March 17, 2009

Tuesday: SOUND OFF!

Posted: 05:36 PM ET

Tonight: Outrage over insurance giant AIG paying millions in bonuses to 73 employees AFTER our government pledged $170-BILLION of taxpayer money to keep the company afloat!  President Obama expressed dismay and anger over the payouts, some politicians are even calling for exorbitant tax rates on those bonuses to help recoup some of the taxpayer's money!  One senator even suggested AIG representatives should "resign, or commit suicide."  1tvlarrycustom1

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! We're inviting you to sound off!

COMMENT HERE! Then, tune-in to the live show tonight at 9 p.m, ET.  We may use you comment during our blog segment.

Also tonight, Donald Trump joins Larry to talk AIG, Bernie Madoff and how he's weathering uncertain economic times.

Then, Ben Stein and Arianna Huffington debate the issues, including AIG, Pres. Obama's recovery plan, Megan McCain vs. Laura Ingrahm and more!

But first, actress Natasha Richardson was reportedly injured on a ski slope in Canada - and one website even reported her death!  What really happened and how is she doing?  Reporters and people-in-the-know join Larry tonight with the latest.


1) Stay on topic.
2) Keep it short
3) No curse words

4) No links

5) Use a name (no initials or screen names)

Filed under: AIG • Ben Stein • Larry King Live • Trump

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Tabatha A   March 17th, 2009 5:54 pm ET

There is no reason not to be able to get the money back. The IRS will think nothing of selling your possesions to get money "owed " to them, so why not do the same to the benefactors of these bonus? Enough is enough. ! Someone needs to grow a backbone and regain control of what happens to the PEOPLES money!

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 6:05 pm ET

Class action lawsuit American tax payer vs. AIG. I cancelled my AIG product 5 months ago. They are holding the world hostage. Again I say: Luxury addicted financial sociopaths. Please bow, resign AND commit suicide AIG! (the only time I have agreed with a Republican recently).

Andrea Dunlop   March 17th, 2009 6:08 pm ET

The biggest issue is accountability. I am a mother of two, one of my children (age 11) is mentally disabled. I recently moved after being evicted. The move has sent me to the "black hole" of bureaucracy to provide supporting documentation re: income, expenses, proof of residency etc. My state tax refund was held until I provide copies of my chiildrens social security #'s and my federal tax return. I make very little money ($12,000 last year) and I am the one asked to be held accountable because I receive food stamps, earned income credit and SSI. If the government deems it necessary to hold me accountable for the meager assistance I receive than whether I stole billions are received billions the same scrutiny should apply.

Isabelle from Washington State   March 17th, 2009 6:57 pm ET

I think that pictures of all the AIG executives should be made public so we can see what greed looks like.

Larry   March 17th, 2009 7:08 pm ET

$180 BILLION taxpayer money has been handed over to AIG so far. They are giving out exorbitant bonuses that are outrageous. $165 Million noted now but reportedly up to 450 Million!! That in itself is enough to get the taxpayer seeing red, to put it mildly!!

But, add on this fact that many people are not aware of: AIG has been one of the most
inflexible, uncooperative, price gouging companies that the U.S. Government has been dealing with in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their insurance rates on soldiers and contractors in these wars have been so ridiculously high as compared to comparable rates by others of such conflicts and conditions. Of course, these risk factors demand high premiums, but AIG had locked in rates 1000’s of percent higher than others. They have been unresponsive to U.S. Government for renegotiations to give their own government more competitive rates. We all know where that money is coming from as well.
War profiteering is another attribute to hang on AIG.

LYNN SMITH   March 17th, 2009 7:08 pm ET


Russell O'Connor   March 17th, 2009 7:11 pm ET

Let's pay them in US Savings bonds or some other Gov't bond or annuity...let'em wait for the maturity date!

Carol ~ Massachusetts   March 17th, 2009 7:16 pm ET

This has gotten so ridiculous. Stop giving them money. Fire all the executives left who took the bonus money – and fire anyone responsible for this mess. We own them now, and frankly, they are not worth a dime. These people are disgusting.

motivatedcitizen   March 17th, 2009 7:36 pm ET

The misuse of taxpayer money is beyond ludicrous; it needs to stop now! At this point, we need to nationalize these insolvent institutions and clean house. We're keeping these zombie institutions alive with transfusions of money, but they're catatonic. This bonus debacle only further solidifies the case that these organizations can't be trusted to do the right thing.

Hopefully, after we fry these guys, we can turn this economy around and actually focus on solving the deeper, systemic issues for why we're in this situation. Obviously bad banking's a good place to start, but there are other issues, like global poverty, that have huge economic and geopolitical ramifications.

The Borgen Project has some interesting insight into addressing the issues of global poverty, something we can remedy easily and sustainably.

Some interesting figures to ponder:
$30 billion USD: The annual shortfall to end global poverty.
$550 billion USD: The annual US defense budget.

Debbie S.   March 17th, 2009 7:41 pm ET

Is AIG hiring? I can sell worthless contracts with a bit of in-house training, I learn fast!

May I have my Million Dollar Bonus now please? This would help me greatly replacing my 401K monies.

Last I checked the U.S. Population was 303 million...wouldn't it be cheaper to send us all a mere million. I hereby promise to spend mine wisely. Honest.

Julaine   March 17th, 2009 7:45 pm ET

Have these exec's been asked to testify on Capitol Hill? Would that help?

anthony from ny   March 17th, 2009 8:00 pm ET

Is Att'y Gen Andrew Cuomo of NY state doing smthing about this? my retirement money is gone & now it's just living on social security & Medicare .

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 8:02 pm ET

These creeps are supposed to testify to Congress tomorrow...probably just going to be for "show" though. Nothing is going to be done to these greedy SOB's until we the people do something about it. But we American's are so apathetic.

Sue Bingham   March 17th, 2009 8:05 pm ET

The bailout money from the taxpayers was supposed to bailout AIG from creditors to prevent it from going bankrupt and to pay salaries owed employees–bonuses are out of normal salary range-AIG needs to pay the taxpayers back ASAP.

Gordon Sigl   March 17th, 2009 8:14 pm ET

I just watched the Judge Judy segment. I LOVE HER!! Is it just me or is that a young Sophia Patrillo (from the Golden Girls)??? LOL She's smart, funny and most of all wise!

Michael C. McHugh   March 17th, 2009 8:17 pm ET

I own 1,000 shares of AIG, and as a stockholder, I demand that the government stop these ridiculous bonuses. I'm a capitalist now, and in America that means they have to listen to you. Actually, I believe Obama cares about the common people and is trying to help us. It's just that the whole system is so rotten and corrupt that it's very hard to reform.

In this "democracy" of ours, it's very difficult to get anything done for the ordinary people.

Chris   March 17th, 2009 8:35 pm ET

I may alone in my thinking, but I am no more outraged over AIG using taxpayer dollars for bonuses than I am about members of congress, who are just as guilty for this mess, using our money for their high-flying lifestyles and perks.

HILLARY, NH   March 17th, 2009 8:39 pm ET

~We need more regulation here. Pres. Obama has to put these laws in to effect NOW. Not 2010! WE have been ripped off for too long~.

HILLARY, NH   March 17th, 2009 8:49 pm ET

The banks ripped us off in the first place. I expected them to do this. The real question is what can we do to STOP it.

shere forkner   March 17th, 2009 8:49 pm ET

I understand that we can not get the bonus money back from the employees of AIG. I just want the names of those that received the money to be public. I think that would take care of a lot of problems. Don't you think that someone knows each of these individuals?

Steve Washington   March 17th, 2009 8:50 pm ET

Really what was Washington thinking, they pump money into a failed company and expected them to suddenly gain values. And they are still considering to give them more money???? Wake up Washington!!!

Joe G. (Illinois)   March 17th, 2009 8:51 pm ET

Greed. The Economy.. Those who voted for Obama despite “Abortion.” And Honor amongst thieves. Where are the regulations alright!!! People ought to grow up.. Just because you like the loot, don’t mean you gonna get to walk out the bank..!

Donald Isbell   March 17th, 2009 8:55 pm ET

Please do not ask Donald Trump the question I submitted a half hour ago. I was worng to have asked it.
Thank you,
Donald Isbell

Russ Williamson   March 17th, 2009 8:56 pm ET

This is about the Natasha Richardson case. I run tremblant snow report that does a daily videos conditions snow report. And tremblant-insider a resort tourist information site. I'm the internet ambassador here.

I have some videos of that day at the above link. The conditions that day were stellar. Sunny skis. Temps in the upper 30'sF. Soft snow conditions. I mean ego soft snow conditions. NO ICE. It was soft spring skiing.

It is very sad for the family. I ski this resort 150 days a year doing the ski conditions reports. I know every inch of this hill. John King has come up here. The conditions were perfect.

But everyone please wear a helmet. A helmet has saved my life many times. I won't ski without it and neither should you. My prayers to the family.

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 8:56 pm ET

Hillary, NH- you are right WE the people need to stop it- NO ONE ELSE WILL! Enough is enough. I still say the French handled this type of situation the right way!

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 8:56 pm ET

Ugh, this is giving me indigestion

((( AIG is synonymous to financial terrorism )))

Here are some of the top employees getting the money we are paying:
Jacob A. Frenkel – Vice Chairman
Steven Bensinger.- (outgoing)Chief Financial Officer
Edward M. Liddy – Chief Executive Officer
Frank Wisner, – vice-chairman of AIG, vice-chairman U.S. Bangladesh

Jane   March 17th, 2009 8:58 pm ET

I think that Bernie Madoff should have to pay back the taxes that people who lost money because of him had to pay on false earnings/gains....Why should the government have to return that money when Madoff was the guilty party?

Ray Falls   March 17th, 2009 8:59 pm ET

I think they should all give back the money,because how can you spend money that you dont really have!!!

Sandra   March 17th, 2009 8:59 pm ET



Regarding Nadya Suleman..........she "KNEW EXACTLY" what she wanted...........and.........."HOW TO GET IT."

Surles   March 17th, 2009 8:59 pm ET

Do you or have you ever believed that owning real estate is the best method of obtaining and maintaining wealth?

Cheryl   March 17th, 2009 8:59 pm ET

I think AIG should be paying back ALL the money. I don't see how contracts can stop that. And, why should us Tax payers lose that money to employees of the company for???

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 9:00 pm ET

Dodie you rock! I am writing the names down now. You are right this is financial terrorism.

Steve Washington   March 17th, 2009 9:01 pm ET

Hey is it possible that AIG has ties with Bin Laden???

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

These scum would sell their souls to the devil for $, I would not be surprised if there is a connection. Or better yet check out [The End Game] . A guy in my painting class turned me on to this . He is doing an entire series of paintings on this. It will blow your mind, in light of the AIG thing.

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

More important, the bonus issue is distracting from a bigger mess: the $44 billion in taxpayer funds AIG paid out to make good on payments due other financial firms. That sum includes
$7 billion to Barclays (nyse: BCS – news – people ),
$6.4 billion to Deutsche Bank (nyse: DB – news – people ),
$4.9 billion to BNP Paribas (other-otc: BNPQY.PK – news – people ), $3.3 billion to HSBC (nyse: HBC – news – people ), among others.

Many of those payments went, without restriction, to the coffers of the same Wall Street banks who paid out $20 billion in bonuses in 2008.


((( AIG is synonymous to financial terrorism )))

Lorraine Bowen   March 17th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

If I remember right when I didnt do my chores I didnt get my allowance.

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:10 pm ET


((Thanks )) Well, we should know how and who scre_ _ _ us! I get indigestion every time I think about AGI

@ Sandra

I completely agree on both accounts~! You are right on!

Luis from San Diego   March 17th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

Does Donald have any responsability in the “Trump Ocean Resort, Baja Mexico" ocean front condo proyect which resulted to be a fraud? According to the Frontera news paper, a local Tijuana newspaper, it costed 200 buyers 32 million US dollars, according to an article printed on the 12th of this month. The article also says that the reason is the current USA financial crisis and not Mexico's insecurity and local crime.

rick from Michigan.   March 17th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Larry while its sad that N Richardson has been injured, There are plenty of people that are injured everyday in sking accidents Why is this so new worthy.

