Video: Congress, Geithner knew about bonuses on March 3rd

posted at 11:30 am on March 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

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:

After accusing the previous administration of a lack of oversight, Crowley says this, emphasis mine:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Welcome to the committee, Mr. Geithner, and thank you for your responses so far. It never ceases to amaze me the level of apparent amnesia some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have had about how we got to this problem in the first place, and I thank you for answering Mr. Heller’s question in particular. By the line of questioning, you’re almost led to believe that because of a last month and a few days of a presidency we had the problem we have today, and thank you for setting the record straight. This didn’t happen overnight. This took eight years in the making of stagnant, at best, growth.

But yesterday, Mr. Secretary, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve announced a new fourth plan to rescue troubled financial services giant AIG. I do agree that AIG’s sustainability is the lynchpin for some of our recovery efforts, and it’s important for the federal government to work to keep it afloat. However, I must demand that AIG increase the accountability and transparency, something that was not done during the previous administration.

For example, just last month, AIG paid 343 employees of AIG FP — their Financial Products division that created the financial hole that AIG is in, and in turn a multibillion-dollar bill for American taxpayers — $56 million in bonuses and are slated to pay an additional $162 million in bonuses to 393 participants in the coming weeks. And there’s more. Further bonus payments totaling approximately 230 million (dollars) are due to 407 participants at AIG’s Financial Products division in March 2010. This makes no sense to my constituency.

In other words, everyone knew about these bonuses. Congress even knew enough about it to question Geithner on it, with remarkable accuracy on the total amount due to be paid out, on March 3rd — nine days before Geithner initially claimed to know about it.

This whole episode has been a farce perpetrated by Congress and the administration to stoke artificial outrage over contractual compensation obligations. It’s a freak show put on by Democrats. They’re giving us populist circuses in order to build a mob mentality — but for what purpose?

Update: The NY Times’ DealBlog has more, as does the Boss.


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INVESTIGATIONS NOW

CALL FOR HEARINGS!

canopfor on March 20, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Is Ed about to single handedly take down the Secretary of the Treasury?

Rush is blasting the news to 20 million listeners at this moment.

jeff_from_mpls on March 20, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Ed, I hope you are prepared for an IRS audit.
Great work!

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Ed, I really think Rush has a man crush on you. Lots of metion of you and HotAir in the past couple of weeks.

Good job!

milwife88 on March 20, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Rush just read this. Good job, Ed.

ladyingray on March 20, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Ed, drive the point home and then twist the blade.

OhioCoastie on March 20, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Way to go ED!!! Rush is just baking little Timmy G right now. Can we claim to know Ed? LOL!!

Big Orange on March 20, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Ed, I hope you are prepared for an IRS audit.
Great work!

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 12:44 PM

EEEEK! That’d suck. (for the first part of the quote)

Roger that (for the second)

tru2tx on March 20, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Ed, I hope you are prepared for an IRS audit.
Great work!

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 12:44 PM

I’ll gladly pitch $$$ in to hire a top tax attorney.

omnipotent on March 20, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Segment over.

This story reached the tipping point. Geithner’s going down.

An empty chair will outperform him.

jeff_from_mpls on March 20, 2009 at 12:47 PM

BOMBSHELL Congress Knew – December 16 2008

Cummings Requests Congressional Hearing to Investigate AIG

Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government, sent the following letter to Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) requesting a Congressional oversight hearing to examine recent actions of insurance giant AIG—the government bailout of which has cost taxpayers $152 billion (text of the letter below). The Congressman is specifically concerned about:

* Reports that the company is secretly giving “retention payments” to thousands of its employees. This new information conflicts with both an SEC filing and a letter from AIG CEO Edward Liddy to Rep. Cummings that placed the number of recipients at 130 and 168, respectively.

faraway on March 20, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Ed’s getting Rush all fired up. I love it.

rbj on March 20, 2009 at 12:49 PM

More from Rep Cummings

* The Compensation Committee of AIG’s Board of Directors approved retention payments for 168 employees, including the 130 employees announced in September and 38 additional individuals who were selected based on subsequent authority granted by the Compensation Committee.
* The base salaries of those receiving the retention payments range from $160,000 per annum to $1,000,000 per annum.
* The retention payments range from $92,500 to $4,000,000.
* Thirteen individuals scheduled to receive the retention payments had agreed to delay the receipt of their first payments from December 2008 to April 2009.

faraway on March 20, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Keep chipping away at the corrupt Leviathan until he buckles!

thebrokenrattle on March 20, 2009 at 12:51 PM

You know what Ed’s secret is? He has mentioned here or on his old blog that he was formerly employed as a technical writer.

