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Despite Attacks, Business as Usual at AIG

POSTED: 05:31 PM ET, 10/ 8/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Insurance giant AIG, which last month received a multi-billion-dollar aid package from the government, is still reeling from political attacks about the lavish, week-long retreat taken last month by executives with the company's chief insurance subsidiary.

The company says the retreat is misunderstood, and that it plans to go ahead with similar events as scheduled this fall.

At last night's presidential debate, Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, said AIG executives who went on the trip "should be fired" and that the U.S. Treasury should be reimbursed. Today, White House press secretary Dana Perino called the getaway "pretty despicable."

The brouhaha started yesterday during testimony in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee when lawmakers questioned the spending last month by AIG's main insurance subsidiary, AIG American General, at the St. Regis resort in Monarch Beach, Calif. Executives spent $443,000 on hotel rooms, restaurant tabs, golf and spa visits during the retreat -- just a few days after the federal government rolled out an $85 billion emergency loan for American General's troubled parent company.

After yesterday's hearing, AIG's new CEO, Edward M. Liddy, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson saying that the retreat was a pre-planned event for a top-producing subsidiary. Only 10 AIG employees attended the event and no AIG executives from its New York headquarters were invited.

In his letter, Liddy wrote "that we owe our employees and the American public new standards and approaches," assuring Paulson that the company is "reevaluating the costs of all aspects of our operations in light of the new circumstances in which we are all operating."

Nicholas J. Ashooh, a spokesman for AIG, tells The Post's Investigations blog that the subsidiaries attending previously scheduled retreats and conferences are "making money," Ashooh said.

"These are self-sustaining companies and we're conducting normal business," he said. "These events are happening all the time. We're maintaining these subsidiaries to keep them going so that, in one aspect, we might sell them to pay back the Fed."

"I'm not surprised that people are reacting strongly to it," Ashooh added, referring to the St. Regis expenses. "But the reports are just plain wrong."

Ashooh said several AIG firms are going ahead with social and business events that had been scheduled before the bailout.

One of AIG's main securities subsidiaries, Atlanta-based FSC Corp., is holding its annual National Education and Business Conference at Atlanta's Marriott Marquis hotel next week. At least 400 stockbrokers and their families are expected to attend the three-day conference, with FSC expected to pick up the tab for airfare, rooms and bar and restaurant charges.

[Addition: John Pluhowski, a spokesman for AIG Retirement Services, said today that attendees are expected to pay a "portion" of their transportation, room and related expenses. It is unclear what part they are expected to pay for.]

Later this month, an estimated 150 brokers and 50 AIG employees are planning to attend a get-together for the company's high-end insurance "private-client group" at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

--Derek Kravitz

By Derek Kravitz |  October 8, 2008; 5:31 PM ET
Previous: FCC Probes Ties Between Military and Pundits | Next: Judge Tosses Stevens Evidence, Voter Rolls Scrutinized, Inside U.S. Eavesdropping

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



These are hopelessly beyond redemption - jerks of the worst kind. Lop off their heads.

Posted by: M. Stratas | October 8, 2008 5:49 PM

This is outrageous, and absolute insult to the American taxpayer!!! I don't care if the subsidiary or the agents are making money...AIG has to return the $85 billion taxpayers' money or tighten its belt. The entire AIG mgmt board needs to be fired, starting with Liddy himself.

Posted by: playa | October 8, 2008 6:09 PM

unforgivable.
more than 3/4 of my middle class friends cant even afford to take a 5thoudsand dollar vacation right now.

Posted by: Ec0_D0m | October 8, 2008 6:11 PM

OK this is not an accurate article. The trip was for top producing independent agents...they are not even AIG employees. This is so far off... AIG did nothing wrong. This trip was part of an incentive program that was probably started over a year ago. The incentive is for independent agents who sell the AIG subsidiarys products. This is an EARNED REWARD THAT WAS LIKELY PROMISED OVER A YEAR AGO. TERRIBLE REPORTING.

Posted by: bob J | October 8, 2008 6:14 PM

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY AN INTERN. FALSE INFORMATION.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:15 PM

Were there any hookers?

Posted by: jameo | October 8, 2008 6:15 PM

How nice, that comes to $43,000 an employee, wow, nice perk. I just checked my 401K and I've lost that same amount this year. I hope they enjoyed it. Pretty much explains why we are in the mess we are in, doesn't it.

Posted by: toz | October 8, 2008 6:15 PM

THIS MUST STOP NOW! It is So obvious that executives are thumping their noses at all of us. The simply are the worst for of scum and low life possible. These people are traitors to us all and deserve to be placed in prison. Why should I pay for their SPA treatment when I am losing my house. I DEMAND ACTION NOW, I DEMAND THESE SCUM BE ARRESTED FOR STEALING OUR MONEY. They deserve noting but contempt. I So wish we had public stoning in this country, they should be taken out back, stripped naked and stoned until their bloody body flops helplessly on the floor. These creatures are EVIL in in the worst possible way and deserve no mercy. WAKE UP! This is Corporate America!

Posted by: C.Chapman | October 8, 2008 6:16 PM

Quoting the AIG spokesperson above "These are self-sustaining companies and we're conducting normal business...These events are happening all the time" Isn't that the problem? AIG's normal business is what got them into this mess! If they are really "making money," why can't they do it at a normal conference center at a regular hotel? Maybe it's because I'm not part of the big corporation greed that has taken over our nation. What happened to honesty???

Posted by: One for fairness | October 8, 2008 6:18 PM

AIG=666

Posted by: JackieP | October 8, 2008 6:20 PM

BOB J, although you may be right, I believe there are other ways to provide incentives rather than lavishly spending money on wine and dine. May be the independent agents would have appreciated cash rewards in such economy. Also there are other ways to hold such yearly conferences. My company tightened belt last year and canceled a prescheduled conference in Cancun. Instead we had virtual sessions for training and education. AIG needs to learn about living in such a world.

Posted by: NJ | October 8, 2008 6:20 PM

I don't care who this was for. In a world with this much poverty and struggle, a retreat for 10 people spending 443,000 is insane. No one "deserves" a 443,000 retreat. I work in the Financial District of New York for 13 hours a day, and I don't even deserve something like that. I don't care what they do, they do NOT deserve it nor do they NEED it.

Posted by: Jeff | October 8, 2008 6:21 PM

The excuse that this was previously planned makes no sense. They can always cancel and save some money. I am sure the agents would understand given the circumstances. What are they going to do. Find another job if they did not get their treat?

Posted by: Tommy | October 8, 2008 6:21 PM

All the excuses coming from executives explaining their trip is pure BS. They are Maximum Pigs in the worst form.

Posted by: RRH | October 8, 2008 6:22 PM

There needs to be a revoloution an overthrow of these fat corporate theives who view themselves above the average working person, the indifference shown to the general public over their rightful outrage should show you that they do not care about right or wrong, just money and how to scam it out of us well the day of reckoning is coming as the financial meltdown proceeds and when these fat sob,s fall they will splat the hardest with all that extra gold in their pockets.