Cat   March 17th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

UPI is reporting that Natasha is dead.

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Kelli... I am looking at the link you gave here. Yes, this is Capitalism at its ugliest! Yes, these people are worse than scum. I cannot write down what I think... as they would take it off the blog..

Canada   March 17th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Mr. King,
Montreal is home to McGill University and all its teaching hopsitals. Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) Hospital is also a teaching hospital to the University of Montreal and is well known for its' emergency room care. Montreal is also home to the world renowned Montreal Neurological Institute – that you insinuate the care available here is not "up to par" – shame on you – educate yourself!

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

@ Cat

brain dead means the part of her brain that is the autonomic system regulates breathing and heart rate does not work. She must be on life support system.

Violet   March 17th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

Helmets don't save always the lives of skiers. In Ontario this winter we had the death of a teenage girl who was skiing and had a crash. She died. She was wearing a helmet and the impact knocked it off.

Cat   March 17th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

No her family has removed her from life support.

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

more from FORBES

Ironically, in the case of AIG, government involvement may have exacerbated all these problems.

Under a traditional bankruptcy, all of AIG's obligations would have been up for review, all payouts frozen by a court. Bankruptcy law is a well-established field with rules to proceed

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

Dodie-Me and this guy in my painting class- he is painting the "end game" and I am painting the homeless.
It is all there , if you look up the film on You-Tube. Look up "the end game" and see if AIG is not doing this. They are holding the entire globe hostage.

Louise   March 17th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

Good evening,

I live in Montreal and it was announced on the radio around 5pm that Mrs Richardson had a cerebrovascular accident at a ski resort and that she was mainted alive and transfered to NY so her children could say goodbye. I Haven't heard anything since and do not know whether this is only speculations or if it is the truth.


Cat   March 17th, 2009 9:22 pm ET


"Natasha Richardson died Tuesday, a day after suffering a head injury in a Canadian skiing accident, a source close to her family told OK!. She was 45.

The magazine said on its Web site that Richardson's loved ones decided to take her off life support Tuesday after she was declared brain dead."

Alex from MI   March 17th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Stephen Colbert really needs to watch what he says. He recently told people to put his name as an option for the new NASA space shuttle, and they did. How does he know they won't actually form this angry mob to go after AIG executives, he doesn't. We wouldn't want anyone getting hurt. Also, violence isn't the answer

Marie   March 17th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

How in the world did the bailout money sent to AIG end up being bonuses for employees who caused the problems with AIG in first place? It's hard to believe that the government didn't know about it. Are they that willing to hand out bailout money without attaching strick conditions to it? 11 of the employees immediately quit after recieving the bonuses. They had to know that the people of the United States would be outraged. If I had any money in AIG, I would immediately close my account.

Jim   March 17th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Your crawler is incorrect. AIG was given over $170 Billion in bailout funds, NOT $170 million. The website is correct.

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:26 pm ET


Please ask Mr. Trump is we could create a new law that would rescind the AIG bonus contracts???

Mindy   March 17th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

Retention bonuses are meant to keep people in their positions for a specified time. People who accept retention bonuses usually sign agreements stating such. AIG employees who accepted retention bonuses and left, should be forced to return all monies.

Rabridevi   March 17th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

Is it not implicit that the company should be financially solvent to pay bonuses-would that be a legal recourse?

Can the toxic assets (an euphemism for liability) be dished off to these criminals?

greg   March 17th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

donald trump is so full of himself. his casinos went bankrupt then he left. he is the best, just ask him, he will tell you. how many times has he declared bankruptcy or one of his companies.

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

The A.I.G people should not kill themselves, but they should get a pop-knot or two on their head!!

Tim   March 17th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

Was the AIG defered comp. or a bonus?
If it was defered it really is their salary not a bonus.

Brandon from Shreveport La   March 17th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

filed bankruptcy at 23 to much credit card debt from college, they hand em out like lunch!!

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

yep, crazy times.........

Marilyn Squires   March 17th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Larry: Re: Natasha Richardson – You said "she was moved to New York for a better hospital situation" – well, that is offensive to those of us in Canada that go to Montreal for the very best medical help and many from other countries, including the US. You have implied that we have inferior medical care here. Hopefully it was a "slip of the tongue" but the fact that she was able to fly only tells me she was well enough to or that she was beyond help and it wouldn't make an difference.
Offended in Canada

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

@ Kelli from Tampa

I have the screen bookmarked and I will look at it after larry king.



Prad Patel   March 17th, 2009 9:29 pm ET


I filed bankruptacy on my motel business. I was not able to pay mortgate since the business runs quite slow...So I had to file chapter 11....

concered/Denver Colorado   March 17th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Larry hopefullt They will find away to tax them to recover the funds ..or either the employees will give the funds back if not they should loose their jobs ..and go on their way ...

terry casserly   March 17th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

since our reps in washington say that they can not stop the bonus's because of a.i.g.'s contract obligations then they sure can make and pass a new bill that would tax those bonus's at 100 %. problem solved.

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

Alex, what is the answer then? Do you work for AIG? No one else is stopping them.

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

"Made-off" is a luxury addicted financial sociopath like AIG and the rest.

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

what we should learn from this!!!

Limit the size and power of a corporation! We can NOT have this again

Christian Norton   March 17th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

What are we doing by bailing out companies? The only way to fix a free market economy like ours is to let the market fix itself. The actions of governments to regulate and "save" an economy are against the basic rules of a market economy, like ours. Since when did the government become wise when it comes to the control of money and trimming budgets. Businesses follow some of the basic laws of nature – the smartest and strongest survive. Maybe I should make my own high-risk company and when trouble comes, ask for handouts. I'll let the politicians decide.

Milan   March 17th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

Bail out money is essentially Federal partnership in all the companies.... but seems without any formal conditions as to the end use of it. Both parties are at equal to blame for. Can the person who authorized the bonuses at AIG be tried under some criminal/moral charges?

Bo Ilermann   March 17th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

The one thing I haven't heard about AIG and their bonus fiasco is the other way they are paying for it. I work for a respected subsidiary of AIG that was bought by them a few years ago after being an independent company since 1866.
Last year according to our boss, our most successful year ever. Because of AIG ownership, we were not offered any bonusues for this exceptional performance. We are being sold at the end of the month at a fraction of our worth, being frozen in our AIG pension benefits and our new (EU-based) owner isn't offering retiree medical. Every raise offrered by AIG during its regime was less than what Social Security recipients are guaranteed. This year, with new owners, we get no raise. Looking at what AIG and their ilk have done to all of us , I haven't been this angry since the Vietnam War.

Rick   March 17th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Honestly, Larry-
Why do you shill for Donald Trump?
He says that the Mexico lawsuit "was" an interesting thing. There is no "was' – it is a completely active matter not yet before the courts.
Every bit of evidence reveals that while Trump did, indeed, license his name (he was not the developer), he led each of the purchasers to believe that it was a Trump project. There are printed interviews with Ivanka Trump where she clearly states that this is her father's project, and that he is "the boss". You would think that Trump would get that it is cheaper to return the deposits rather than have his name tarnished. I think he doesn't have the money.
He actually says on your show he hasn't been hurt by the economy. Who, in their right mind, believes that someone in the real estate business has not lost some value in this market? He is so full of it and you are enabling him!

Lorrie Dusz   March 17th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Yes I have filed . At the end of a marraige. I did not wnat to be tied to my Ex for seven years, it would have take to pay off the $70,000 debt. It really did not hurt. You can learn to live without credit cards. Now twelve years later I am fine ,with a FICO in the high 700's

Joseph A. MacPherson   March 17th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

I find it truly amazing that so many Intelligent people can be duped by this man.No wonder the American capitalist system is so out of control.Watch canada ...see how to do it right.

Geoffrey Alleyne   March 17th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Is there not a case for breach of contract for the AIG executives if they took the money and ran, if the purpose of the bonusses was to secure their services?

Camille   March 17th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

AIG sounds like it has a monopoly on the banking and insurance business. How was it allowed to get so big?

Maybe in the future, it should be broken up into different companies,
so that a whole world system doesn't come crashing down.

ADT FROM FLORIDA   March 17th, 2009 9:34 pm ET


Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

@ Prad Patel

I am sorry to hear that!

@ Kelli from Tampa

Right ON!!! You Go Girl! They are all luxury addicted financial terrorists!

Sue   March 17th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

Hi Larry,
Regarding Madoff,
I think that everyone who loss money should sue the madoff family. His wife I think was very much aware of what her husband was doing abd sshe should be held accountable.

steve   March 17th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

i have 2 investment properties both homes and both under water i am thinking of giving them back, one on short sale the way the market it is going i dont think i will even break even soon maybe 10 years ,is it wise i give them back do you think the bank will work with me however they wont talk unless i am behine by then my credit is shot anyway so why not go all the way please give me your oppinion
just many like the others

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

@ Camille

What we have learned... we need to start limiting the impact any corporation has on the USA.

Debra Sharp   March 17th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

Can you explain what Donald Trump meant by having the bank "take back the paper" in buying a house? He said the bank wouldn't give you 10 cents to buy a home with an excellent credit rating, but if they take back the paper, that's different. What's the difference between this and a regular mortgage?


wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

I wonder if more people are turning to Jesus in these tough times? Does anybody else wonder the same thing?

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:39 pm ET


More important, the bonus issue is distracting from a bigger mess: the $44 billion in taxpayer funds AIG paid out to make good on payments due other financial firms.

That sum includes

$7 billion to Barclays (nyse: BCS – news – people ),
$6.4 billion to Deutsche Bank (nyse: DB – news – people ),
$4.9 billion to BNP Paribas (other-otc: BNPQY.PK – news – people ),
$3.3 billion to HSBC (nyse: HBC – news – people ), among others.

Many of those payments went, without restriction, to the coffers of the same Wall Street banks who paid out $20 billion in bonuses in 2008.


((( AIG is synonymous to financial terrorism )))

rachel from co   March 17th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

When you lend twenty dollars to someone there is almost always an agreed day they will pay you back as well as an explanation as to why they need to borrow the money from you. The government lending 170 billion dollars to AIG with no strings attached is upsured. Not only does AIG have ruthless people taking the desperate taxpayers money, but who do we have running the government that would lend this kind of money without stings attached?

I am dissapointed in both the government for their stupidity as well as the disgusting people in AIG.

Jack   March 17th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Is it true that the US Senate pension funds are held with AIG? If so, that would explain a lot of the AIG proceedings.

margaret   March 17th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Something is fundamentally wrong with this whole mess. The more we give the deeper the pit. It reminds me of quicksand.

Sue from Illinois   March 17th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

While Madoff was resting comfortably waiting for his "day in court" was he hiding the rest of his assets so no one would locate them? I think his jail cell should have all the investors who he swindled be piped into his cell 24/7 relentlessly torturing him day AND night! and every member of his family should pay every penny back.

karen   March 17th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

i declared a chapter 7 in oct '06,,,,CAUTION anyone who is considering this....know your attorney...make him explain the trustee....i blindly trusted my attorney...the chptr 7 was dismissed 9/07..i still have this trustee on my house thru circumstances,that i know he and the trustee were working togeather......and now i'm fighting to keep my house..i would be better off in foreclosure,the bank would help me..this trustee wants my house at any expense....TELL PEOPLE TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE GETTING INTO....i can't find an attorney to help me and i know i have a case....
thank you

Mary   March 17th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

Here I am, a single mother of an autistic son, trying to send him to a learning disabled school and can't figure out how I can pay for it and keep my house. And these AIG bonuses are being paid out for what we would get fired for! Our tax dollars lining their pockets for poor performance rather than trying to take care of our special needs educations! Outragious!

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Ben Stein is always on-point

Aman Madan   March 17th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Dear Mr. Larry,
I am a 12 year old kid from chattanooga TN.
The main thing here is greed and ethics.
I think Bernie dosen't realese that America also has a brain. Of course his family new what was happening. What he did before he was pleaded guility, he hid his money all over the world to hide the fact that he stole and cheated the people. Just before he went into prison his assistant in another country commited suicide which proves that he is what so ever guility.