No doubt this contributes to his clarity in writing. But technical writers are also known for their logic and attention to detail, attention to words, ability to get to the money line in a complicated text.

These are qualities that talking heads do not possess, and thus the MSM fails where Morrissey succeeds.

All hail technical writers!

jeff_from_mpls on March 20, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Nov 27, 2008

AIG: Retention bonuses intact

American International Group Inc., the insurer that said Tuesday it scrapped bonuses for top executives after a bailout, still will pay 130 managers cash awards to stay with the firm, including $3 million to retirement services chief Jay Wintrob.

Wintrob, 51, will get the retention payment in two installments, the first in April and the rest a year later, New York-based AIG said in a regulatory filing.

The firm previously disclosed the program in a Sept. 26 filing and said that Wintrob and Chief Financial Officer David Herzog elected to get the payments four months later than planned.

faraway on March 20, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Nice job, Ed.

Kjeil on March 20, 2009 at 12:57 PM

So what’s the popular opinion, Is Geithner gone by the end of the Friday newscycle?

anniekc on March 20, 2009 at 1:05 PM

They knew. They’ve known all along. All they did was look for a way to co-opt / usurp the citizens’ Tea Party ‘outrage.’ The upcoming Tax Day Tea Parties are looking to be huge and the news cannot ignore this forever. If there’s even one sign or placard with the word ‘Bonus’ on it that’s the one that’ll make it on the national news.

marge on March 20, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Now only if we can get the MSM to pick it up. I know it won’t happen but I can HOPE right?

Brat4life on March 20, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Congrats Ed! Wonderful work as usual!

GinaE on March 20, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Because Democrats don’t know what the hell it is they’re doing.

Which is pretty much the answer to every problem plaguing the federal governments – Democrats.

Get rid of Democrats and half your problems go away.

NoDonkey on March 20, 2009 at 1:22 PM

In January, Reps. Joseph E. Crowley of New York and Paul E. Kanjorski of Pennsylvania wrote to the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department pressing the administration to scrutinize AIG’s bonus plans and take steps against excessive payments.

http://cbs5.com/business/AIG.bonus.payments.2.961981.html

PrincipledPilgrim on March 20, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Tim was right:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/business/20aig.html?_r=1&hp

getalife on March 20, 2009 at 1:54 PM

What in goodness gracious name is wrong with the GOP leadership? Cantor voted for a 90% tax increase? This is why the GOP is in minority status. It is time for conservatism to be totally detached from Republican politics. Convoluting politics, which is what Cantor engaged in and conservatism, an ideological matter is what is hurting the conservative cause. Voters are rightly confused when the GOP representing conservatism in their eyes, does things like what Cantor and those who voted for the 90% tax increase, did.

milemarker2020 on March 20, 2009 at 2:05 PM

What did Obama know and when did he know it?

Johan Klaus on March 20, 2009 at 2:11 PM

What did Obama cover up and when did he do it?

Johan Klaus on March 20, 2009 at 2:13 PM

What in goodness gracious name is wrong with the GOP leadership? Cantor voted for a 90% tax increase? This is

why the GOP is in minority status. It is time for conservatism to be totally detached from Republican politics. Convoluting politics, which is what Cantor engaged in and conservatism, an ideological matter is what is hurting the conservative cause. Voters are rightly confused when the GOP representing conservatism in their eyes, does things like what Cantor and those who voted for the 90% tax increase, did.

milemarker2020 on March 20, 2009 at 2:05 PM

I saw this too. Are you getting the picture that all incumbents must go? If they won’t put term limits in, we must make them happen.

When I heard Newt turn on Rush, and I see Newt trying to latch on to the tea parties for political gain, and then knowing Cantor is Newt’s protege….

Enuf said!

PrincipledPilgrim on March 20, 2009 at 2:58 PM

HANNITY JUST MENTIONED HOT AIR!!!