Posted by: wendal clarke | October 8, 2008 6:23 PM

The CEO for AIG defended the $443,000 tab for last weeks retreat by insisting that only ten employees from a subsidiary attended the event and none were from the corporate headquarters in NYC. Whow, what would it have cost per attendee if the big shots had been there?

Posted by: Tuckered Out | October 8, 2008 6:23 PM

This program is COMPENSATION for people (NON-AIG EMPLOYEES) who have already made AIG A LOT OF MONEY. This article is not accurate at all.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:23 PM

Something tells me this Bob J is a McCain supporter. Like the old coot, he just doesn't get it. Welfare to poor hungry children = Bad. Welfare to rich crooks who ran a company to the ground and now want their retreat on taxpayers' hard earned money = Good.

Posted by: Paul | October 8, 2008 6:24 PM

It was a planned event that wouldnt have happened if the bailout wouldnt have happened. these events need to be done based off of the company's performance. When the company has just barely excaped a collapse, NOONE should be rewarded by the company in any way, and all bonuses should also not be given. All of these events should be done based on the performance of the company, so that when there is no money, there will be no reward, but when people work hard, and diligently, they will be rewarded.

-CB

Posted by: CB | October 8, 2008 6:25 PM

I don't know. The image this presents is really bad. Having said that, I believe that the event was planned long ago, and canceling it would have affected all the employees at the resort, so I don't think the reality is as simple as people make it out to be. Furthermore, I have a friend who is a top-performing salesman, and these people are highly motivated by perks. These people are presumably the top producers in the entire company. Out of hundreds if not thousands of sales people -- these are the cream of the crop in terms of generating revenues. I happen to find them fairly superficial as people, but that's another story completely.

Posted by: Eric | October 8, 2008 6:26 PM

I am employed by the company and trust me most of us lowly people saw none of the money, seems on the big guys get the big bucks, even the bucks belonging to others.

Posted by: jmickles | October 8, 2008 6:26 PM

IT WAS NOT FOR 10 PEOPLE. IT Was for 150 non-AIG employees, accompanied by 10 AIG reps.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:26 PM

The government should seize the subsidiaries and sell them. This is pure BS, call the 85B in now.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:26 PM

These types of perks have long been a part of many businesses. They cater to those that bring in the profits, be they top producers within a company, or outside reps.

For an outside insurance rep, perks are one way of selling the products of a particular company. If AIG stops then the rep might well look to other companies with similar products and prices.

This situation is going to be hard to change. Either make any perks of this type taxable to the individuals receiving it or understand that it is going to be business as usual.

And, no, I never was on either end of this type of perk.

Posted by: Ken | October 8, 2008 6:26 PM

How about the CEO for AIG return the $85 billion taxpayers' money? I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: playa | October 8, 2008 6:27 PM

they have always been scumbags. And Bush group once more used the same scare tactic to do for his friends before he leave office. Why the hell do the Normal Americans vote against their own interest, I never know. Let's see if Fox news stay with their traditions and calling these low lives patriotic.

Posted by: markux | October 8, 2008 6:27 PM

V E R M O N

Posted by: j.Johnson | October 8, 2008 6:27 PM

What a shame. Every Congressman and HR who voted for this scam knew exactly what would happen, They are all in the pockets of these guys. They steal millions and are no more than common thieves. Write a check to feed your kids after these filthy scumbags rip off your bank account and see who goes to jail first. Where is Teddy Kazinski when you need him?. These lousy thief CEOs are lower than Hitler. I hope every one of them and the trash they are bribing comes down with the AIDs.

Posted by: Big Slick Daddy | October 8, 2008 6:28 PM

You people who think that those that attended this event should be fired are amazing--almost entertaining. These are top producers, unlike you whiners, whose contributions have contributed to the greatness of the US--they don't want to slum it at a Comfort Inn for a week. Go back to your hourly jobs and stop taking out your anger on those that are successful and have built this country. You people are victims of propaganda distributed by the simpleton reporters like the author of this article. Go back to re-negotiating your no-doc/option arm loans with you mortgage company--this time don't let your greed get the best of you. Greed begets poverty/jail-time which begets anger. Take your anger out elsewhere!

Posted by: solly | October 8, 2008 6:28 PM

Not only did AIG make a bad timing for their lavish disgusting activity but also they have shown the people a classic "INSULT TO INJURY" type of action.
They can do everything to make excuses (which they are already doing) for that repulsive activity in times like this. No way can they restore people's confidence and trust with them. Let Liddy and all those execs be arrested and jailed!

Posted by: Ryntar Kent | October 8, 2008 6:28 PM

Fresh hot news... AIG's just gotten ANOTHER loan from the Feds for $38 billion, on top of the $85. I guess they need to pay for hotel rooms in advance.

Posted by: bcr | October 8, 2008 6:29 PM

Whatever the "legitimacy" of this event may be, I question the whole thing - where is the restraint? Where is the sense of management? Could not a lesser venue be found? A few of the trimmings trimmed away? Is business so self-indulgent? So blind to its moral ineptitude? The love of money is the root of all evil, and here is a gang who loves money and loves it profoundly. While millions of Americans wonder where the next meal is coming from, how they're going to pay the rent and purchase the prescription, AIG throws away a half mil as if it were nothing, and plans to throw even more away. Of course, these are money-making subsidiaries. Well why not take that money and start paying back the American taxpayer. Shame on the Reaganesque insanity that big business is our savior. They should all be fired.

Posted by: Tom | October 8, 2008 6:29 PM

AIG payed the bill, it does not matter who attended.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:29 PM

Wow... I was thinking this might be overblown... Afterall, $400,000 for a productive gettogether of 400 employees would be $1000 per person and might be excusable.

How naive of me... $43,000 each for 10 people is just insane. There is no way that htis could be a justifiable business expense.

For those who say it was some sort of compensation... Hello! Do you know anyone who would let their employer blow 43,000 on a few nights of vacation for them instead of just asking for the cash as a bonus? Even multi-millionares would be blow their top at that.

Posted by: HumanJHawkins | October 8, 2008 6:30 PM

This is an outrage!! Didn't their President just say yesterday that he would have cancelled the conference if he were aware of it and now he endorses "business as usual"???.

AIG is a modern day Enron! They have expressed no diappointment, no remorse, no contrition whatsoever regarding these outrageous expenses. Even if the trip were booked and paid in advance, they didn't need to rack up $10K in "leisure dining" or $23K in spa treatments. Tighten your belts idiots!

The money was a loan to help AIG reorganize and sell off assets. Not to fatten up fat stockbrokers with another shrimp cocktail and a facial.

So you cancel the conference and the stockbroker leaves for the competition? So what? It's NOT business as usual over there and right now, as fiduciaries of taxpayer monies, AIG should reconize the need to be more fiscally responsible and make hard, tough decisions that might include canceling a sales conference.