Pete F.   March 17th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

I have watched report after report on the bonuses paid various executives of AIG, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and others. I am surprised not to hear perhaps the greatest leverage that can be applied to all firms. Most of these high end bonuses (“iron clad” contracts were approved or at a minimum acknowledged by the various board of directors of these firms. They of course have fiduciary responsibility to the share holders. How can a bonus for incompetence be approved by a responsible board, CEO or President. An “iron clad” contract that a bonus must be paid for failure is nothing short fraud. It is my understanding that board members and executive officers must meet a standard for fiduciary responsibility and can be held personally liable for breach of that responsibility. I would submit your reports have missed the legal avenues available to go after the boards and create the oversight they are supposed to offer. I would further submit that board approval of “iron clad” contracts border on criminal fraud which is not protected by corporate shields.

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

Mary-point taken

Jan   March 17th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

In regard to the AIG bonus issue: Maybe the government should release the name of those who received these unforgivable sums and plaster their names in the news media until they are known to the public. Maybe then we will know who they are and this will cause them to feel some guilt!!

Terrance   March 17th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

Since we are talking about the Madoff Scheme, why aren't you the media making mention that it's the same thing AIG was doing with Collateralized Debt Obligation -CDO's. And somebody tell me how would these AIG executive's be paid if the US Government had not stepped in and bailed them out.

Ann   March 17th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

Yes, filed. Not proud of it, never talk about it, wish I had not, it was easy, but sticks with you. coming up on 10 years, that will help, but, I am embarrassed, and wonder about any possibel political career.. Is that right? Any way, it did grant relief, but I do not recommend it.

Sean   March 17th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

AIG is concerned about losing their talent? They same brainiacs that caused this mess? Are you kidding me? 11 employees received $1 million bonuses that don't even work there anymore! These people are crooks and should be in jail.

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

I do believe the people at AIG will pay

Carmen   March 17th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

These people's greed caused people to loose everything, including their lives. Who knows how many murder/suicides are a direct result of this criminality.

How many people's lives do you have to destroy to qualify for "Crimes against Humanity"?

Nate   March 17th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

Why is the CEO out and not in jail for making a wrong decision to give bonuses using tax payers' money to those who set this failure? Shouldnt be behind bars now?

Elena   March 17th, 2009 9:44 pm ET


Kay   March 17th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Can we as taxpayers and owners of AIG sue the individuals who received large bonuses in order to recoup our investment?

Henry Panethiere   March 17th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

More of the same – Citigroup chief economist Lewis Alexander to become counselor to Treasury Secretary Geithner.

Geithner must go & soon.

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

I do believe the econoimic times will get better.... SOMEDAY

Dorothy Litzer   March 17th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

We, the taxpayers own 80% or so of AIG. If the current board and management cannot find a way to break the contract with these employees who caused all of this trouble and the downfall of AIG and somehow force these employees who received these large bonuses to return this money to AIG, we should throw out all current board and management. Underperforming employees should never be rewarded and most companies that I know would not tolerate this type of behavior. What kind of morals do these so called needed employees really have? One of our founding fathers, John Adams would be appalled at this kind of behavior.....contract or no contract. He would say, "RETURN THIS MONEY NOW, OR LOSE YOUR JOB." I was a partner is a book printing company in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area. We never rewarded underperforming employees. I do not buy the idea that "we need these employees as they know how these deals were put together" I am positive that there are many laid off workers who could do a better job than these monkeys>

Gary Lang   March 17th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

The bonuses paid equal less than one tenth of one percent of the money given to AIG. I say, by comparison, we are making a mountain out of a mole hill, Bill Murray notwithstanding

George B   March 17th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

My mother had a stroke in early 2009. She had paid her premiums for 10 years to AIG for a long term care policy. They have absolutely put my family through the ringer during the claims process and made every attempt to cancel the claim because an acute rehab hospital did not provide them the information they needed. They have finally accepted the claim subject to reassessment whenever they wish. Thanks Hank Greenburg for risking my mother's long term care in her hour of need.

Paul   March 17th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

Concerning AIG and any other company, Why is it ok for a company in hard financial times to restructure labor contracts without a second thought, but not ok to restructure management contracts? Labor contracts existed before the downturn in the economy just as with management. Corporate greed has got to stop.

Sara   March 17th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

Didn't all the banks already say that they DO NOT need any more bailout money. And GM also said that they DO NOT need any bailout money right now either. So it is obvious that something the Obama administration is doing is working.
The banks are doing okay, we should be happy about that! In fact the bank stocks have gone up in the stock market.

Neicey in Ohio   March 17th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

Okay let me get this right,you mean to tell me that there was no crosstraining in the high postion ? okay Ben that's worth stopping the press...

Rebekah Thorn   March 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

I use to ask myself, "How do these people sleep at night?" Now I realize they sleep very well at night, because they can pay their bills.

Elena   March 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET



Kathy   March 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

I wish the IRS would tax those big AIG bonuses like they do my husband's overtime! Then there wouldn't really be a problem because they would have most of it back anyway.

Giorgio   March 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

What EXACTLY would have happened if we had not given ANY bailout money to AIG? Everybody says the sky will fall–Can someone get specific? I want a long, detailed answer, not sound bites.

Thank you

Liz   March 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

If the AIG bonuses paid out were "retention" bonuses, why were they given before the "retention" was completed?

Rick   March 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

I would love Ben to tell us how the government is going to "break" the AIG employee contracts without overturning 200 years of American contract law?

Aman Madan   March 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

Dear Mr. Larry,
I am a 12 year old in chattanooga Tn.
My parents have always wanted me to be a doctor,
but i might as well just work for AIG and get millions, for baisically doing nothing, and guess what i dont even have to have a malpractice insurance.

Henry Panethiere   March 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

Obama is wearing thin – Big Speeches – Grand Plans – No Accountability.

Forget about going on Leno – so something.

Sarah   March 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

Hi Larry,

I love your show, but I think we are seeing less of you and more of the advertisement. For example, I just saw at most 30 secs of you before we're back to the advertisements again. Can you explain what is going on?


Rhonda Bailey   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

I have been a Nurse for 30 years and my RETIREMENT is with AIG through my employer. Over half of it is gone. They could replace my loss with some of those bonuses.

Heidi   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

As a 57 yr old woman who has been out of work for two years, I have filed for bankruptcy, my house is in foreclosure, and I have no job prospects. Where is my bonus?!! Bankruptcy is a last resort but it was a terrible decision to have to make. As for foreclosure, well, it's just a house and there are more important things in life. Where will this all end? Doesn't anyone know how to fix it? Where's my bailout?

Ryan   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

I am shocked by the denial of our administration claiming they did not know about these bonuses since Tuesday. AIG's bonuses are shameful, but I blame our administration, Mr. Geitner and congress for lack of oversight and appropriate measures to stop AIG bonuses and spending frenzy. It is like crying over spilled milk.

Dale Luck   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

I heard that the CEO of AIG is graciously taking only 1 penny, or 1 dollar per year for salary. Well, there is the old adage, 'you get what you pay for', but I'm thinking we didn't even get that.

Cory S   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

We can rage at AIG and Wall Street all day but we were all perfectly happy living outside our means and spending far more money than we have. Wall Street may have been driving drunk but we happily got in the car.

Chris in Atlanta   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

I just learned yesterday on CNN that much of the $160 Billion of US Taxpayer money was paid out by AIG to European Banks like Societe Generale.

Would you please investigate and provide some more detail about these payments.

Christopher W. Mannoia   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Amazing: I got laid off two-weeks ago, and I got a final check for 125.00, and I was doing a good job; these criminals run AIG into the ground and get MILLIONS! And we ask these young kids in Iraq and Afghanistan to die for this system; for shame!

Gretchen from Georgia   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Mr. Trump said this is the perfect time to buy real estate......Mr. Trump, I have a 35 acre farm with two homes, stables, in Georgia I would love to sell to you!!!!

Glen   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Want to share a AIG experiance. My brother was killed at work in 2000 while working for a company insured by AIG. The company was a diving marine company. When his widow went to collect from the companies insurance, she was told that the policy had an exclusion for "diving operations". They were a diving company for Gods sake.

Cody   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Was this type of bailout necessary? This type of government spending seems to be at odds with the growth model proposed by Adam Smith.

George   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

The only way to stop this is to fire the Government. They are a part of the rip off right in thier pockets. The American people want to believe the Government cares. They are fools these big companies have bought and own the Politicians. We as a people need to fire all career politicians or else we continue to give our country to the crooks.

john parsons   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Shouldn't the President, and the bipartisan list of other politicians, give back the campaign contributions they took from AIG? Fair is fair.

Dave   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

It is excessive yes, but it was already in the Budget, we had no choice... Wasn't it Obama who started this?

Michael   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

AIGs insurance contracts pay off investors and speculators around the world...why aren't other governments contributing to the $160 billion in support needed to keep this institution that is "too big to fail" going?

Nicole   March 17th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Why on earth are the tax-payers paying for bonuses for people who workED at AIG? They shouldn't continue to get paid from a company that they have already been disconnected with when millions of Americans can't get paid at all.

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

I wonder if any people are praying that these folks at AIG will have bad lives know...I would not be surprised.....

T bloom   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

You just had a con artist (Donald Trump) talk about a con artist (Madoff)
You still have poor judgement about character.
Having Trump on your show will turn off sensible folks like me.
Remember the pitchforks !

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

@ Jack

Then, even more we need to place limits on the power and impact any corporation has on the USA

We will need to completely rebuild from the ground up. Capitalism at its worst. We have to make major changes.

Marcio DaCosta   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

I say let them have their bonus. However, since we own 80% of AIG, we should know the full name of everyone that accepted the bonus and how much. I think CNN should then show their names on the ticker tape for a few days.

Terry   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

I don't always agree with Ben Stein, but tonight after he compared our soldiers dying to support our country to the AIG employees/ex-employees ripping off the country...BRAVO!

Salvatore S   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

I could care less about the AIG Executives getting a big bonus- just give me back my $90K/year Banking job....

shekinah   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Both Ms. Huffington and Mr. Stein are spot on, and I usually disagree with Mr. Stein. Listen, please, leaders of our country. These thieves have stolen more than money from us, they have stolen the essence of freedom, hope and prosperity for the average person.

Cindy   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

What exactly are those bonuses for....I work very hard at my job, no bonus. How do you find a job where you get a bonus for little or no work. Too bad all that bonus money could have helped those without work, and housing, and medical care, for those who really do work.

Tom Dunning   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Some employees of AIG should get their bonus. They were able to get Uncle Sam to cover their losses with a bailout of 160 Billion

bill fiedler   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Wy do we always fall for the idea that only certain people can solve our problems?

No one is irreplacable. This country has a tremendous talent pool.
Don't fall for this reasoning

Fire those AIG ingrates.

roslyn   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

why did they remove the language barring bonuses from the bill during the committee meetings? which members of congress were part of the committee?

suzie   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

The government should be held accountable for handing out this money to AIG without first requiring them to provide an accounting of what they were planning to do with it.

Linda Weinmann   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Even you Larry can not begin to know how scarey this economy is for us who work for wages way below yours and your guests. I have totally lost my faith in the American Dream. Thanks to Obama, Tim and those who are spending $'s.

Debbie W.   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Along with a special law to tax thier bonuses how about a special draft law for these people, then put them out on the front line in Afghanistan so they could actually learn what patriotism is and what it means to support your country instead of rob it?

Dale Luck   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

I believe trading the bonus money for AIG stock would be very fair. Lets just use the fair market valueof AIG stock when the contracts were signed to determine how many shares of AIG they get.

XXX   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

As far as I know, Ben Stein does not have a PhD in economics, which would entitled him to be referred to as "an economist." Please stop referring to him as such. It gives him more authority than he deserves.

Jason Feinberg   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Can I claim AIG as a dependent on my taxes?

David Thach   March 17th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Regarding the Credit Default Swaps that were illegal until 1999, that essentially caused AIG to fail, why has Congress not made them illegal again and stopped the cash hemorage that is still dragging down AIG that we are all paying for with our tax dollars?

