Local Reaction to Congress, AIG Bonuses
By Thomas Heath
Here is what some of the Washington area<'s top entrepreneurs are saying about Congress's decision to go after bonuses at AIG, which has received more than $100 billion in taxpayer money to help it stay afloat.
- "While the public and taxpayer anger is completely understandable and justified, we should be focused on preserving the value of the institutions we have invested in and getting the economy and capital markets moving," said Mark Ein, Washington entrepreneur and owner of Kastle Systems, a Rosslyn-based building security company. "I'm not sure these feel-good measures will help us achieve these primary objectives."
- "With regard to banking, it is still extremely difficult to raise capital in order to grow your loan portfolio as Congress is strongly recommending, and as is needed to jump-start our economy," said Ron Paul, chairman of Eagle Bank, a Washington community bank with $1.5 billion in assets. "TARP is still the cheapest and most efficient way of providing that capital, even with restrictions."
- "I don't have a problem with the fact that these guys should not have these bonuses," said Jon Budington, owner and president of Global Printing in Alexandria. "But they can't just create new laws based on this TARP money. Passing a law to collect 90 percent of the bonus money in a backhanded way is going to create a corporate witch hunt and is not going to help the system."
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