Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bernanke and Liddy tag team Wall Street today

And Obama's on deck, for a Thursday night late show appearance with Leno.

But the anger over the AIG bonuses is reaching a fever pitch, and it's even causing Tim Geithner to lose some friends in the media for his handling of the situation.

In fact, the White House even had to say that they have complete confidence in Geithner. That's has to be really encouraging for Geithner!

The White House and Treasury have been besieged by questions about why Mr. Geithner did not know sooner about the bonus payments due this month, and whether he could have done more to stop them, prompting White House officials to assert President Obama’s continued confidence in Mr. Geithner.

Chris Dodd said the bonus issue was Geithner's fault. Here's that story on Treasury's two step! Dodd's bill on bonus plans were retroactive, while Geithner pushed that provision out of the ARRA bill!

So now Geithner's plan to recoup the bonuses is to subtract $165 million from the latest $30 billion loan. Boy that really solves that issue!

Geither said he couldn't stop the bonuses because "Our lawyers agreed, in consultation with outside counsel, that it would be legally difficult to prevent these contractually-mandated payments. Even the new executive compensation restrictions recently passed in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) allow for the payment of contracts signed before the act went into effect."

The same legislation, that Geithner pushed. Even the media can see through this charade.

Even though Geithner may be missing some balls, NY AG Cuomo isn't, and he is stoking mad. AIG "locked" in those bonuses, in the spring of 2008, at 2007 levels, even though the entire world knew 2008 was heading in the soup. He's steaming, and the public is buying into it. He's the new Spitzer, without the girl! And yesterday he released this info about the bonuses.

-- The top 10 recipients got a combined total of $42 million.
-- A total of 22 people received bonuses of $2 million or more, and combined they received more than $72 million.
-- Seventy-three people grabbed bonuses of $1 million or more.
-- Eleven who received "retention" bonuses of $1 million or more no longer working at AIG, including one who received $4.6 million.

Now there is rumors that those who were getting bonuses had even purchased credit default swaps on them!

At least we'll have some interesting theatre today.

And it starts with Liddy!

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