Last night President Obama told the world he was shocked … actually “stunned” … that AIG execs got bonuses. Here’s how CNN reports the story tonight.
Unfortunately for the President the facts tell a different story.
Tim Geithner and Congress claim that they got blindsided by the AIG bonuses late last week, before anyone had a chance to stop AIG from paying them. However, C-SPAN’s video library tells a very different story. Watch the clip from a March 3rd hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee in which Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) specifically mentions the upcoming payouts of over $162 million in bonuses to AIG execs, the very same number that inflamed Washington DC this week:
So unless you believe there is no communication between the Treasury Secretary, Congress and the White House … they all knew. Or all incredibly incompetent. I am not sure which is worse. Go to Hot Air to see the video of the Treasury Secretary Geithner
It’s troubling to me that the President would condemn Wall Street bonuses in general and not just AIg in particular. He has, I believe, little idea of how bonuses are paid on the Street or why. From personal experience I can tell you most are linked to individual performance and not overall corporate performance. Some are linked to division performance as well. But his willingness to condemn Wall Street in general is unfortunately consistent with his overall assault on wealth and wealth creation.