Report: AIG Pays More Retention Bonuses
AIG -- the insurance giant that has thus far received $153 billion in bailout money and is 80-percent owned by the government -- is paying retention bonuses to at least 2,000 employees, Bloomberg is reporting.
The bonuses equal one year's salary, and employees were ordered to keep them secret, Bloomberg said.
AIG confirmed the bonuses to Bloomberg.
Retention bonus payments are common in troubled and reorganizing companies as a way to hold onto executives familiar with the companies's operations. Enron paid retention bonuses, for instance.
Except in AIG's case, the bonuses may be coming out of taxpayer money.
AIG has already been blasted for giving bonuses to 168 executives, with some getting as much as $4 million, AIG chief executive Edward Liddy told Congress last week.
Prior to that, AIG paid $440,000 for 70 top AIG contractors to spend a week at a California luxury resort -- days after the company got its first $85 billion in taxpayer money.
In late November, responding to bad p.r., AIG said that Liddy would get $1 in salary through next year, salaries would be frozen and seven top executives would not get 2008 bonuses.
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