John   March 17th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

Direct stimulus = 0% rate on all mortgages with v rates from 2004 and on
California has mortgage of 1 million + why stop at $750K limit?

wayne   March 17th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

My outrage is the fake outrage in Washington DC. When so many members of Congress are lawyers and our President was a law professor "missed" the part of the bail out bill that included bonuses to the people that caused economic turmoil. We need leaders that really care about the American people, no politicians.

Brian Mason   March 17th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

Barrack Obama is going to be on The Tonights Show on Thursday night. He is going to do a magic trick... Jay puts a trillion dollars on a table and Barrack makes it disappear! Very Cool!

bruce   March 17th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

Citi Group has also given out millions in bonuses but we have heard nothing about that.

sean brizendine   March 17th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

larry i don't see how one company (aig) could be so big that it cant fail because it could cause the world to go into a global depression, how did it get so big? and what about anti-trust laws to keep companies from getting so big?
"sean in santa rosa"

Arthur   March 17th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

I have an idea, instead of bailing out these big firms we spend the money in our schools to teach basic mathimatics and maybe some ethics classes. Let the companioes fail and indict their senior people!!!

Christopher W. Mannoia   March 17th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

PLEASE stop blaming President Obama for the AIG bonus fiasco; he is doing the a titanic job of fixing these problems; we should thank our lucky stars that we have such a great leader.

Saundra   March 17th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

I am sickened by the greed of these CEOs and the AIG Company, but I am more distressed by the Politics that are more important than getting the country back on it's feet. The Depression was so bad because there was no bailout for the banks, so, like it or not, it may be the answer to a quick recovery. We simply have to, I am broke and I used to be well-off as they say in my town. I am to old to go back to work, so what about me?

Dvaid Marrero   March 17th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

Bailouts maybe, Bonuses never, should govverment allow a company to grow so big that the failure of that company could collapse our economy?

Paul Perone   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Simply, when scholarships are created at the college I work at, they are created with rules and requirements, some very stringent. Why is "bail-out" money given to AIG without similar rules and requirements for the spending of the money - they don't have to take the money.

Sebastian   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Would buying AIG stocks make sense at this time?

from knoxville   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

every 10 to15 years economy of US tanks, is this a right fianancial sytem for this country

Elena   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

lets follow the culprits bonus check deposits, lets follow the money, and see where they deposit the funds, and put a stop payment on it.
Freeze on their deposits, like a one year check hold.

Matt Green   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Hey I would like to know something. How come the US, one of the greatest Capitalism bases countries, is having to lean on China, a communistic country...

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Is everyone as mad as me. I mean I'm hot at these greedy pigs at AIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Russ Morreale   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET


AIG Bonuses are small when compared to the 3.6Billion in Bonuses paid out by Merril Lynch paid in December 2008 then Merril was purchased by Bank of America who received 45 Billion from The US Government!

Sometimes our memory is short term!

Toronto Canada

KP   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

I am not as angry as most of the people i know. If the taxpayers (and republicans) had a chance to read the massive "stimulus" bill this would have never happened. Chris Dodd put in a provision to allow these types of bonuses. So why is everyone getting upset with AIG executives? If anything, pour your outrage towards Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, David Obey, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid...the list goes on and on. I am glad this happened. And I hope it happens with every other company that the taxpayers have balied out. Then and only then will the American people realize what is going on here...socialism! I know this will not be displayed or discussed on the network since CNN seems to be leaning towards the left and turning a blind eye to the nonsense that goes on in Washington.

rachel from co   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Full me once shame on you....full me twice shame on me.... Thanks alot my American Government! The government should leave it to the Americans to decide where our money goes because if anyone knows whos suffering its not the banks or government its the people. We need a VOTE!

Ben Franklin "Absolute power, curropts absolutely"

Pauline DeCloedt   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Donald Trump sells his name and trust – then distances himself from projects that fail and takes credit for projects that succeed, Is this not fraud?

Tom in Florida   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Someone mentioned and verbalized my thoughts exactly. The AIG execs are no differnet than our elected ( House and Senate etc.) , and appointed ( SEC etc.) representatives.. They are all in collusion and corrupt......whoever believes otherwise is completely delusional ( my apologies to the mentally challenged). These mortgages and corporations should have been allowed to enter foreclosure or bankruptcy.Legal remedies for unpaid debt.

jeff fischer   March 17th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

as a tax paying, hard working, small business owner the AIG debacle is beyond my ability to comprehend. these guys are theives and crooks. If Obama and his band of 'do nothings' cant correct it, then the American people should take matters in their own hands and 'take the money back'...
Time is coming for Americans to take to the streets like they did in the late 60's and get government's attention................because we simply don't have it right now.
Obama and his team are just not getting the message.

Ernie   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Regarding the AIG executive compensation contracts with big bonuses, AIG's economic failure is a "Force Majeure" (act of God) event which all compensation contract are open for negotiation. Without the Federal bailout funds, these same executives would not get the bonus as AIG should be Lehman Bros. Get all the bonus money back!

Henry Panethiere   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

George Bernard Shaw:
We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.

rosemary   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Arianna is right on. Geitner is the fox in the chicken coop. We need a real reformer in there.

Ben is the only one who has mentioned on all the talk shows that we are really paying off the hedge fund "betters" who are well-off. They
won't lose sleep if they don't get their billions. If they aren't stopped, tax them!

Wasn't this what happened during the depression when people bet against the stocks. Wasn't this banned. I guess it was reinstituted during deregulation.

deepak   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

why would/t government simply take over complete AIG and operate from the benefit of the people and the country and once its capable of operating independently, put strings attached and let them function under strict supervision.

christina   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

I am outraged by AIG's conduct!! I am particularly upset that President Obama allowed bailout money to go to banks like these when he is also now considering cutting VA benefits through billing private insurance companies!! How is it that our country is more willing to provide money to banks than to provide for our Veterans? Where is the morality in that? I am a Veteran of Desert Storm and I feel that these people should be ashamed of themselves that they have accepted money to pay millions of taxpayers dollars out as bonuses when that money could have been put into Veteran's Services. We Veterans have earned our medical care through blood shed for wars approved by the same government that is now trying to cut our throats!! I think that the government should definitely take back the money and put it into our Veterans and their families!! Shame on AIG and shame on President Obama!! I was once proud that I voted for him and now find myself ashamed!!

Andrew Laverne   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Great show. What's the ratio now, about 75% ads and %25 "show"?

Luis   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

government should take over AIG already, and the government should appoint a new CEO working for the government to try to make the company work and also take our money back, we should be using that money for more useful thing in this country

John Farmer   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

AIG underwrites my marine insurance. My borkers tell me the AIG insurance division is OK. Why can't we split off the worthless pager division and let it and its supervisors fail and preserve the insurance division?

Sandeep Kapur   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

It is time for government to take over AIG, cleanup the mess and private it again. We are just scared of word nationalism and we in society are at verge where the institutions are not strong and should be taken over by government.

DIANE NODWELL   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Dear Mr. Kng , This is the first time I have ever agreed with Ben Stein and Arianna Huffington both, they should really come on to the congress and president saying they didn;t know about AIG bonuses. Thankyou ,Diane in Maine

Christopher W. Mannoia   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

You know what is incredible? It took this AIG situation NOT the stimulus package, or health care, or Guantanamo, or Iraq, to FINALLY have some bipartisanship!


Doug Macy   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Why don't we appoint a trustee to our new monster Insurance Company, divide it up, auction it off to it's competitors and use the proceeds to pay back the taxpayers.

Perry Miller   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

As greeds continues to work its way through our lives courtesy of the Madoffs and the AIG'S of the world, it may sound old-fashioned to ask: When did we stop talking about the concept of sin? Our problems don't keep happening because people just mess up. We mess up because we're infected with sin; a human condition needing divine solutions.

Joe Quinlan   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

This whole debacle makes one wonder what Business schools these business managers went to. Is this what they have been teaching their best and brightest? How to screw people and make millions for themselves. These are the people that corporations like A.I.G. go out of their way to acquire and keep through bonuses because they are so good at what they do?

Belinda   March 17th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Couldn't AIG bonuses be good for long term recovery? AIG is a zombie business devouring government bailouts with no end in sight. Public disgust at these bonuses may force lawmakers to consider bankruptcy for other zombie corporations freeing up funds to invest in the small businesses that will pull America out of this Great Recession.

Herb   March 17th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

The bottom line is this, Nobody in any political position will do anything other that complain and threat these bailout pirates. Same old Political story.

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

AIG is directed by satan!!!!!!!!!1

Cap'n Al   March 17th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Even companies in Health Care and other recession-resistant sectors of the economy that are prospering are freezing pay for workers. Yet the top dogs are immune here as well. CEOs and top execs are raping America. Good times make them rich and down times make them rich while everybody else suffers. How much longer will the workers of America continue in serfdom? AIG has been crooked for years and paid off regulators with millions in campaign contributions. This entire system of Disaster-Capitalism and Free Lunches for the rich must stop.

Bo Ilermann   March 17th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

I wonder what Richard Holbrooke and Henry Kissinger think about their tenures on various AIG boards now? Not to mention Otto Graf Lambsdorf, former German finance minister.
I doubt they'll be accepting any invites to Larry King Live! soon.

Ken   March 17th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

I may be Canadian, but how do you explain a bonus paid out to a company that really owes 176 billion dollars in bail-outs. Do they get a bonus for negetive work. What have they done positive?

Perry Ligterink   March 17th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Judge Judy-

I am such a fan of yours. You are a very special Lady and I think you are right on with your thoughts on AIG. I had vested interest which is now lost, and feel compelled to express my thanks to you for your heartwarming understanding. Keeping Oregon Green– Perry Ligterink

Bonnie Gorzel   March 17th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Why could AIG send our money to its European groups? Our tax money needs to stay in the USA.

David Fischer   March 17th, 2009 9:53 pm ET


AIG is just the example of what the insurance, banking and investment companies have been doing for years. They take the profit before the money for the company comes. No matter what they are stealing from future for the now. They get huge compensation from the sales of their product whether it is paid in full or not. I own a company but it does not work that way for me.

David From NJ

Ellin   March 17th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

I am so tired of the media playing up this "outrageous" bonus stuff. The same thing happened with the invasion of Iraq. How come this information was not uncovered by supposed serious investigative reporters. What the hell are they doing besides reporting what they are told. I say take back all the money and let them all fail. No one bails the public out. Stop talking about it and do something.

Bonnie   March 17th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

I liked the idea about the class action law suit against AIG, but then I realized, thanks to our government, we would be suing ourselves!!

Leslie Begert   March 17th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Why is everyone so outraged with AIG and NOT with Congress??! It is human nature that if someone gives you money you'll take it, why are we all so surprised at AIG's behaviour? It is the responsibility of the person giving you the money to make sure that the money is conditional on its appropriate use – that is to say, a legally binding CONTRACT clearly stipulating clauses should have been part of the deal!! How irresponsible can Congress be in doling out this money without legally binding conditions? They all ought to be fired themselves, along with the fat cats at AIG.

John Linehan   March 17th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Concerning AIG I have heard if AIG files for bankruptcy, because of the new laws with bankruptcy, the derivatives would have to be paid first. If so, didn't they sell derivatives many times over? So therefore that is what Obama is trying to happen. It would much worse!

John from Redondo Beach, CA.   March 17th, 2009 9:54 pm ET


David   March 17th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

What if all small businesses kept all of their taxes for 120 days and bet it. Then we could ask UNCLE for some relief money after we had a good time for being so responsible.

Vasu Patel   March 17th, 2009 9:54 pm ET


Heard too much about AIG. Why CNN is not publishing Board members & CEO names & photos on your programs. Not the receivers but but the distributor needs to be penalized......

Linda   March 17th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Does AIG have any meaningful competition? If so, a complete listing of all competitors should be posted everywhere possible and AIG accounts should be encouraged to take their business elsewhere. Since it is entirely probable that they will never get another cent of taxpayer's money, then they are quite likely to go under and companies should be seeking alternate carriers anyway. Get out now and let the leaches fry! These execs would do well to change their names and move to other neighborhoods because no one will tolerate them any longer. Best Assessment: these guys already know they are going under and taking what they can get while they still can. They are SCUM and nothing more!

suzie   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

If taxpayers now own 80% of AIG, let's start selling off parts of the company to recoup our investment.

