Archive for AIG

AIG CEO compares public anger over Wall St. bonuses to Deep South lynching African-Americans


really bad analogies

wtf moment

Just when you thought you couldn't resent greedy, ultra-wealthy Wall Street executives more, along comes AIG CEO Bob Benmosche making jaw-droppingly tasteless analogies.

True to form, the recipients of gigantic bonuses just can't get enough, despite the fact that they nearly destroyed our financial system trying. Of course, they didn't mind accepting bailout money either. *Yawn, stretch*... millions and billions in bailouts and bonuses, it's all in an hour's work.

All this while the rest of us have been struggling to make ends meet. It may be time for Occupy Wall Street to re-occupy.

Benmosche was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and popped out with this gem, via Think Progress:

“Now you have these bright young people [in the financial-products unit] who had nothing to do with [the bad bets that hurt the company.] … They understand the derivatives very well; they understand the complexity. … They’re all scared. They [had made] good livings. They probably lived beyond their means. …They aren’t going to stay there for nothing.

The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.

He then sworetogod that he really didn't intend to offend anyone. Honest!

Why, who would possibly be offended by the suggestion that lynching African-Americans in the Deep South and being criticized for maintaining the lifestyle of the rich and infamous are analogous?  I mean besides anyone with an ounce of self-awareness and decency.

That concludes today's WTF Moment, and thank you for playing "Really Bad Analogies."


If you thought Elizabeth Warren would take it easy on Capitol Hill, you'd be wrong


tough cookie

UPDATE: The blog headline refers to the early status of celebrity senators such as Al Franken and Hillary Clinton who chose to stay relatively quiet and out of the limelight at first. They "took it easy," as opposed to what you're about to read about Warren.

Original post:

This story illustrates why we pushed so hard to get Elizabeth Warren elected to the United States Senate. She knows what she's doing, she gets it, and she's not afraid to talk the talk and walk the walk, all on behalf of We the People. So when Elizabeth gets pissed off, watch out Corporate America, she means business.

Did I mention she was pissed off?

Warren took aim at the American International Group, the giant insurance company that BushCo bailed out was now considering suing the federal government because they thought the big bad bailout was unfair. Gee, why don't I feel sorry for them? Aww, somebody better rev up the ol' iPhone and call ...

wah wambulance

Watch out, AIG... it's not nice to mess with Senator Warren:

Via Business Insider and The Atlantic Wire, here is Elizabeth Warren's most excellent response to AIG's threat:

Beginning in 2008, the federal government poured billions of dollars into AIG to save it from bankruptcy. AIG’s reckless bets nearly crashed our entire economy. Taxpayers across this country saved AIG from ruin, and it would be outrageous for this company to turn around and sue the federal government because they think the deal wasn’t generous enough. Even today, the government provides an ongoing, stealth bailout, propping up AIG with special tax breaks—tax breaks that Congress should stop. AIG should thank American taxpayers for their help, not bite the hand that fed them for helping them out in a crisis.


Did I mention how wonderful it is to have Warren in the U.S. Senate?

More at the links.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Accused of Tax Fraud


Via (2009)

Tax fraud? Really? Nah... It's all a political ploy! How do we know that? Because the Chamber of Commerce says so:

Critics on the left have long complained about the chamber’s outsize influence. But now they are taking on the business association directly, charging in a complaint filed Friday with the Internal Revenue Service that it violated tax codes by laundering millions of dollars meant for charitable work from a group with ties to the insurance giant A.I.G.

The complaint was brought by a group called U.S. Chamber Watch, which was created four months ago — with the strong financial backing of labor unions — to scrutinize the Chamber of Commerce’s growing influence and provide a counterbalance.

And this, boys and girls, is why the GOP is into union busting.

Cyrus Mehri, a Washington lawyer who brought the I.R.S. complaint on behalf of U.S. Chamber Watch, said in an interview that the chamber’s current political activities were, in effect, being underwritten with money intended for charitable work.

The complaint focuses on loans and grants totaling about $18 million that were made beginning in 2003 to a nonprofit affiliate, the National Chamber Foundation, by the Starr Foundation, a charity started by the founder of A.I.G. and now led by Maurice R. Greenberg, the insurer’s former chairman.

These corporate bullies push pro-business, mostly Republican candidates with everything they've got, and are currently on the attack here in California, hitting Barbara Boxer hard. They're spending tens of millions of dollars. It's good to see the unions striking back.

So did anyone hear anything about the complaint against the Chamber on the Tee Vee Machine? If it was on, I missed it.

H/t: I forgot


Report: Justice Department Won't File Criminal Charges in AIG Case


Will BP and company skate, too, then? Or will polluting, poisoning and destruction of life before our very eyes make it impossible to avoid criminal charges?

The Justice Department has decided not to file criminal charges against the former head of a division at American International Group Inc. whose dealings in mortgage-related securities nearly bankrupted the company and led to a controversial government bailout, according to lawyers involved in the cases.

The decision appears to bring an end to the criminal investigation of AIG, but a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into AIG and the dealings of its London-based Financial Products subsidiary is continuing and could lead to a civil securities fraud case.

Lawyers representing Joseph Cassano, who formerly ran AIG's Financial Products unit, and Andrew Forster, who worked for Cassano, said they were told by federal prosecutors late Friday that no criminal charges would be filed.

Congratulations, AIG. Now you're free to go about screwing over the country again.

DoJ: Department of what again...?