Sell the subsidiaries to the competition and let those fat stockbrokers go to an Allianz sales conference paid for by ALLianz money, NOT OUR MONEY!!!

Here is an idea...Why not cancel a conference and let U.S soldiers attend in their place? Oh yeah, that would be an honorable gesture and that's not AIG's style.

Posted by: The Man | October 8, 2008 6:31 PM

Dont you see it usa is on full looting,the government is just helping those looters to get the job donne as fast as possible.Tell me about another bailout and for sure somebody will get rich and we the taxpayers will fout the bill.We keep hearing on tv that this is capitalism and free market but i dont see any proof of that.All executives that with their decisions failed all those banks are safe with hundreds of millions of dollars and we and our children are in debt for the rest off our lives.

Posted by: antirippoff | October 8, 2008 6:32 PM

IF THESE YAHOOS WERE THE TOP PRODUCERS, WHY IS AIG IN DEBT TO THE TAXPAYERS FOR NOW, OVER $125 BILLION!?!?!?! I GUESS THEY JUST DIDN'T "PRODUCE" ENOUGH.

Posted by: whiner | October 8, 2008 6:32 PM

This story is misleading, as is the perception of the "bailout" AIG was not simply handed 85 billion dollars, they were given an 85 billion dollar "line of credit" any amount of that line of credit used by AIG is a "LOAN" and has an 11% interest rate that AIG must repay!
The retreat has also been misreported, when reporters place information in print they realy should research the information and tell the WHOLE story, not just excerpts to inflame readers who are not given the whole truth... so much for journalism.

Posted by: Robert | October 8, 2008 6:33 PM

I live in Salt Lake City and my bank is on overdraft. I called the bank to see if I could get the fees removed. Their response, "it's not a bank error." This is what we should've said to AIG "it's not the taxpayers error." F all these executives. I hope I never see you on a dark alley!

Posted by: John G | October 8, 2008 6:33 PM

Incentive is understood, but when looking at the grand scheme of our economy right now, to justify an incentive of approximately $44,000 per person is outrageous. That is inconsiderate, selfish and a slap in the face I believe to the American people. With tax payers having to pay to bail out the company AIG, when the average American can not afford to keep their house, feed their children, splurge on themselves, pay for college for their family, etc. and we now have to pay for an incentive of this sort with more to come. Inaccurate, incomplete or otherwise, I am sure the government committee investigating this went beyond what the "Intern" reported.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:34 PM

I live in Salt Lake City and my bank account is on overdraft. I called the bank to see if I could get the fees removed. Their response, "it's not a bank error." This is what we should've said to AIG "it's not the taxpayers error." F all these executives. I hope I never see you on a dark alley!

Posted by: John G | October 8, 2008 6:34 PM

Good grief people - - learn to read and spell. That there were ten AIG employees there is true but they were hosting a large group of non-employees.

Second, it's a short term (two year)loan that is the subject - the Fed gets paid back plus 11.5% interest and more - it's not a taxpayer giveaway.

Yes, we shareholders are getting hurt by the whole problem, and the problem was started by those of you who claimed they didn't understand the terms of their loans, credit lines and credit card (no interest for 6 months!) advertising. Many of you are kidding yourselves.

Posted by: Another Bob | October 8, 2008 6:36 PM

Hey...this article is not very accurate, I am a licensed broker with FSC (were all independent - we do not work for AIG, or FSC, we just broker through FSC). I am not attending the annual conference BECAUSE it is all out of our own pockets. No rooms, no airfare, maybe some meals during the conference only. The only "employees" of FSC/AIG work in Atlanta where the conference is, so I don't see an outlay for them either. So in part, this article is flaming the fire, but it is not accurate. At least not regarding the FSC conference.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm so peeved at AIG for their screw ups as it directly affects my business and means change for all my clients as they spin off the FSC subsidiary....well, actually, I'm going to be glad they sell FSC as I don't want to be associated with the AIG name. BUT, I wanted the record set straight here that this isn't the same type of deal by a long shot that went on as illustrated in the news and house sub-comittees.

Thanks for reading.

Posted by: crs | October 8, 2008 6:36 PM

This started with Reagan- Just like the Great Depression the Democrats will be the ones to fix this then later be vilified as distribution of wealth. The Republican party better get on board.

Posted by: rcn | October 8, 2008 6:38 PM

Did this top-producing subsidiary bring in 85 million? WE did. As taxpayers we were the top producers. 85 billion dollars came out of our pockets because of CEO's like AIG's new CEO, Edward M. Liddy, who can not see the absurdity of spending$ 443,000 of any part of this corporations' money on a party.

These people took my retirement fund and destroyed it; are now taking my tax dollars and spending it on "retreats". Yes, what they are doing is criminal-but what I am doing has also been criminal. I sat by and let this happen. If I hired anyone to work for me and they did this kind of damage-I would of course sue them. Why haven't I?

Posted by: Nancy Schneider | October 8, 2008 6:39 PM

It's obvious most of you don't understand anything about the industry and the incorrect information in the article. American General is an insurance subsidiary of AIG with separate capital and surplus. AIG, the parent company, does NOT pay for these trips. Federal money was NOT used to fund this trip. American General is a profitable company on it's own. It has every right to have a Top Producer meeting. This is common and justified. If it were AIG corporate employees, different story. Learn how it really works before commenting on something about which you know nothing.

Posted by: Dawn | October 8, 2008 6:39 PM

First, let's do the math right. $440,000 was for 100 independent insurance agents, and I'm sure their wives. Additionally, 10 AIG employees attended. That's 110 people. That works out to $4400 per person, not $44,000. Regardless, that is exorbitant, and it is a slap in the face for them to admit that this policy will continue. Even after asking, and getting another $38 billion. The feds should charge the 30% credit card rate for the second loan.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:40 PM

Start with the new CEO on down, they should be canned, fined and put in jail. And hey Little Sticky Mother aka Big Slick Daddy, your right about one thing: Greed begets poverty/jail-time. And that is where you and the rest of these thieves belong.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:43 PM

Fine American General is a subsidiary, AIG should be forced to spin it off and pay us back.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:46 PM

well Nancy, it is clear you, like AIG believe in Stealing. It is so clear you work for AIG. I hope you don't have kids, you set a horrible example as a human being.

Posted by: Jane E | October 8, 2008 6:46 PM

I hope America becomes a terrifying place for the Executive. They are all a bunch of low life scum, each and every one of them. Time to prune the tree!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:48 PM

10 people, $443K. Sounds like a party I'd love to go to.

Posted by: Michael | October 8, 2008 6:49 PM

They are like pigs in the slop bucket

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:49 PM

Yes, this event was to reward 100 or so INDEPENDENT AGENTS who sell AIG American General products. As mentioned above, its a reward for those that place a lot of business with your company. Its how business is done. Like airlines or cruise lines that provide free travel to travel agents that meet booking criteria. The list goes on and on. The timing was terrible and I believe the event should have been at least postponed considering AIG's present situation.