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

stiil mad at aig

Jeff M Ft Lauderdale FL   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

A large percentage of the AIG employees who got the bonuses are British citizens. Also the section of AIG that did this I believe is based in England. So our US gov't can stomp their feet and blow their hot air all they want .

Also why does this suprise anyone? We still have Gov't of by and for the corporations. Democrat or Republican just changes which corporations money gets the influence. See below for why I say this.

The highest campaign contributions from AIG:

1) Christopher Dodd (Sentate) 101K
2) Barack Obama (President) 101K

Info regarding campaign donations is from Lou Dobb's TV Show on 3/17/09

Mervyn   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

About the AIG Bonuses I have two things to comment. Make public the names and addresses of individuals who got these bonuses so the taxpayer can know who these people are that created the mess. Also collateralize personal assets of all political leaders who voted "yes" for funding AIG, etc and for voting for past & future deficit financing so the taxpayers have some recourse for bad financial decisions. It is easy to spend other people's money.

Sarah Blank   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

I was deeply saddened to hear about Natasha Richardsons head injury.
6 years ago while skiing with a ski instructor I had stopped to listen to what he had to say. I then started sking, I was barely moving when the front of my ski hooked onto something and I flipped over on my head. The pain was so intense and to this day I have neck pain.
I NEVER realized until I heard this story how lucky I was. I had a helmut on. I ask that you share with everyone the importance of wearing a helmut. A child and ALL adults. These injuries happen in a split second. My prayers go out to Natasha and her family.

Thomas   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

AIG employees are going to take what they know about AIG's balance sheet and bet against them? If this is true, then the government obviously hasn't solved AIG's problems, and it still has unknowns in/on its balance sheet.

If the government has done its due diligence and knows what's still a high risk within AIG's sheets then let them bet against AIG. If not, then we're in for another bailout....

Donahue   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

Well Larry you had your "Weekend at Bernie's". Now AIG, JP Morgan and Merrill are another matter. The government/taxpayers are now feeling what ordinary shareholders have found troubling all along and that is, executive and CEO compensation. President Obama also need to take this opportunity to address that as well bailout money or no. It is unconscionable for any CEO to reward themself 650 times the lowest paid worker. The absurdity of it and amounts to nothing but a sophisticated skimming game. When the mutual fund I invest in, in turn invests in underlying publicly traded companies why do I not get to vote my underlying fractional shares on issues such as executive compensation. We have the technology to make that possible! Just tired of these pigs gathered at the trough.

Jim Iverson   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

It appears the Administration and Congress are doing just as bad a job of managing the AIG mess as AIG did originally. When are they ever going to SOLVE the problems created by these messed-up securities? The way they're going, just bailing out the current set of owners, means the swaps and ARS's are just going to come back and bite us again. So are we going to bail THOSE owners out next time this stuff goes around? Ad infinitum?

curtis   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

the administration is just as quilty as AIG executives and should be held acountable and be asked to resign.

Cheryle Canida   March 17th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

I support Obama's decision to create a bailout plan; however, I feel like the citizens should have been bailed out instead of these large companies. If each working class household had been set aside a certain amount of bailout money, then the economy would have a possibility of thriving. These corporations have been squandering money for years and years. So why would the anyone expect them to do anything differently with the bailout money? These tyrants are living in lavish mansions, jet setting around the world, and stuffing there pockets with tons and tons of cash; meanwhile, the lower and middle class people are left scuffling daily living from paycheck to paycheck. If I were given bailout money, I would pay my mortgage off, pay my automobile off, and other bills. Then I would be able to afford purchasing goods and merchandise, which in turn, would help the economy out. Once a thief always a thief. They care absolutely nothing about splurging foolishly with million dollar bonuses. They're eating caviar and we're eating bologna sandwiches!!! And I feel like they should be taxed more than 35%. Someone please tell me what does a person do to deserve a million dollar bonus let alone a $6.4 million dollar bonus. That's absolutely ridiculous!!!!

Valerie   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

My reenlistment bonus in the military got taxed some 20-something percent... why not AIG's bonuses?

James In Kamiah, Idaho   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

AIG, in it's infinite wisdom, has decided that the money we lent them shoudl go to the bonuses, and the business be damned. I completely agree. 100%.

Damn your business. It can fail and you can fail along with it. Or... you can take door number three... reclaim our money as it was never yours to dole out with impunity.
And CEO's... we're coming for you. Dont' believe us... what's that at your door?

*Knock, knock*

Sue Stapleton   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley said it best. (waterloo courier)
Sen. Grassley suggested that AIG executives should take a Japanese approach toward accepting responsibility for the collapse of the insurance giant by resigning or killing themselves. AMEN.

giuseppina   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

I am mad, I am furious, I am sick of this mess. Here are my suggestions:

1) have the President use his "emergency power" to order to all the AIG executives that received their bonuses paid with taxpayer money to return it immediately because they were not paid with AIG money


2) have all the names of "these executives" posted on the first page of every newspaper in the USA. The American people will take care of them

3) bring a law suit "the american people" vs. "the AIG blood suckers" for unauthorized appropriation of taxpayers money"

something need to be done!

David   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

Considering AIG is the cause of economic collapse world-wide and the US taxpayer owns 80%, lets consider nationalizing the entire company, spliting it up so it is not "too big to fail", and selling it off in pieces to multiple entities. Also, since the damage is so severe, how would declaring those responsible as "enemies of the state" play out?

Carrie   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

BONUS!!?? MY FOOT!!! Why aren't we calling it what it is?? These aren't Bonus''s plain old 'HUSH MONEY' to prevent these AIG crooks from telling how deep this fraud on American and International fund gambles go. These crooks need to be prosecuted and made to pay it all back. They have embezeled from all of us, just like Madoff 'MADE OFF' with everyones hard earned money. You and I would go to jail if we were caught stealing from our employer, bank, country.
Someone Do Something!!

Annoula Hopson (Mississauga, Canada)   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

To quote McGeorge Bundy "There is no safety in unlimited technological hubris", AIG and all the others will learn just as Mr. Madoff did.

Mississauga, Canada

jr.   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

I feel the govt. is to blame all they r worried about is getting votes

Barbara from Texas   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

The govt needs to just sieze complete control of AIG and break it up and sell it off to the highest closed. Quit throwing good money after bad and then acting so shocked and amazed when they keep putting the money in their greedy little pockets. Start showing the faces and names of the bonus bunch every time you mention AIG's name instead of a picture of the outside of their building. Shame them as they should be.

Dan Dumas   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

NAMES "I WANT NAMES" If these executives are to receive our tax dollars as bonuses, I want to know just who we are paying. They are "NOT just nameless bank accounts. They deserve the humiliation of having their names published in every news paper and website in this country and any other country that would like to publish them.

Citiman   March 17th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

WOW!! PIG NOT AIG!!! This is just wrong! How can any company gave out so much bonuses that we the american people are have to pay for! This is just plan crazy! The goverment might as well just fly planes over the US and trow money out the windows for everyone! We as tax payers need to have a say as to who and how the goverment is going to blow off out hard earned money!! How can this people that worked for this company just take our money! Better yet how can they sleep at night!! Knowing they just stoled from us, even though our goverment gave there company the money!! This is just plan S@@@@@d! And a waste of out money as tax payers! How or what kind of live style do they have or need or better yet what habbits do they have, that they need so much money? One person getting $6.4 million! WOW!! I don't think I will ever make that in my life time or even come close to that! I work for citi and I know we took lots of heat from the public, but we are the oldest lenders in the world! I have seen what our company is doing and to what extrem they are welling to go to, to make sure we make it! We didn't get a pay rate raise this year thought the whole citi net work! And out bonuses are hardly none compared to what we used to get in previous years! We are doing what we can and should do with the money that was loaned to us! We are going above and beyond to make sure we make it work, you don't hear about our CEO or any of the Upper Managment team making this crazy money as you just did today with AIG! The goverment needs to get its money back or tax them at a much, much higher rate not this 35% why not try and get it to 40%? We all know this people will not give the money that was given to them back! This is just CRAZY!!!

Les   March 17th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

How many tax payers are in America.? Not the people over seas or running business outside the USA.
Take the $170 million and divide it between all the AMERICAN TAX PAYERS. We SHOULD get around $250,000 or MORE.
And we would spend it, WOW there goes your economy BOOST


Robert Cannatelli   March 17th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

I think all at AIG that have received a bonus should have their full names and addresses made public.

debby gray   March 17th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

i am very upset at these bonus's that aig is giving out. was there not a provision in the deal with the government on how this bail out money(my money the tax payer's money) was to be spent? i think the government should either take the deal back or prosecute this persons with no reguard for the american tax payer and our hard earned money. if aig did not recieve the bailout money and was allowed to fail those contracts would have not been worth the paper they were wrote on and been broke.

larry   March 17th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

since AIG is an international company and if it failed if would hurt the world economy I would like to know how many of the other countries have put up bail out money for AIG. Are we the only ones pumping up AIG and by doing so we are pumping up the economies of the world.
Therefor the american taxpayer is paying for the whole world.

don davis   March 17th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

This is too funny. It should be on Larry King.
> LEXINGTON, Va - Americans today are self-indulgent and don't make the
> sacrifices that their parents and grandparents did, and the nation's
> leaders don't ask people to act for the higher good, U.S. Supreme Court
> Justice Clarence Thomas said Monday at a Virginia college in a rare public
> speech.
> "Our country and our principles are more important than our individual
> wants," Thomas told close to 400 people who greeted him with a standing
> ovation at Washington and Lee University, a Shenandoah Valley liberal arts
> school.

Gee, we need to be as self serving as: AIG EXECUTIVES. 400 standing
ovation. Tell that to the 1,000's of unemployed, homer owners being
foreclosed, or are closing their businesses. Lets take everything he ownes
and let him live on his S. S.. Oh, I forgot, he does not get any.


Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

Wall Street firms pocketed billions of dollars in the government's bailout of AIG,

UrbanCntrySoul of Nashville , TN   March 17th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

My question to Ben Stein... Mr. Stein would you be to work with or assist the Obama administration with the financial crisis our nation currently faces. You have spoken about Mark-to-market accounting and regulation..... would you along with the ideas of Ralph Nader enact those topics.

dr. sumner barenberg   March 17th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

US v. AIG Legal Strategy: Chapter VII to Chapter XI

Place AIG into Chapter VII. Under one of the terms of VII the US Government has the legal ight to lookback and recoup preferential payments; i.e. bonuses
Once the prefernetial look back is completed then convert VII to XI
Under XI AIG would continue to operate as on going concern with direct oversight by the U.S.Government. All extraordinary payments made by AIG would have to be approved by the court. The 170 Bn in AIG could be consideered DIP Financing

The above is alternative approach to controlling the AIG controvery

Thank you

Dr. Sumner Barenberg

John Kulick   March 17th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

At the root of this problem is Congress and the American electorate. Congress forgets us when they get elected, they pander to special interests. Congress authorized credit default swaps in Dec 2000 without debate in the house or senate. Phil Gramm made sure of that. Folks that elect them also drink EVIAN water, there NAIVE.

JULIA EISEN   March 17th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

Nothing has changed in America, except that greed no longer works. The economic system that has celebrated serial bankrobbers like Bernie Madoff has collapsed. While anger may provide temporary relief, we need to take action, by creating a culture that rewards achievement in other ways besides the accumulation of wealth. Greed will always be a human flaw, but we need a system that limits its expression. I think it's called socialism.

Alfred Thornton - Cazadero, CA   March 17th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

I thought that the companies who got bail-outs were to pay back the taxpayers first before they paid their stockholders. Why is that? Are not bonuses that type of payment?
I am sure AIG will be back for more money just minus the bonuses from their next handout.

Kevin Harper   March 17th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Lock the doors, throw them in jail, AIG to people that took home loans they knew they could not pay. Stop having the fox watch the hen house,
ie The FED watching WALLSTREET

franco   March 17th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Some people in Congress said that AIG should not be allowed to fail. I think it should. The financial industry needs an extensive overhaul. You know, in forests, from time to time, nature ignites gigantic fires that destroy and gets rid of old diseased trees and unhealthy undergrowth. When the fire extinguishes, from the ashes a new and healthier life always emerges.

