remarks he has made in the past about corporate executives and public apologies, but went further in suggesting suicide.

“I suggest, you know, obviously, maybe they ought to be removed,” Grassley said. “But I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they’d follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.

“And in the case of the Japanese, they usually commit suicide before they make any apology.”

Bob Owens points out that Sen. Grassley took $26,250 from AIG in 2007-2008 alone. Is he ready to take a deep bow, too?

I said my piece yesterday about the gag-worthy Kabuki Theater of Outrage over AIG from its bipartisan enablers in Washington.

Ed Morrissey puts an exclamation point on it:

The nasty little secret at the center of all the outrage is that the Obama administration could have stopped the bonuses by simply stopping the bailout. They could have forced AIG into bankruptcy, which would have voided the company’s contractual compensation obligations. Instead, the Obama administration chose to inject liquidity into AIG, following the lead of the Bush administration, which had done the same thing. That kept AIG’s doors open, and therefore kept its contractual obligations to its employees intact.

Now Obama is outrageously outraged, as Allahpundit put it yesterday, but over what? A company complying with its contractual obligations? AIG has no more right to abrogate those contracts than any other employer would with its union contracts. Whether or not the compensation agreements reflect wisdom and managerial brilliance, they exist — and as a matter of law, AIG has to honor the commitments. Screeching about the bonuses now is not just futile, but a demonstration of the arrogance involved in these bailouts. If the government wants to tear up all the contracts, it will have to nationalize AIG and get Congress to approve it.

In the future, we can avoid having taxpayer dollars go to Wall Street bonuses by not bailing out private companies with taxpayer dollars.

The Beltway enablers now say they’ll stand up to corporate beggars abusing public tax dollars. But when push comes to shove, the Chicken Littles in Washington have lost their heads every time.

Posted in: AIG,Subprime crisis

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Categories: AIG, Subprime crisis, Tim Geithner