Its easy to cast criticism on AIG for what it appears they represent in today's world. But I will tell you, having worked for AIG for over 8 years up until about 3 years ago, that AIG, like so many very large companies, is full of tens of thousands of hard working, dedicated individuals who put their pants on one leg at a time and go to work every day like the vast majority of Americans. Categorizing AIG as evil or thinking that all AIG folks are crooks is so far from the truth. They are like you or me and work hard for their living (AIG is not an easy company to work for -- they tolerate few slackers).

Did AIGFP get into dangerous areas that have cost AIG their franchise with the world? Yes. Will they pay the price? Most likely as so many of their customers are rebelling and choosing to move their business elsewhere. If AIG even survives this at all (as opposed to simply being totally sold off) they will probably be a mere shadow of the global powerhouse they once were. And that's the price for mis-management and a lack of senior management oversight. Probably the US Gov't will get its money back as the business units are sold off (the break up value here is tremendous). Who will be the big loosers, probably the individual share holders (myself included) and that includes so many employees and former employees who have AIG stock in their 401K plans.

Have some faith that the free market system will work here folks -- there are many willing buyers of AIG's business units and if customers vote with their pocketbooks and start moving their business, AIG will be forced to sell quickly or watch their value simply disappear.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:49 PM

How about we make the executives stay at a Motel 6. they might die of fright. Happy meals for Everybody!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:51 PM

To bad we can't impeach the secretary of the treasury. Paulson's' another POS that belongs behind bars.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:51 PM

AIG have you considered getting rid of your millon dollar a month consultant who got you into this mess.

Posted by: ATL | October 8, 2008 6:52 PM

4443,00 how far could that monies of gone if it were given to employees that were in fear of losing their homes,or had health needs not covered by health insurance,
Did Aig think of asking "these top profit makers" would you be willing to give up your very expensive week and help those that have been there for you to be the "top profit maker"?
Speaking of top profit makers, if there were only ten in the whole of AIG, maybe that is why they needed the Bail Out, to bad they had to use the whole years profits for one weeks of fun in the sun.

Posted by: Belle | October 8, 2008 6:52 PM

Hope they declare the 43,000.00 perk value on their tax returns for this year. With luck Obama will increase the taxation rate on such perks and the Treasury will get some of the money back this way.

Posted by: Texastair | October 8, 2008 6:52 PM

Hey Another Bob...

Bottom line for you at FSC is...no bailout=no FSC conference. And top producing reps at FSC and the CA retreat had tabs that were paid for by AIG. So while you may not be getting a free trip, plenty of others at FSC will.

But then again, didn't your firm just fire it's president/CEO, Joby Gruber, in April because he had his admin complete his continuing education requirements?

Sounds like you should find a new firm.

Posted by: The Man | October 8, 2008 6:54 PM

Hey, I planned a trip several years ago I never got to take. I've worked hard like the rest of us that have put things off, shouldn't the fat cats send us all on a nice vacation? Oh, guess that would not make sense to those gov backed finacial hot shots. After all, who would continue to work and pay the bills. I sugest a nation wide union and we just stop working and stop paying. We are already broke, lets break them!

Posted by: Bored | October 8, 2008 6:54 PM

This was a "pre-planned event"?!?! That's the EXCUSE?!?!? Wow! Here's another pre-planned event... I planned on traveling to see my family for the holidays, but now I can't because of the economy. Go to hell AIG. I am dumping my Fidelity Magellan shares because of your arrogance, stupidity and greed. (note: 1.98% of Fidelity Magellan is invested in AIG. That is a massive amount of cash). I urge others to look into their Mutual Funds and see if they invest in these CRIMINALS.

Posted by: Ed Burke | October 8, 2008 6:54 PM

I am not defending the acts of AIG AT ALL, but I work for a major national insurance company, and I know how important these trips are. They reward top producers. This was probably planned long before the bailout, so AIG wouldn't be able to just cancel it when it was already promised.

I do agree that going forward, these trips should not be permitted, especially since AIG just borrowed another $38 Billion of our taxpayer money today!

Posted by: Insurance Girl | October 8, 2008 6:55 PM

Wicked and Evil people

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:55 PM

THEY SOUND NOT HAVE BEEN PERMITTED NOW! That is what responsible leaders do.

Posted by: ANONYMOUS | October 8, 2008 6:56 PM

"Solly"--what exactly does an insurance company "produce"? Talk about entertaining... the notion that insurance companies are "producers"...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:57 PM

Hey Nancy Schneider'

Who DID pay for that trip then? The Tooth Fairy? You are a moron. Even with the sponsor money, AIG still pays!!

Posted by: The Man | October 8, 2008 6:57 PM

E=Evil
X=eXcessive
E=Errored
C= Callous
U=Uncivilized
T=Thieves
I=Ignorant
V=Vial
E=Extortion
S=Slime

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:59 PM

Sounds like AICs Sullivan and Cassano are very greedy men.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 7:01 PM

All in One Job Search (50 mil indexed), Resume Preparation, Tips and Advice, Success Tools, Links to Employers, Blog, Salary Info, Education Planning, etc. - All Job and Career Functions

http://www.CareerSitesCompany.com

Trying to earn back an enormous loss.

Posted by: Mud | October 8, 2008 7:03 PM

Bob J seems to think it is OK for AIG to spend taxpayer money on their trips. Well Bob, why don't you just fork over the money out of yuor pocket and keep your and your heros at AIG hands out of my pocket. People like you are the stupid ones that have supported and allowed this anti-american goverment of ours to get away with the rape of our nation. They should not only be fired but put before a court and sent to jail. If one part of their company is making money then let them borrow from themselves instead of stealing for the American tax payer

Posted by: Robert | October 8, 2008 7:03 PM

We need a radical solution to send a radical message. Every one of these business leaders who profit while their companies crumble need to be executed by firing squad.

No exceptions. Televise it for all the world to see. We will no longer tolerate rampant corruption at the expense of the hard working citizen.

Posted by: JS | October 8, 2008 7:05 PM

All of this fleecing has been going on since banty rooster george has been in office. i bet we would be appaled at the amount of money that channeys friends put into swiss bank accounts for georgie and him. The trouble is that the democrats let them do it .and this aig is just another good old boy thing. don,t buy their insurance and let them know you feel.or do we have the guts to do it../

Posted by: d fee | October 8, 2008 7:06 PM

We, ordinary American citizens save our hard earned income in banks, credit unions, mutual funds, stocks of companies, insurance policies, college savings, and retirement funds (401K, IRA, etc.). We have been overly trusting the CEO’s and other managers at these institutions. We never questioned the excellent remunerations and fringe benefits these people get even when the stock values go down. Whenever we get proxy forms from the company executives, we sign them and return on time trusting that these managers are working for us to protect our funds and our interests. That should change. These CEO’s and managers are nominated to boards, which are controlled by investors who own only a small fraction of the company while they leverage funds from banks, mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc. Our ability to influence and control this process is miniscule to nil. The next Administration and Congress should set up (apart from SEC, etc.,) an agency that in turn creates stockholder interest groups. These groups should be elected by small stockholders and should be charged to take the proxy votes and represent such stockholders at business meetings and have votes in deciding the boards and other management matters (like pay and perks). There may also be a need for creating consumer interest groups and worker interest groups to protect the interests of consumers and workers.