Dave   March 17th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

I agree with Chris, who commented earlier. The congress men and women whio are ready to boil the AIG executives in oil are just as guilty for squandering the tax payers money on their own pensions and quirks as AIG is guilty of allowing the exhorbitant bonuses for failure. I am almost ready to say they should all be boiled in oil!

Christopher W. Mannoia   March 17th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

It's time to nationalize these large banks, insurance companies, and investment houses; as long as we, the American taxpayers are spending tremendouse amounts of national treasure to prop these organizations up, we have a right to say who gets bonuses, and how these places operate; a short period of nationalization and reorganization would put a stop to these criminal practices.

Diana - Arnold, California   March 17th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

I lost one million dollars out of my 401k at MCI Worldcom after working there tweny years, when Ebbers and Suliivan cooked the books and filed BK. I took the money that was left and moved it to a IRA at Merrill Lynch. In the last few months I was one of the lucky ones and only lost 20% of my retirement...What if we the Taxpayers stand up and just say we won't pay anymore taxes until we the American people can get pertection from all the high level crooks and get some compentant elected officals!

Dwight Gard   March 17th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Although the matter of the $165 million of bonuses is only 1/1000 of the total bailout for AIG, I think the bigger issue is that if we can't trust AIG to do the right thing with the 1/1000th part, how can we trust them to do the right thing with the larger part of the bailout? If we can't trust them in the small things, how much less can they be trusted in the larger matters. It's all about trust. We have created a moral hazard that needs to be addressed.

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

@ Dan Dumas

I am searching the internet for names. This is what I have so far... however many have just left AIG after they received their huge bonuses


Frenkel, Jacob AIG
Bensinger, Steven AIG
Wisner, Frank AIG vice-chairman
Herzog, David AIG Senior Vice President and Comptroller
Lewis, Robert AIG VP and CCO
Kaslow, Andrew AIG senior vice president and chief human resources officer
Booth, Richard AIG
Schreiber, Brian AIG
Dooley, William AIG
Tse, Edmund Moor, Kristian
Bollenbach, Stephen Kelly, Anastasia Wintrob, Jay Martin, Rodney Walsh, Nicholas Kelley, Kevin
Doyle, John Feldstein, Martin Miles, George

George   March 17th, 2009 9:59 pm ET


Why is not there a serious discussion on the options of recover the millions payed off as bonus! Am I missing something?


jay eiley   March 17th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

hey larry i wish they would stop calling the bailout money our taxpayers money or my money.if it was my money they, the aig crooks would not get a dime. let them fail

Christopher W. Mannoia   March 17th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

Hey, congratulations Dr. Gupta! Way to go!

Daniel Fayetteville NC.   March 17th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

AIG's bonuses were contracted win or lose, just like pro-sports, or any other contract. They are entitled to their money, but not from me. I want to know why we're giving over 900 million to Gaza / Hamas controlled palestinians. They will just attack Isreal again, and Isreal will fight back again. TALK ABOUT WASTE!!

Ramon Hargraves   March 17th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

It's simple- we must as 80% owners of AIG; divest this company as was done with Ma Bell many years ago. This company needs to be broken up into smaller companies. We cannot allow a company to claim this "diety" privilege of being "too big to fail.

dominique   March 17th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

. i dont understand why no one has come to save some of the victims of bernie madoff. theres stimulus for all these big companies but what about the people from madoff or for that matter small businesses? i think the government should be sued for negligentyly allowing this to even come close to this level. If a dr. can be sued for malpractice for a mistake, a criminal put in jail for bank robbery then i think the government should be accountable for a mistake of this gravity as well. i cant even imagine any one from any of those banks getting any type of bonuses. if anything they should pay that money to the clients that they robbed.

George   March 17th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

Whine Whine Whine, You people keep voting these bought and paid for idiots into office. They belong in jail. You all work hard for your money but do not hold these politicians to a higher standard. AIG will keep doing what they are doing till we stop the crooks in office.

Clement Ceccarelli   March 17th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

To ensure that all is on the up and up, the president should order an IRS audit on the past seven years of all those good Americans that have taken taxpayer money as a bonus. Its the least they can grant the tax payers, to ensure that adequate taxes have been payed by these AIG patriotic American.

Nancy Snow   March 17th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

The AIG bonuses of 160 million amount to less than one-thousandth ot the 170 billion AIG bail-out. While the bonuses are symbolic, I'm concerned that we have no idea what AIG is doing with the other 99.9% of the bailout money to "fix" their problems. Are we looking at a little mole on one cheek when the whole body is riddled with cancer?

Ralph   March 17th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Can you imagine having the government bail out AIG!!! What happen to the backbone of the White House!! They feel they needed to bail out AIG or the economy would cripple. The system will adjust to AIG's failure!!! People are losing their houses!!!! Does anybody care about that. The problem is the White House is worrying about the big fish and don't worry about the little fish. IT IS SICKENING...It seems that greed runs this country and not the wisdom this country so desparately needs to know the difference.

Danniel   March 17th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

How they are going to try and pay back loan from US tax payers I am an AIG customer and my premiums are due at the end of this month oh wich I noticed have almost doubled so now they are not only stealing from the american people but aparently the are also going to gouge thier customers at the same time how it is they figuer this is not theft and they should not be prosicuted is beyond belief if they get away with it will be an true injustice to the American people !!!

Sue Stapleton   March 17th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Correction: Sorry, I left out a line. Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley said it best. (waterloo courier) Sen. Grassley suggested that AIG executives should take a Japeanese approach toward accepting responsibility for the collapse of the insurance giant by resigning or killing themselves.

bobby rodriguez   March 17th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

"The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government."

H. Bunce...........

Suggs   March 17th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

I Know that many young Americans will not believe it but America was one of the best places in the world and everyone envied it. Today we have lost it all due to greed, corruption and braggadacio. When will we get that status back?

Dodie from CA   March 17th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

@ James In Kamiah, Idaho

Good Evening.... We should all demonstrate in Washington DC regarding AIG and Wall Street

Dave   March 17th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Retention...Unless I miss my guess that means to retain...keep in place..AIG Execs took the Money and Ran...The MONEY should be reclaimed by AIG for Breach of Contract...Plain and Simple

Huy   March 17th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Where is MY BONUS BAILOUT for doing such an unbelievable job in college? Can I get a billion or two? If so where do I apply? Unlike the executives from AIG, I can make full commitment in writting to stay in school. Us college students need help more than those AIG executives who are already billionaires...with or without a bailout.

Les from California   March 17th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Hello Larry
To Mr Trump there, we all know how smart he is, financially
Well ask him to contact me for some business info
We can make it big in Cali if he wants to
He got a good start, All I want is mine, I am asking for his

Thank you

John from Redondo Beach, CA.   March 17th, 2009 10:02 pm ET


John   March 17th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

A deep investigation is in order as to just why those AIG employees took the bonus and left.. A reasonable assumption is that they were either involved in or had knowledge of wrong doings.

I also agree with the blogger that suggested congress is just as guilty.

lisa pongrass   March 17th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

If you gave money to help your child to buy a Mother's Day gift and that child then used the money to buy a toy for itself then who is responsible for the loss?? One would argue the parent should have witnessed the purchase!!
AIG have proven they are not responsible with their own money let alone the taxpayers. They needed to be spoon fed and hand held all the way. Giving them free reign to do as they pleased with the bailout money was equally irresponsible, however it is not as black and white as people believe.
Maybe Obama can now implement the "transperency" he spoke of so often during his campaign!!

Jan   March 17th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

Larry, I don't know why everyone is blaming Obama for this. This all started on Bush's watch. Obama has only been in office for a little over 55 days....everyone expects miracles. After 8 years of sending us over the is going to take a bit more than 55 days.

As far as the bonuses.....there is so much greed and corruption in the government and I do believe Pres Obama wants to fix things and fix the economy for the American why does everyone have to voice their opposition to everything he does. They could come up with some ideas but they don't.....only criticism.

I am just so frustrated with our republican members of congress. They had 8 years to do something....and did nothing.

Kelly   March 17th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

As a share holder in AIG (all US citizens) NO bonus' should be release no matter what the nationality. If they don't like the changes the government will impose on their "contracts" then they shouldn't TAKE money from the government to keep their jobs!

bobby rodriguez   March 17th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

The Money the AIG corportate recieved will never be returned.....accept it.

jeff fischer   March 17th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

i don't know......, it seems like these guys worked hard for the money...
what is wrong with them getting money for their hard work?
I think you are all just jealous............, they are just smarter than we are and smarter than the Obama team. Face it.

Robin (from San Antonio, TX)   March 17th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

Stop the madness! No more bailouts! No more giveaways!

barbara   March 17th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

Regarding AIG, the bail out was to help keep AIG up and running, not to pay out bonuses. I feel their contracts are null and void under these particular circumstances. They should be thankful they have a job and we bailed them out. I am sorry, if AIG had folded, bonuses would have been last on the list.

Dorothy   March 17th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

If action is taken regarding AIG bonuses, shouldn't
Merrill Lynch huge bonus payments also be included?

KC Sorenson   March 17th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

It was reported today by CNN or MSNBC that Senator Chris Dodd had specifically placed a line item in the authorization bill for AIG which "grandfathered" the bonuses of their executives if they had been promised prior to February 2009. It was also reported that he was the recipient of the most donations from AIG for the past x number of years.

If this is true, the man should be impeached!

triplets   March 17th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

I agree with Arianna H., Geithner and Summers need to go...AIG is
politically connected so what do we expect...they are all a bunch of
crooks.........congress is pathetic.....Barney and Dodd need to go, also.
Scandal after scandal, who else hasn't paid their taxes, seeing that
so many positions haven't been filled?

Cap'n Al   March 17th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

If I remember correctly there was a lot of talk about limiting "executive compensation" when the TARP was being debated. And even mentioning it made the republicans walk out on the talks. They also walked out on the auto industry talks to force the unions to take concessions. It should be obvious where our country has landed after years of republican "trickle-down." Executive millionaires and starving, homeless workers. It's time for someone to stand up for the working class.

wesley w w   March 17th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

these are scary times ... . . . . . . . .

Vassie Etheridge   March 17th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

If AIG, Citibank, The Big Three Automakers and/or any other huge conglomerate were owned or operated by Tyrone, Melvin, or Marcus, there would never have been a government bailout! WHY? Because these are the boys that are constantly under scrutiny, always have been and always will be.

kevin   March 17th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

Huffington and Stein agree!! They are both right! What is happening with the bailout and AIG is diabolical. I am an Obama supporter BUT I am not seeing enough decisive and authoritative actions by the administration to take control of this melt down. These bonuses must be rescinded!! The stimulus package is not big enough, the management of these taxpayer funds is lacking proper due diligence, and we're all waiting for the sky to fall! Arghh! Enough already!!!

franco   March 17th, 2009 10:09 pm ET

It is clear that most of the present management of AIG is incapable of running the company. The dismal results speak volumes of their ability and skills. Again, although their resignation may be in order, I am not suggesting that the government should replace management and run AIG. But how could the Government safeguard the taxpayer’s money and make sure that it is used wisely? In any corporation, major shareholders are entitled to appoint their representative on the Board of Directors. Perhaps the Government, as the major shareholder in AIG could do the same and appoint representatives to the Board of Directors of AIG and all these companies that are receiving substantial amounts of money from the taxpayers. Then it will be able to monitor and prevent the shameful squandering of the past and the undeserved mega bonuses that many executives awarded themselves.

There are many capable and honest retired executives with in-depth business knowledge and
I am sure, if asked, would be honored to serve on the Board of these rescued companies.

Bill Bangham   March 17th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

I am having trouble determining who occupies the moral high groung; AIG who awarded bonuses amounting to less than 0.1% of their bailout money or Congress who included pork (earmarks) amounting to 2% of the recent spending bill or our President who dismissed the earmarks as last years business.