Brat on March 20, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Folks, Rush Limbaugh started to develop a relationship with Captain Ed several years ago during the Captains Quarters era. Rush notices much of what goes on in the information business. Most certainly, Rush gives credit where credit is due. Ed Morrisey (a blogger of all things) just provided evidence that the WH has no problem lying at will. Ed Morrisey just provided investigative reporting, exposing the dishonesty coming from WH and providing the film to back-up such reporting.

In the meanwhile one must wonder. Why did it take a blogger do what the media was created to do?

Rush, we love ya man!
We appreciate your giving credit to Ed & HotAir for the good work these folks are providing to the civilian population. May you continue to be blessed with good health and a huge set of balls!

Keemo on March 20, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Don’t miss the big picture here!
All congress critters and Senate Scumbags knew or should have known weeks ago!
This is a straw dog, a false outrage, a bill and provision that they themselves instituted and voted for.

If they voted yes without reading, tough, they should be fired.

Any congressnan that voted to tax individual Americans 90% should be fired. But especially those that set the rules by allowing the bonuses and then abrogate the rules weeks later by taxing them.

What do you suppose they will try with SSI after setting the rules for 401 K’s and IRA’s? They will means test SSI and punish those who sacraficed and played by the rules and reward those who spent every dime they ever earned if they can get away with it.
Term limits is the only way to get the country back and in order to do it 75% of incumbants must be FIRED. Mine (Grassley can go after this week as long as Harkin does also).
Not just a Treasury Sec. else Obama will set up a convienient fall guy for each and every one of his failed policies and lies, which is all he has.

60 to 80 Billion of taxpayer dollars went overseas and we are crucifying Americans for accepting 162 million they earned by contract and by law.

Wake up people its’ pitchfork and torch time and I don’t mean at AIG. I mean in D.C and against every loser that voted for the Pinnochio Presidente! Stand up to the loosers and tell them they are dumbass scum for putting a bunch of Marxists in charge of America. I intend to.

dhunter on March 20, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Congressional Hearings?
Would you thrust them to find their backsides with both hands?

They vote on 1,200 page Bills without reading them!
The 110th & 111th Congress Members have redefined Incompetence!

old trooper2 on March 20, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Now we know why the socialist democrats WILL hush Rush.

DannoJyd on March 20, 2009 at 4:11 PM

The 110th & 111th Democrat Congress Members have redefined Incompetence!

old trooper2 on March 20, 2009 at 4:10 PM

FIFY

DannoJyd on March 20, 2009 at 4:12 PM

PrincipledPilgrim on March 20, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Exactly, Let’s not confuse conservatism with republican. We just voted Cao into office, which is huge step away from Jefferson, but he is not a true Conservative. He could be if he led his constituents instead of pandering to them. As for Newt – I am so tired of him always looking out for Newt and when the heat gets turned up he’s out of the kitchen. Conservatives need to take over the liberal republican party. Until we do the LIB RINO’s will keep letting this go on and on.

nolapol on March 20, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Congress, Geithner knew about bonuses on March 3rd

Unfortunately, Geithner wasn’t shaken lose by the Ides of March…

Upstater85 on March 20, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Ed Morrissey with another excellent find. Nice work!

Gilda on March 20, 2009 at 4:58 PM

It’s a freak show put on by Democrats. They’re giving us populist circuses in order to build a mob mentality — but for what purpose?

For the next “stage” of the communization of America. Communism only comes into power when the lower classes are piss and vinegar angry at the upper classes. That is why Obama started this lynch mob.

The next thing? Hey … we’re going to nationalize these companies and give you free health care with the profits or something.

I mean – he wants us pissed off so that he can take out another pillar of American capitalism. Any dummy can see that.

HondaV65 on March 20, 2009 at 5:16 PM

But……….Obama has a committee working right now, meeting everyday, on how to meet and defeat that most terrifying, and insidious enemy, the one enemy that will destroy our nation…the….radio talk show host.
This treasury deal is just a side issue, AIG, side issue…the real danger has been identified and is being dealt with.

right2bright on March 20, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Awesomeness! Maxine Waters says, “Maybe the President isn’t up to speed.” HAH! It sounded like she was indicating that there was some quid pro quo between Treasury and Sen. Dodd to include language into TARP to allow for the AIG bonuses. Do you hear the same thing? Chickens are coming home to roost and it’s every Democrat for him/herself.