Posted by: Som Karamchetty, PHD | October 8, 2008 7:06 PM

Check out AMERICAN BUSINESS from the band CUBICLE out of Los Angeles, CA. http://www.myspace.com/CUBICLE

Posted by: Bill | October 8, 2008 7:08 PM

just what i thought you don,t want to offend georgie dale

Posted by: dale fee | October 8, 2008 7:09 PM

Bob J seems to think it is OK for AIG to spend taxpayer money on their trips. Well Bob, why don't you just fork over the money out of yuor pocket and keep your and your heros at AIG hands out of my pocket. People like you are the stupid ones that have supported and allowed this anti-american goverment of ours to get away with the rape of our nation. They should not only be fired but put before a court and sent to jail. If one part of their company is making money then let them borrow from themselves instead of stealing for the American tax payer

Posted by: Robert | October 8, 2008 7:09 PM

What did we hear from the Republicans and Corporate leaders? "Oh ... no" ... we would never use your tax money to fund CEO's GOLDEN PARACHUTES ...

LIES ... lies ... lies.

Never believe a man with his hand in your pocket.

Dominick A. Leone
Orlando, FL

Posted by: Dominick Leone | October 8, 2008 7:11 PM

If you own AIG products, drop them and tell them why you did it.

Posted by: jr | October 8, 2008 7:12 PM

Does the United States government have any authority or back bone any more. How could you provide 85 billion dollars to save a company and essentially forgive their adolescent behavior after such monetary abuses have taken place. Will someone please act on behalf of the American people and show true force towards these corporate untouchables. We could really use a reality check!

Posted by: Dazu | October 8, 2008 7:14 PM

The accusations are false! I was there and we spent only 10k each on booze and hookers.

Posted by: AIG Guy | October 8, 2008 7:14 PM

Everyone's an expert when they use.. TEH INTAERNETS!!!1 Granted, there's a lot of passion in these comments, but so very little business knowledge.

Posted by: uhh | October 8, 2008 7:16 PM

Wow.

You've all said a mouth-full. One of you blames this on those of us complaining. I agree that the buyer (borrower) should beware, but sometimes the devil can be very tempting. Everyone wants a piece of the american dream. I have faught hard for mine and in all likelyhood will loose most of it due to this crisis. I have a standard fixed rate mortgage - no option arms etc. I have lost 3 of my lines of credit in the past month - not for any delinquency or lateness or anyting of the sort - but because the banks are scrambling for every dollar they can get. This is only the beginning. I haven't pulled anything out yet. I will ride this out even if the Dow drops below 1000. I suggest you all do the same. Start writing your congessman if you want action. And for all of our sakes - give up the bickering and panic-button-pushing.

Posted by: Pete | October 8, 2008 7:18 PM

Trust me...those AIG stockbrokers and employees will be using their corporate American Express cards to expense some hookers, er, more "leisure dining". And I know something about hookers!

Posted by: Elliott Spitzer | October 8, 2008 7:18 PM

make all the people that work at AIG pay for their own debts. why need to someone to bail them out. They did this, they should pay. It strange how AIG is in trouble, but you have not heard any LAYOFF from the company. Shoot, one would think they would consider doing that since that are in deep trouble...

Posted by: Megan | October 8, 2008 7:20 PM

Regardless of how many people were there, AIG paid for the outing. My wife works for AIG, and thanks to this kind of excessive spending, she is now the one looking to possibly lose her job. I'm glad the executives who bring in the huge salaries and get great perks like this for running the company into the ground have nothing to worry about while we have to worry about paying our bills if she loses her job.

Posted by: Jason | October 8, 2008 7:22 PM

This is the story of every company in US. Nobody to take any responsibilities for anything and hope that the middle man will take care of them.

Posted by: Bill Gates | October 8, 2008 7:23 PM

"Only 10 AIG employees attended the event and no AIG executives from its New York headquarters were invited."

Oh well now, *that* just makes me feel *so* much better. $44K & change per person.

Posted by: Robin | October 8, 2008 7:24 PM

I would expect that, with the resources of the Washington Post, the writer could get the basic facts about AIG's business. AIG American life is not "the main insurance subsidiary", it is merely one of four domestic life insurance businesses that had total premiums of $25 billion in 2007. The business is towards to buy their foreign life insurance business at $65 billion, and their property casualty insurance business at $58 billion. Two minutes of checking could've found that.(hint -- there's this website called Google...)

Second, as many of the posters have pointed out, less than 10% of the attendees were actually AIG American General employees, the rest were independent insurance agents, who sell AIG products, among many others. This was an annual event, as a reward for the top producers. These events are planned at least six months in advance, to be able to book the resort, the rooms, and the transportation. Cancellation at a late date would have resulted in no refunds.

I am no fan of AIG, but the specter of Congressman (the biggest junketeers of them all) practically screaming in outrage was both disgusting and humorous.

Posted by: Brian | October 8, 2008 7:31 PM

The Very People Responsible For Setting The Fire That Is Rapidly Burning Our Economy To The Ground Are Going Free.

They Are Being Helped By John Kerry and Henry Waxman Who Are Putting Up An Effective Smoke Screen To Shield The Truly Guilty Parties.

You Have Jamie Goerlick, Franklin Raines, Daniel Mudd and Jim Johnson at the heart of the meltdown.

They Were Aided By Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Chuck Schummer, John Kerry, Henry Waxman, Maxine Waters, Artur Davis, Harry Reid, Lacy Clay, Gregory Meeks, and Nancy Pelosi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs

These people owe the American People an explanation, an apology, and at the very least some jail time.

Don't take your eye off of the ball. These are the people who lit the match. Jamie Goerlick is set to be our next attorney General.

We simply CAN'T let this happen or the crooks will all go free.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=67068

Posted by: GeraldD | October 8, 2008 7:33 PM

I forgot to add to my comment above:

I suppose AIG gets to count the excursion expense as a tax write-off and the lucky 10 do not have to report it as income on their 2008 tax returns.

Posted by: foxfire | October 8, 2008 7:40 PM

It doesn't matter whether the trip was for 10 people or more, it doesn't matter that it was recognition of high producers (and their family members); the fact is the company as a whole is in financial difficulties enough that it required a government bailout, regardless of what you want to call it. Senior people making senior salaries did not run the company productively or at a profit; that's the bottom line. And because there are financial problems, even if it would inconvenience those people sheduled to attend the retreat, canceling the retreat (regardless of cost) would have been perceived as their doing something.