Thomas   March 17th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

What has Tom Geithner done since he's been selected ? Fail.

mike morris   March 17th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

AIG seems like peanuts. What about Merril Lynch giving 3.1 billion in bonuses as it was failing, just before it was bought by Bank of America who has received 45 billion dollars?

bill fiedler   March 17th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

And OBAMA knew abut these bonuses last week!?

CNN says it reported the isue weeks ago.

dominique   March 17th, 2009 10:14 pm ET

amazing, those AIG execs seem to be overwhelmingly men. most be all that testosterone. take a lesson, it might be time to let woman control the finances.

Oscar Naranjo   March 17th, 2009 10:14 pm ET

Just this words:


Thank you.

Bis Cooke   March 17th, 2009 10:15 pm ET

I'm curious to know if Arianna Huffington and Ben Stein have the President's ear? To a novice, they seem to have valid concerns and good suggestions for turning our economy around. Are they able to share their insight with actual decision makers?

KP   March 17th, 2009 10:15 pm ET

Let me know what you guys think of the article. Thanks.

Cap'n Al   March 17th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

Lobbying and corporate campaign contributions should be banned immediately. This is no longer a country of the people, by the people or for the people. More like of, by and for the corporations. The system reeks of corruption and fuels itself as it burns. What does it say about the people who are overseeing this TARP that each of them accepted thousands of campaign dollars from the very people they are now supposed to ride herd on. Even a pit bull is careful not to bite the hand that fed it.

jean ray   March 17th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

$170 billion dollars for NOT doing their job responsibly...and the general public is being asked to cut back..cook at a movie...brown bag it for pool....and what is asked of the recipients of the $170 billion out more..take lavish more new out a movie theater for all your friends to enjoy...what is wrong in this picture???

Davd   March 17th, 2009 10:18 pm ET

MAybe the government and media areb misinformed and the AIG execs are taken their bonuses in the the assetst they were "investing" in at face value.

william   March 17th, 2009 10:19 pm ET

well, now hopefully we'll see how tough Pres Obama will be..he'll be on Tonught show Thursday night...we've reached the bottom of the barrel, Mr King..especially hard on seniors, now we just have social security, NO sorry we put our retirement money in stock mkt, NO MORE, only on banks, the old fashioned way !!

Cindy C   March 17th, 2009 10:19 pm ET

I think all AIG customers should close their accounts and/or transfer their policies and holdings to another bank or insurer. If the executives, who obviously don't deserve these bonuses, are willing to take our money as bonuses, this company does not deserve our business.

carl   March 17th, 2009 10:22 pm ET

We all need to stop and take a breath. We've been ranting and raving for several days non-stop about this AIG mess. I am tired of reacting to the news instead of being proactive with the inevitable. Our focus needs to be on the next bailout for AIG. They are going to request another 70-80 billion from the taxpayers. Can anyone say when this is going to stop? All of us agree that no corporation should be too big to fail and it is my opinion that we should cut our losses here and now. We all need to email our representatives and say no before that happens. Let this fraudulent corporation fail before we go into deeper debt because of them. Let them take bankruptcy and hold congress responsible to recover as much of the initial bailout as they possibly can by liquidating as many assets as AIG has left. Make them put the recovery of the bailout money first and before the creditors liquidate their losses. No taxpayer should go in deeper than they already are.

alan   March 17th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

As I understand it, the banks issued subprime mortgages which were bundled and became credit default swaps (CDS's). These were insured by AIG. The government already gave hundreds of billions of dollars to the banks for the money they lost. Now we (tax payers) are giving AIG hundreds of billions to buy these CDS's. From the banks??? Could it be that the $165 million is a smoke screen?

T bloom   March 17th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

AIG has always had a reputation for Arrogance in the insurance businessl. Why should we expect other divisions to act any differently. Greenburg built arrogance into the culture of this company. AIG has been lying about how they are doing insurance business since the crisis broke. Why would anyone buy insurance from a company that will no be around in a year. It is crazy. This insurance company is out of business but just does not know it. It's arrogance is blinding it to the reality all of us can see. AIG customers run away, run as fast as you can.

Peter Turner   March 17th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

AIG – Let me get this straight, the employees that received the bonuses were on retainer bonuses because they must be retained because they are the best. Yet the company needs a bail out. And 16 or so are getting the "retainer bonuses" although they have left the company. Something is amiss...American taxpayer's money!

Myk Donnell   March 17th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

The simple solution is..They must have a CEO that signed the checks or approval fo these bonuses. Name this person and see what They have to say about this.Than tell Them We understand Your mistake,And You must pay this back if You cant ..than we will dissolve the Company. The People that recieved the checks will be subject to taxes. The 11 that left should explain why they left Company.Whoever got the 6.4 should have to wear an Ankle Bracelet.

Glenn Williamson   March 17th, 2009 10:28 pm ET

Why do our leaders keep failing the American public by giving,rolling in doe, CEO's money they just keep having a grand time with? Give the people the money. We have suffered enough. We guarantee to buy cars, TV's, keep our children in collage. Place the money towards our homes, Which will help the banks and thus put people back to work. $50,000 for each tax paying working man and woman would put a big smile on our faces. We promise to spend it.

George NM   March 17th, 2009 10:29 pm ET


I believe the time has come to close the chapter on AIG and the cavalier attitudes of its CEO (Mr. Liddy), its Board and some key executives.

While a huge number of US tax payers are going hungry at home, sleeping rough and/or living at a subsistence level, these folks at AIG are using bailout money to employ their buddies and to secure their retirement/pension. Under the guise that the market will collapse if AIG fails, they are feeding from the troughs and building the nest eggs, while Middle America struggles, go hungry, and being humiliated by joblessness and homelessness.

Mr. Liddy is incompetent, placed there by his buddy, the former Treasury Secretary. The Board of Directors have been “yes men and women”, been there for the money only and, arguably, vicariously responsible and criminally negligent in the demise of AIG. What is left is a shell and image of a company, of no value, with Liddy and his cahoots feeding off bailout monies, just to secure and bloat their retirement plans.

AIG has been dead for a while. Liddy is deceptive in his continuous statement that he can re-pay the government loans. It is a façade for him and his close associates to extend the demise of AIG to enrich themselves as much as they can. Liddy is not a sophisticated executive and he should go immediately. This shell of failure, which we call AIG, can be closed down in a quarter. Those who made risk bets can accept their risks and take their losses.

What is being done here is unacceptable to hard-working Americans:
– Liddy must go immediately. He is incompetent and has not provided any value, strategic or otherwise, to the company. (I am not a supporter of Hank Greenburg, but what he said of Liddy is absolutely correct.)
– The Board members should be removed and, if possible, banned from holding executive positions for a while.
– AIG should repay the government money immediately of allowed to fail. Those who bet on AIG knew the risks.
– AIG should be wound down within a quarter.


It is unacceptable what the government is wasting on AIG…all being done on behalf of taxpayers. Well, count me out. If in doubt, the government should let Middle America express its views on this. I bet it will be complete disgust, betrayal, and unacceptable.

It is unbelievable what is going on!

By George

George NM   March 17th, 2009 10:30 pm ET

I am so disappointed in President Obama. His team looks confused an ill-focused. He cannot be using old hands, who have been part of the financial problem, to solve this crisis. His treasury Secretary should go. He is useless!

My of my friends are beginning to regret voting for Obama. He needs to salvage this issue not before he is consigned to a four-year, failed presidency.

So sad to witness such inaction and indecisiveness. So sad to feel I waited my vote for someone so ineffectual!

(In Philadelphia)

Aida   March 17th, 2009 10:30 pm ET

The bonuses should be null and void because the employees and those no longer employed would not have received such bonus if the company went down. This money was to save the company, not make those rich even richer. A bonus is extra and as Suze Orman says, "you should not count on a bonus." I would also like to add that this prooves that the funds are not properly allocated and the process of how these funds are given is flawed. Was there an accounting submitted? If an accurate accounting from AIG of how the funds were to be spent was reported, then maybe they would not have been given the funds or given a lesser amount if AIG had listed that "Bonuses" were to be paid.

T bloom   March 17th, 2009 10:32 pm ET

No more money for AIG. Let them fail ! Pitchforks for anyone who gives them money !

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 10:36 pm ET

I think AIG is getting everything they want because they have something on the US government. Why else would our government be giving them the world on a platter? Something BIG is not right here.

Myk Donnell   March 17th, 2009 10:38 pm ET

Do Us as taxpayers own a part of AIG ? if So I motion to close this business because it is unnecessay.

Roger B. Nadeau   March 17th, 2009 10:39 pm ET

Indeed the AIG issue is a mess! Since it all occurred under our government's "watchful eye", can we trust that the government will right this wrong? As we trusted them with the banking industry bailouts no less! Stealing is stealing. Misappropriation of in these cases taxpayer money is stealing. I feel we should boycott all the banks involved. I am a small business person and do most of my banking at local credit unions. They do seem to be handling the current situation in a healthier way. Of course they don't have the assets the Citicorp does for example, however a well run business is just that is it not? Now, the suggestion by the congressman form I believe it was CT on AC 360 this evening a few minutes ago to take AIG to court...and who pays for that circus! MAYBE just MAYBE we should consider NOT allowing the repair to cost MORE money. Perhaps the answers lie in areas other than giving away money or spending it foolishly. There is no easy answer, BUT perhaps we should listen to THE PEOPLE. CNN is once again doing a marvelous piece of work airing the comments of the multitudes. Here's an idea, allow Pres. Obama and his administration to continue figuring this out and REQUIRE that congress do as WE PEOPLE are expressing. Wait a minute, isn't that what they are suppose to do? Aren't our elected officials suppose to ask, listen, and then act? We' ve even simplified their positions and now all they must do is listen and act. We are expressing our views as we did AFTER 911, before the Iraq War, and yes even before the mishandling of the bailout monies. How could anyone expect a company to do right with money they are GIVEN when they messed up so horribly with monies they earned? What were our representatives thinking?? (Thanks for the opportunity CNN). Roger

carl   March 17th, 2009 10:40 pm ET

I went to AIGs website last night and told them exactly what I thought, many of the same words used here tonight. Everyone should email them and let them know how you feel, likewise, let them know they are doomed because there is not one American Taxpayer, that is in their right mind, that would ever do business with AIG again.

carl   March 17th, 2009 10:43 pm ET

Sure, just go to the AIG website and follow the contact us link. Send 'em an email and let 'em know how you feel. Two food stamps says that the website will be down within a day!!!

Myk Donnell   March 17th, 2009 10:43 pm ET

Maybe We shouldn't be So hasty .I'll bet Bonus checks were never cashed and their waiting to put it in a bulk account and prove all us wrong.. Yeahhh Righttt !!! AIG stands for Always In Greed

Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 10:45 pm ET

carl I did this about 2 hours ago. Crash their nasty site everyone.

carl   March 17th, 2009 10:47 pm ET

Thanks Kelli from Tampa. We have to prevail at something here.

jeanna   March 17th, 2009 10:48 pm ET


Kelli from Tampa   March 17th, 2009 10:49 pm ET

No doubt, if we (the people) do not stop them apparently no one else will.

carl   March 17th, 2009 10:53 pm ET

If all of us people work together at the same time and on the same agenda, whether we are Democrats ,Republicans, or others, we can be heard. In this case, we all know what is right and what is wrong. What the government is doing here is wrong.

Lauro Silva-Brazil   March 17th, 2009 10:54 pm ET

In the wake of the AIG bailout we come across misunderstandings, naïveté, amateurism, negligence that shake our trust in the government. What are the advisers doing? The most simple and basic precautions aiming at choosing good aides for the President Obama had been, in the beginning, disregarded not once but three or four times. Now one faces with spurious and strongly effective ´´legitimate´´ contracts granting bonuses patronized by the taxpayers money as such bonuses were golden rackteering in behalf of the white-collar organized crime installed everywhere. After AIG whatelse comes next?