DOW down 122.42 to 7278.38. Heading north again to 6000. Yep. It’s gonna be only a year before they work this out just like the FED said last week.

Sultry Beauty on March 20, 2009 at 5:35 PM

This treasury deal is just a side issue, side issue… AIG, the real danger has been identified and is being dealt with.

right2bright on March 20, 2009 at 5:17 PM

FIFY.

DannoJyd on March 20, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Or nature can, he’s not exactly young – closer to the end of his days than the beginning for our nation’s sake.

dhunter on March 20, 2009 at 4:09 PM

No thanks, but there’s a supermax cell in Colorado with your name on it should you fail.

sethstorm on March 20, 2009 at 5:48 PM

********, we love ya man! We appreciate your giving credit to Ed & HotAir for the good work these folks are providing to the civilian population. May you continue to be blessed with good health and a huge set of balls!

Keemo on March 20, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Nature won’t give him that. He’ll rot while folks celebrate the moment he dies.

sethstorm on March 20, 2009 at 5:50 PM


Nature won’t give him that. He’ll rot while folks celebrate the moment he dies.

sethstorm on March 20, 2009 at 5:50 PM

If a comment like this doesn’t get you booted, I don’t know what will. Some of you Liberals just can’t control your sick hatred. Jeez man, what an a-hole.

Keemo on March 20, 2009 at 6:06 PM

I might add this sethstorm, countrymen across this great nation have had it with your type. The finger in the chest, the erosion of morals, values, and principles… Your type’s are hiding their Liberalism in my part of the country right now, and for very good reason. Mess with a man’s hard earned money; mess with a man’s wife and family; mess with a man’s home… I expect this trend to spread.

Keemo on March 20, 2009 at 6:11 PM

The law specifically stating the bonuses to be included in the Stimulus was unconstitutional to start with. Taxing it 90% adds to the screw up, not fix it. These people are morons.

johnnyU on March 20, 2009 at 7:54 PM

Mess with a man’s hard earned money; mess with a man’s wife and family; mess with a man’s home… I expect this trend to spread.

Keemo on March 20, 2009 at 6:11 PM

That part seems to be a bit of a contradiction when giving AIG a free pass.

Our country was messed with when it was sold to the Third World; the coup de grace being 2003 when offshoring took off. Only now are we able to do something about it. Try having a whole region being smitten down for a generation; and having one single good shot at setting things right.

sethstorm on March 20, 2009 at 8:09 PM

sethstorm on March 20, 2009 at 8:09 PM

That was some vile shit you posted earlier. Tells us much about you. Beyond that, I don’t have any desire to correspond with you pal.

Keemo on March 20, 2009 at 8:48 PM

I’m a friend of a friend of Rush Limbaugh (um, if Ed’s really my friend).
: )

jgapinoy on March 20, 2009 at 9:00 PM

I join the many comments praising this post. Let me add that posts like this are what make blogs so essential in challenging the narrative propaganda in the mainstream media.

Mark30339 on March 20, 2009 at 11:00 PM

I join the many comments praising this post. Let me add that posts like this are what make blogs so essential in challenging the narrative propaganda in the mainstream media.

Mark30339 on March 20, 2009 at 11:00 PM

MSM is so over. As to Tax Cheat Geithner, once a liar, always a liar.

TN Mom on March 21, 2009 at 12:56 AM

At this point Zero and ‘Too Big To Fail’ could sacrifice a baby to the economic gods. The MSM would cover for them and the courts would refuse to hear the case.

Mr Purple on March 21, 2009 at 4:42 AM

Just like Clinton and all his illegal doings, the cover-up is sometimes worse than the crime. Geithner knew last year and lying about it just makes him look Clintonesque. HE STILL SHOULD BE FIRED.

apco on March 21, 2009 at 9:03 AM

This whole episode has been a farce perpetrated by Congress and the administration

Ed, You have just qualified for understatement of the year.

Blacksmith8 on March 21, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Rush just read this. Good job, Ed.

ladyingray on March 20, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Ed, I’ve also heard Rush mention you and HA a few times; have you measured whether or not your readership has increased? I’d guess it has from the positive comments he makes about you.

Red State State of Mind on March 21, 2009 at 2:50 PM

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