The story is that years ago American Airlines put one less olive in each salad aboard it's flights; that saved the airlines a significant amount of money. Cancelling the retreat, or reducing the number of pencils used, or not upgrading computers, and not continuing with a retreat all are ways that at least look like the company gives a damn, that the company is looking at any and all ways to reduce expenditures.

Yes, these may have been the top producers in their field; but the problem is the company as a whole has a problem, and unless the retreat was "subsidized" by portions of the company that were profit-making, and entirely unrelated to any portion of the company that required, received, or may receive federal funding, then the perception of a perk (forgetting high salaries) is a slap in the face of the American taxpayer who has to cut corners, tighten his or her or their family belts.

Sorry, Solly; the retreat attendes may in fact be the top producers "whose contributions have contributed to the greatness of the US"; however the company as a whole is, for lack of a better word, tanking. No, as you said, they don't "want to slum it at a Comfort Inn for a week." But, when the rest of the company is tanking, is that the time to celebrate at high public expense - dollars and perception - little successes? Successes that they have been rewarded with by high salaries/commissions?

Sorry, but when you said "Go back to your hourly jobs and stop taking out your anger on those that are successful and have built this country" you just put into perspective; whether these hourly employees are the victims of propaganda is irrelevant; just the fact that these "hourly job" taxpayers feel that their money is subsidizing unnecessary expenses (let alone retreats) is enough that their funds, their taxes, shouldn't be paying for the retreat. These "hourly job" people should go back to "re-negotiating your no-doc/option arm loans with you mortgage company--this time don't let your greed get the best of you. Greed begets poverty/jail-time which begets anger."? That some taxpayers negotiated no-doc/option arm loans is wrong, but it's okay that these same people are asked (told) to back the company in the first place, and are asked (told) to pay for the retreat is okay?

No wonder we have problems.

If the company is hurting financially, then there's no reason they shouldn't do everything necessary to reduce expenses. Period.

Posted by: XMinusOne@gmail.com | October 8, 2008 7:45 PM

HI! I am a big fat stockbroker but take pity on me please! Even though I make a six-figure income selling AIG insurance policies, I simply had to have YET ANOTHER free trip, shrimp cocktail, facial, manicure, and massage from AIG! How dare you suggest that AIG cancel that conference!! I deserved every last seafood tower and Hollywood derm treatment!

Besides, I couldn't have paid for a trip to CA on my own because I only make $800,000 a year!! Do you have any idea what that comes to after taxes?

Posted by: Joby | October 8, 2008 7:45 PM

When will you political swill hogs feasting at the trough of lobbyists, sprinkled with payola, ever going to Prosecute these corporate executives, with no ethical or moral values and treat them like drug dealers? Take all their ill gotten gains, money and homes. Places these Corporate Thieves in JAIL!
Finally, do your Constitutional Obligations and Duties! Represent the Honorable Citizens and be Yourselves a Government once again of Honor, Respect and Creditability.

You all disrespect Our Founding Fathers, You Families and Yourselves.

Posted by: Peter Frady | October 8, 2008 7:58 PM

I don't care if this retreat was for the 'Their Top Sellers' or not. The fact is their company, AIG, almost failed and needed government tax money to stay in business. These scumsucking slime bags should be glad they have a job and not $20,000 pedicures.

Posted by: dre7861 | October 8, 2008 8:00 PM

All money should be returned.

Simple and logical.

Business can not and should not be conducted as usual in the present circumstance and the clients of AIG should understand this.

Obama is correct.

That money should be given to governmental agencies who can assist those persons in our country who are in dire need of help.

Granted, it would be devastating for AIG to go under. But, welcome to the 21st Century.

This blunder is a slap in the face to all of as taxpayers who are now paying a very heavy price for greed.

The US government should demand the money back.

The world has changed almost overnight and corporations need to be logical and smart enough to change with it. There is more at stake here than ethics or morals.

The behavior of AIG is inexcusable. Money should be returned.

I need more of a bailout than a corporation who pays for their employees to golf and go to spa.

Posted by: M Stanfield | October 8, 2008 8:01 PM

Call in the loan! It's that simple!

AIG startled ratings agencies last week because of how fast they were spending the money.

AIG squanders the money by pampering their spoiled insurance salesmen. When questioned, not only do they refuse to apologize but they state that they will spend even more money on additional retreats???

Today, AIG needs another $35 Billion and we give it to them so now AIG owes us $120 Billion? What, did the price of hookers go up at that upcoming Ritz Carlton event?

Bottom line is AIG cannot act responsibly anymore. The Fed needs to get as much of that money back now before AIG squanders/loses the rest of it.

AIG had a chance and they blew it. End it now and let them go into bankruptcy.

Posted by: The Man | October 8, 2008 8:04 PM

This is unbelievable! Can we reverse the decision to bail them out? This is abuse of the most dispicable kind. I lost 24% of the value in my 401K and no one is bailing me out!
Sounds like the parent company has plenty of dollars to throw parties. Let them bail out their own divisions and let the middle American taxpayers off the hook for their (AIG's) parties and extravagance. Not surprising that they are in the situation they are in--living too high and pretending to be big players finally caught up with them. Very poor judgment in light of our bailout.

Posted by: Marilyn Coles | October 8, 2008 8:11 PM

Why are you all so enraged now? When AIG's share price was high, nobody cared about but everybody knew, it's the "(not only)American Way of Life", from dishwasher to star insurance broker. And, it's government approved because it's tax deductible. So, you pay twice for the party!
Didn't you know, that such lavish parties are already included in your premium when you signed an AIG insurance contract or bought shares from brokers?
So, the money spent for the party is money already "earned = taken" from customers.
And for sure the party money is peanuts compared to the money AIG executives will demand and get from the bail-out money for their "heroic" achievement to save AIG, even if it's only temporary.
Then, you can be really enraged.

Posted by: norbert | October 8, 2008 8:25 PM

I wonder how much AIG donated to congressional campaigns?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 8:31 PM

I`m just a sucker... and the AIG Executives know how to treat me...
like an idiot...

Posted by: Marcus | October 8, 2008 8:38 PM

I support the rescue plan as it helps free up credit so firms can make payroll and other essentials. What AIG and its subsidiaries did is a long established and accepted practice of rewarding top performers; those people who generated business, made money for the firm. That money goes to pay salaries and other essentials. What would have been disgusting to learn was the the chief executive through a lavish birthday party for his wife with an ancient Roman theme....using company money to fund it.

That would have been inappropriate. People need to retain perspective...if that is possible in an election year.

Posted by: Charles | October 8, 2008 8:40 PM

Sorry Charles but your logic does not add up.

Those "Top Producers" are, as AIG's press release explains, independent insurance agents. In other words, they are appointed with more than one insurance company so if they sell a lot of insurance products, they would be eligible to go to MULTIPLE Top Producer conferences - their fat behinds could have skipped the AIG one!! So they only go to 4 conference in 2008 instead of 5! Oh the inhumanity!

