Here is the latest, courtesy of the Associated Press (via Yahoo News):
For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn't until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.Is Geithner going under the bus? For the record, I think that AIG is not "guilty" of anything -- except for spending money that the government gave it. The government's decision to hand the company a blank check is more blameworthy.
Why the sudden furor, just weeks after Barack Obama's team paid out $30 billion in additional aid to the company? So far, the administration has been unable to match its actions to Obama's tough rhetoric on executive compensation. And Congress has been unable or unwilling to restrict bonuses for bailout recipients, despite some lawmakers' repeated efforts to do so.
The situation has the White House and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the defensive. The administration was caught off guard Tuesday trying to explain why Geithner had waited until last Wednesday to call AIG chief executive Edward M. Liddy and demand that the bonus payments be restructured.
Publicly, the White House expressed confidence in Geithner — but still made it clear he was the one responsible for how the matter was handled.
Misdirected Outrage: Public Should Bash the Feds for Giving AIG a "Blank Check"
Sincere or False Outrage? The Obama Administration Smacks Down AIG