They would have been eligible to attend the Top Producer conferences at Allianz, ING, Manulife, etc. They would, or should understand why AIG would cancel the conference.

You were right about this being a long established and accepted practice for financially sound companies conducting business as usual. But when your company JUST GOT NATIONALIZED, IT IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL AND SACRIFICES NEED TO BE MADE!!

No matter which way you look at it, AIG should have refrained.

Posted by: The Man | October 8, 2008 8:56 PM

"...AIG...is still reeling from political attacks about the lavish, week-long retreat taken last month by executives with the company's chief insurance subsidiary."


Reeling??? They're LAUGHING at what chumps we all are.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | October 8, 2008 9:02 PM

Obama is a corrupt politician just like those criminals Barney Franks and Chris Dodd who caused this economic mess! Go watch the YouTube video "House of Lies: How Congress Failed Our Economy".

watch?v=Z5z9lD4C2Io

I have been a life long Democrate and Hillary supporter but I will be voting for McCain/Palin this election!

Posted by: Obama CAUSED this Economic Mess! | October 8, 2008 9:02 PM

So many misinformed and angry people on this blog even to the point of blaming a first term senator (Obama) for the entire mess! Get a grip people.

Posted by: rpahk | October 8, 2008 9:30 PM

Unbelievable. Can people actually still wonder about the disconnect between "Main Street" and "Wall Street." When my girlfriend is out of work do the slumping economy. I would not consider going out on a spending binge and then defend myself by saying: "Well honey, I'm in the black here. I'm just doing what I normally would. The fact that you are in the red is really irrelevant.

Obama is correct, these people should be fired. Additionally, these two inconsolable dunces that defend these actions should be fired as well.

This is despicable.

Posted by: Michael R. | October 8, 2008 9:53 PM

Earned reward? You're hopelessly in the dark. I worked for a company many many years ago who organized a retreat like this for top producing sales people. They chartered an entire cruise ship for about 1000 top producers and their wives, etc. and sent them to Acapulco or Cancun or some exotic location. Guess what? The company filed for bankruptcy not long after.

I am a retiree and have to live on a fixed income from my savings after working my entire life. That retirement savings have taken such a huge hit and I now face uncertain future. Somebody do something to these crooks! Regulators, legislators, people in White House, are you there or are you in cahoots with these crooks?

Posted by: pelohoki` | October 8, 2008 10:00 PM

Tell me again why the hell are the taxpayers bailing out these people?

Let them all go bankrupt, I say. The obviously will never learn from their mistakes -- especially if they know the government will always be there for them.

Posted by: Steve S. | October 8, 2008 10:02 PM

I could care less if it was for Agents working for AIG. Tell the SOB's to get back to work. Play time is OVER..

ISA

Posted by: ISA | October 8, 2008 10:36 PM

OK. So they spent the dough on people who may of deserved it by making their numbers. Maybe those were met by selling insurance for the derivatives and swaps that contributed to this mess. Done Deal. My problem is with inviting stockbrokers and their spouses to a next week's "conference". Are they going to do a dog and pony show on their stock???? Who is going to buy this pig? Maybe it is a reward for them recommending their stock? What possibly is the rational for this one?

Posted by: H Greenberg XIX | October 8, 2008 10:38 PM

Looks to me like AIG called out its dogs to respond to this article. Some of the responses seem pretty much like an orchestrated PR response...and I am a PR guy.

Posted by: SteveIowa | October 8, 2008 10:47 PM

fools all--frig em, the ungrateful idiots

Posted by: jasper | October 8, 2008 11:18 PM

I work for a company that does yearly 'reward' trips but I know for a fact that they don't blow $1000.00 a night for hotel rooms and while they provide several meals over the course of the event - they don't pay for all of it or for any of the booze. Oh yeah, my company is not anywhere near going bankrupt and when things have been a little tight - they cut back or cut out perks like this.

Posted by: Cheryl | October 8, 2008 11:19 PM


"I have been a life long Democrate and Hillary supporter but I will be voting for McCain/Palin this election!

Posted by: Obama CAUSED this Economic Mess! | October 8, 2008 9:02 PM"

DUH - you have not been paying attention - It was Foreclosure Phil Gramm that caused this economic mess. Google the "Gramm, Leach, Bliley Act" and the "Commodities Futures Act". Both authored by Phil Gramm and both destroyed the regulations put in place in the 30's to prevent another depression. He conned his idiot republican buddies into believing that this was a great thing for the economy and they fell for it hook line and sinker. 1999 and 2000 were Republican Congress years and don't forget it.

Posted by: Cheryl | October 8, 2008 11:26 PM

Interesting back and forth tonight. I'm not expert in the insurance field (semiconductor physics is my game), but only a fool would

That being said, the deposits had been paid and reservations made well in advance of the event. I've been involved in conference organization and you don't put these events together at the last second and you DO PAY IN ADVANCE.

The event had been planned and the money had been spent. As for those on the inside calling names, well, you deserve much of the opprobrium that you are receiving. Show just a little consideration of the appearances.

Maybe the treasury will make some money on all this. Maybe we'll lose our shirts. And maybe the horse will sing.

BB

Posted by: Fairlington blade | October 8, 2008 11:41 PM

When we bailed out AIG the first time we were told that America was now an 80% owner of the company. So when exactly is the oversight supposed to begin, sometime next year? Half million dollar parties? I don't care when the party was planned, or whether or not the partyers worked for AIG directly or not, or any of the other particulars. The simple fact of the matter is that it just isn't their money to spend, it's ours.
Is this just a forecast of the " oversight" we can expect for the Trillion dollor train robbery pulled off by president Butch,v p Sundance,and speaker Belle Star?
God help all of us but especially our children who will be stuck paying forthis public ripoff.

Posted by: B Smith | October 8, 2008 11:58 PM

No matter who the retreat was supposedly for in liew of all that has happened to AIG and the peoples monies bailing the company out and becoming therefore their partners, every single penny should be accounted for and overseen by the government. This is so totally disgusting. I just now saw on the news where AIG got $35 billion more bailout. Where does this end? I agree with Obama they should return the monies spend on this retreat to the nation. The person who commented the news was not correct and this retreat was for agents and promised to them beforehand. Does not matter, the company failed, promises cannot be kept and their executives walked away with millions. Hello!

Posted by: Judith Stevens | October 8, 2008 11:59 PM

Think! If AIG doesn't reward their top producers (independent agents who are not employees) with this conference, they just take their high powered sales to another company. AIG American General is up for sale to pay off the $85 billion. If the company tanks because the top salesmen jump ship, no one will want to buy it, and the loan will never get paid off.

Posted by: Josie | October 9, 2008 12:14 AM

The Very People Responsible For Setting Fire To Our Economy And Burning It To The Ground Are Conspiring To Shift Blame And Avoid Jail Time. And They Are Being Helped In That Effort By Henry Waxman.

The Major Players Including Jamie Goerlick, Franklin Raines, Daniel Mudd and Jim Johnson are at the heart of this meltdown.

Aided By Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Chuck Schummer, Henry Waxman, Maxine Waters, Artur Davis, Gregory Meeks, Lacy Clay, Harry Reid, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs

These people owe the American People an explanation, an apology, and perhaps some jail time. Don't take your eye off of the ball. These are the people who lit the match and fanned the flames.

One Of The Players, Jamie Goerlick is set to be our next attorney General. We simply CAN'T let this happen or they will all go free.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=67068

Posted by: GeraldD | October 9, 2008 12:14 AM

Sorry you feel this way about the 400,000 spend on these called "spa meeting even" AIG hosted for its 100+ top producers. But having worked for American General in the past, and knowing how these things work, each one of the agents at American General gets a 1099 and pays taxes for these kind of events. So do the math, a bonus to those agents of less then $4,000.00 each!!! and they pay taxes on the costs!!!

This is not like the executives that get paid Millions extra per year. If the company cannot keep the top producers of AIG then the company will loose money, and now so will the government, because someone will offer these benefits to their top producers!!

Posted by: stan | October 9, 2008 12:27 AM

Roll back their bailout and let them fall. That would send a message to the rest of the recipients that the taxpayer is not going to stand for crap like this. I understand it was for around 90 sales weasles and 10 AIG execs. but with their balance sheet and taxpayers money no one their should be rewarded. What were the $33,000 in paid outs for > hookers?

Posted by: fedup floridian | October 9, 2008 7:48 AM

People, we own AIG at the moment. Based on the terms of the loan we have given AIG, this could and should be the best investment the U.S. government has made in a long, long time. The only thing that could risk that investment is if AIG can't sell off its assets at prices that will allow it to pay off the loan and its interest.

What are AIG's most valuable assets? It's very profitable insurance companies. How do insurance companies sell? Through insurance agents. How do insurance companies motivate insurance agents to sell--through commissions and prizes that include trips to places these people (who are regular middle class people, not rich executives) would never be able to go to on their own. I'm sure in this case this subsidiary launched qualifying for this prize maybe over a year ago. Do you know what happens to your company if you make a promise like this with your producers and don't fulfill it? They stop producing. Do you have any idea what happens to the value of this company (OWNED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AT THIS POINT IN TIME!!) if their producers stop producing?? It's value significantly deteriorates, as does our chance to recoup the loan plus interest we, the American taxpayers, have given AIG, and which should be a windfall for us.

I'd be upset if this event was for producers of the entities that AIG plans on retaining, but this was for one of its subsidiaries that is on the block.

These are great soundbites for politicians, but they also betray their complete lack of knowledge of the economy, different market segments, and how they can help us, the American people, get our investment plus interest back on the AIG loan.

Think people, don't just parrot what you hear from people who don't know what they're talking about.

Posted by: rtd | October 9, 2008 8:41 AM

Millions of dollars a month wonder boys! ANY ONE OUT THERE LIKE TO GET PAID MILLIONS A MONTH TO SCREW A COMPANY UP SO BADLY THEY HAVE TO BORROW 123 BILLION FROM TAXPAYERS? Dig deep I am sure there were some unethical practices these clowns could go to jail for. AIG and the other bailout candidates just reek of it. I don't care how much the exec.s produced this company was on the verge of collapse!!! Time for the perks to disappear until they can stand on their own two feet without John Q. Public carrying them. The exec. pay scales should be reined in too but we all know that won't happen, just look at who's minding the store...Government??????? When was the last time they did any thing that made sense? Just look at the bailout plan they approved...How many millions of dollars for wooden arrows??? If they come with curare tips for the pork addicted vermin then the arrows might make sense.

Posted by: fedup floridian | October 9, 2008 8:46 AM

Obviously American government is throwing money out for bad apples. Those executives are not there to make you a profit. They are there to make their own profits. If shareholders are lucky they will make some also. If you think you have a case to put them in jail so do it. If you can't prove anything that they did anything wrong then just watch how they spend their monies. If American government is stupid enough to lend them money they have every right to spend it the way they wanted.

Posted by: john | October 9, 2008 9:07 AM

If AIG had not been bailed out by the Great American Taxpayer and had been allowed to go belly-up, would they still be paying for and organizing these vacation bonuses for their agents? I strongly suspect not. The agents would have understood - hey the company has gone bust, of course there are no trips, in spite of what may have been promised. AIG needs to bloody well understand its situation - just because it has been loaned this money, life does not go on as before. There HAS to be some accountability. What on earth is wrong with them - and then they arrogantly state there are more trips planned and have no intention of canceling them? If I had any business myself with this bunch of crooks, I would pull it now. When I lost my job earlier this year, priorities had to be met and the first thing I canceled was a trip to see my parents with their first grandchild. This broke their hearts I know and they still have not seen her, but the mortgage had to be paid and food has to be put on the table. The disappointment the AIG agents would have felt at missing out on a trip does not even come close to what they are feeling.

Posted by: mushypea | October 9, 2008 11:55 AM

I am a broker attending the conference in Atlanta next week. Each year we all pay our own airfare, hotels and expenses. AIG/FSC does not and has never paid our way.
Someone needs to do some fact checking!

Posted by: Daisey | October 9, 2008 3:49 PM

"I am a broker attending the conference in Atlanta next week. Each year we all pay our own airfare, hotels and expenses. AIG/FSC does not and has never paid our way.
Someone needs to do some fact checking!"

UNTRUE! Check YOUR facts Daisey! Maybe YOU pay your own way but that's because you aren't a Top Producer. As a Top Producer, the heads of the Nettworth group sure aren't paying their own way.

Oh, and even if you aren't a Top Producer, does that mean the home office staff doesn't provide snacks, food, drinks at the banquets? I have BEEN to your conference several times and those ARE the facts!

Oh, and didn't your firm just FIRE it's president of 20 years, Joby Gruber, because he allowed his secretary to complete his continuing education requirements for him? Great firm you work for there! You stay classy FSC!

Posted by: Joby | October 9, 2008 4:11 PM

Okay,

First of all. Anyone angrily commenting about this has a few problems.
1. They are ignorant of the facts.
2. They believe a false report that doesn't state any facts.
3. They do not understand anything about how the bailout works.
4. They don't get that none of these were "employees" of AIG. They are the guys that AIG has to retain in order to pay back the government so incentives aren't a bad idea.
5. This was not taxpayer money, that money all went toward liquidity and net cap requirements...but the morons who are angrily posting on here have no interest in the truth.
They just want to vent and look like fools in the process. Awww, sorry you don't understand. Go read a book instead of yelling at people because you they have more than you.
If AIG wasn’t bailed out you would all be selling pencils on the corner, so look in the mirror idiots and think about who you voted for last time! Is he in office today? If so….then go to ***

Posted by: Tony | October 9, 2008 10:29 PM

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