Myk Donnell   March 17th, 2009 10:59 pm ET

Someone Guru at building websites should build a Dissolve /Eliminate AIG or DE-AIG. And post comments/blogging etc.. There's enough people Pissed off it would grow Pretty fast.

carl   March 17th, 2009 11:13 pm ET

The only way to have corrected the economy quickly, or at least supported it better, would have been to give stimulous money to the working people. If the government would have invested the amount of money in the people that they gave to AIG and others, the situation would be different now. People would have made good on their mortgages, credit cards, automobile loans, etc. People that didn't have debt would have used the money to purchase homes, automobiles, and other consumer goods. But hey!!! The CEOs wouldn't have gotten their taxpayer bonuses that way. I'm signing off, I have to get up and go to work tomorrow and I never know if I'll be the next one that gets the pink slip. Thank you, CNN, for the opportunity.

George (in Philadelphia)   March 17th, 2009 11:17 pm ET

PLEASE ... PLEASE...Let us all take concrete action on this nightmare with AIG.






(in Philadelphia)

Myk Donnell   March 17th, 2009 11:24 pm ET

You got to be kidding..Shame on Prez. He.s barely been there .He got stuck with this mess..Imagine if a n AIG backer got in there as prez. The shame goes somewhere else NOT on Obama

Nick Sablich   March 17th, 2009 11:25 pm ET

I think American people deserve a chance to help strengthen this weaken economy and by that I mean to give each american one million dollars to jump start this economy by spending on houses, stocks, property, create new business, ect. The power is in the people by numbers...which has way more potential than all the banks in the world.

Myk Donnell   March 17th, 2009 11:25 pm ET

Good nite CNN.. Thank You for letting me post

Mrs. Stoubos   March 17th, 2009 11:27 pm ET

I have a question regarding the AIG bailout-–how come the contracts of the various executive employees were not examined by the government prior to their giving this company a bailout.? It is not a known fact that bonuses to upper executives exist in most companies–usually performance bonuses. Most people have heard of perks to executives–so why was this particular element not considered when the government was considering the bailout? Puzzled???

John   March 17th, 2009 11:28 pm ET

To the individual who named four of the AIG Executives, THANK YOU! what we need are photos of each individual, their addresses including vacation homes, and amount they each owe the American Taxpayer. Then each and every person who has lost a job or a home should gather in front of the homes of these executives and block them from entering or leaving these properties. If they go shopping, thousands should follow them wherever they go and make certain everyone around knows who they are. Make prisoners of them in their own luxurious surroundings and deny them the ability to enjoy their ill gotten gains.

jack   March 17th, 2009 11:32 pm ET

Hi Larry, love your show. Now that I am getting fat eating all the cheap high fructose corn syrup and all in what passes for food for us poor, I find myself getting fat. The thing is, I could use a snazzy pair of suspenders to hold my pants up. You probably have a number lying around unused. Could you donate a pair , I would be very grateful.

S Young   March 17th, 2009 11:33 pm ET

I am not surprised that the top execs at AIG paid out these bonuses despite the past public outrage on other bank bonuses as they are probably receipients of similiar bonuses.

As the major stakeholder in AIG, the US govt should sue the execs receiving these bonuses for negligence and breach of their dity to properly running the company, not only for the repayment of the bonuses but also their salaries.

franco   March 17th, 2009 11:34 pm ET

545 PEOPLE; By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and
then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans
are against deficits, we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against
inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on
appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine
Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are
directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the
domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that
problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its
Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally
chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound
reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce
a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking
thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars
in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No
matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's
responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you
that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this
common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an
excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall
of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating
deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot
force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole
responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and
approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the
House? She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow
House members, not the president, can approve any budget they
want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if
they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not
replace 545 people who stand convicted - by present facts - of
incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single
domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545
people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people
exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow
that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Marines are in IRAQ, it's because they want them in IRAQ .

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement
plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they
hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and
advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to
regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not
let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied
mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that
prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone, are responsible. They, and they
alone, have the power.

They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who
are their bosses provided the voters have the gumption to manage
their own employees. We should vote all of them out of office and
clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.
What you do with this article now that you have read it is up to
you, though you appear to have several choices.

1. You can send this to everyone in your address book, and hope
they do something about it.

2. You can agree to vote against everyone that is currently in
office, knowing that the process will take several years.

3. You can decide to run for office yourself and agree to do the
job properly.

4. Lastly, you can sit back and do nothing, or re-elect the current

David   March 17th, 2009 11:35 pm ET

KP mentioned an article on capitalism in the India Times. Naomi Klein has written an interesting book: THE SHOCK DOCTRINE – The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism.


Myk Donnell   March 17th, 2009 11:38 pm ET

The people that wrote the checks should be in trouble and should pay 100 percent back..thats 165 million of AIG assets. Than people that recieved checks should only have to pay 99 percent back.There for American taxpayers make a 99 percent profit minus late fees , Processing,penalties..which would net American Tax payers up to 120 percent. take that 200 million earned and help the American taxpayers who lost there homes and to get them back..Now would be good

Jeanne Wimbley   March 17th, 2009 11:39 pm ET

And they say Al Qada is enemy number ONE? Seems these finanial tTerrorists are working FOR Osama instead of American President OBAMA. Seems OSAMA did not make an empty threat.

The THREE Republican Hangovers seemed to accepted their positions "with Obama" stayed on to insure he FAILED. They need to be FIRED! Surely there ARE Better people to replace the3m. Please do this coutry a favor and NAME some names for President Obama to consider. Personally, I like Adrianna Huffington.

Paula Davenport   March 17th, 2009 11:44 pm ET

It irritates me when people makes comparisons with African Americans and homosexuals. Judge Judy mentioned how at one time interracial marriages were banned and therefore, the President should be sensitive to gay marriages. How can one compare race or ethnicity to sexual orientation? I did not visit the D.N.A or R.N.A supermarket and say " give me the chocolate skin, with brown eyes and don't forget the full sized lips. I chose the names of my children and I chose my husband. Obviously, I did not chose my race or gender. It irritates me to know end when it is said " you know what it is like to be discriminated against. I know what it is like to experience discrimination because I am a black woman–not because of my sexual orientation. It is true that blacks and others have experienced discrimination but I can not relate to or understand what homosexuals are feeling or going through. Who can control the color of his or her skin. Race is a natural process and, sexual orientation is a matter of choice. Please stop making the comparison.

Jeanne Wimbley   March 17th, 2009 11:45 pm ET

Declare the entire commitment NULL and VOID, declare "Bailout" a FRAUD perpetuated on American people and have AID principals arrested for "attempted overthrow of American government".

Glad to see Action being taken in the house.

jack   March 17th, 2009 11:59 pm ET

Franco,Please give Obama a chance. It was the past administration that "served" 8 long and tedious years that left the country in such a fine mess. Republican Party has become party of the rich. The past administration was an example of an incompetent and ruthless aristocracy at work.
For those poor who have been brainwashed into thinking that the Republicans represent morality , you should look past what they say and judge their work by what they actually do. Or as Jesus was qopted as saying, "Ye shall know them by their fruits."
And, by the way, Palin would make an excellent choice to to run in 2012 so she can help highlight just how ignorant your party of "ditto heads" has become.

jack   March 18th, 2009 12:19 am ET

Paula Davenport, While I am hetero, your remark assumes that gay people are not born with largely unalterable characteristics too. Could you suddenly "choose" to change the sexual preference you were born with? I doubt it.

June   March 18th, 2009 12:38 am ET

Mortgage backed securities are the cause of this entire mess and whatever name you put on this mess it all leads back to the government and the american people. Assuming we are in a forward momentum now, albeit it slow as it should be, there is no other choice but to unravel the mess, prosecute the criminal elements, regulate the financial sector of our economy as never before and work like heck to pay off the National Debt which will probably grow to $20+ trillion. It doesn't take a genius to see this! That's my take on this and I'm sticking to it.

Lori Anter   March 18th, 2009 12:39 am ET


When a corporation declares basically receivership, that State's Dept. of Business Regulations oversees and monitors that corporation.

Why isn't there a similiar "Federal Watchdog" working within AIG?

Thank You.

Cathy Schiltz   March 18th, 2009 12:40 am ET

Larry King asked on March 17, 2009 whether viewers had ever declared bankruptcy. I did, in 2007; after a financially devasting divorce, loss of job, severe illness, and needs of my children. It was the most humiliating situation I have ever been in...I waited for nine years after my divorce lawyer counseled me to file for bankruptcy, and kept working to 'get out of the situation'. I thought bankruptcy was a 'weasel cop-out'...for myself it still is. However, the law exists to allow those with no choice to have a chance to start over.

One note: it is possible to do in most states without an attorney, which I did; and it is possible to do with no must just study carefully the federal and state laws.

Good news is that I've worked to re-build a semi-decent credit rating, and I'm employed and have returned to college at age 58.

I'll always feel ashamed for succumbing to my action; however, it did provide me a way to begin again to regain self-respect..

Jesse Whitfield   March 18th, 2009 12:40 am ET

Looks like AIG has gotten us again! I know we're behind the eight ball Larry, so lets tax those bonuses like its 1999!

Sharlene Goodrich   March 18th, 2009 12:41 am ET

Iam part of middle america whose taxes help pay for AIG bailout, and I truly think the bonuses paid is a slap in the face to all of us, and is a real travesty...AIG should be ashamed and Iam hoping we can either stop further bailout money and retrieve the money already given to them....its just disgusting......families are suffering all over the country and the knot-heads who got us into this mess get BONUSES...please! Where is the justice??

Margie   March 18th, 2009 12:42 am ET

Hello larry,

My name is margie, I am looking for work, can you ask Donald if he can get me a job that pays good money, I just got laid off after 20 years in the quartz business, I have never been without a job, I am a hard worker and fast learner, there is nothing I can not do, I believe that working at a job hands on is better than going to school and learning it

Mary   March 18th, 2009 12:42 am ET

I was caught in a ponzi scheme which surfaced one year ago this month. I struggled through until Jan. 9, 2009 and was finally forced into bankrupcy. The day I filed bankruptcy my credit score was 729. This person stole my life. All my immediate family except one son were in the same fund and all life savings are gone. I am a single 64 year old grandmother and have no idea what will happen literally from day to day.

With this economy and people having problems that still have jobs and retirement, how in the world do those of us exist that are caught in these schems. The IRS consequences will go to the grave with me.

David Bugden   March 18th, 2009 12:47 am ET

I can't believe that companies can beg for money using the guise of threats, scare tactics, and yet still have the gall to take tax money paid by the average hard working man and blow it. Isn't begging begging. Still the ones we should be maddest at is the ones giving out the money with out conditions. Where I come from a thief is a thief, and a con artiest is a con artiest. By the way I have a lot of respect for your new president's stand.

Your Canadian friends

susan   March 18th, 2009 12:47 am ET

" It's high time to divert your attention from AIG bonuses, and to focus on the entire system. The one that's cost you $2 trillion, not just $165 million. Time to look at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, at the people who run those operations. At the role played in the whole scheme by the revolving door crowd of Henry Paulson, Tim Geithner, Robert Rubin, Lloyd Blankfein etc etc., who were all actively involved in the creatively innovative deals of the past decade that have led to the government spending $2 trillion on their firms. Actually, there are the very people who, once they entered government, obtained the power to spend your cash to cover the losses they had incurred -for their companies- while working in the private sector.

The present anger is being controlled by spin doctors. You're being played. They are very good at what they do. They want nothing more than for you to focus on a bunch of AIG minions, so your attention can be drawn away from their masters. Are you going to let that happen? The AIG bonus receivers should be fired, of course. But many of the higher-ups need to be prosecuted. The problem is that they presently hold the reins of power. Perhaps that is where your anger would be far more useful."
Ilargi, The Automatic Earth.

John F.   March 18th, 2009 12:48 am ET

Instead of constant complaining it is time for action on OUR part. Let's cancel any Insurance policies we have with AIG. Stop doing any business with any operation that has any dealings with AIG. Then maybe the government would see AIG is not too BIG to fail.

Linda Reid   March 18th, 2009 12:48 am ET

Shouldn't the AIG Executives be put in the cell next to Madoff? Shouldn't it be illegal to pay out bonuses when the company has lost billions of dollars. Its obvious they have no interest in the company they work for, they are only thinking of their greedy little selves. The bonuses they pay out to themselves is outrageous. President Obama makes 400 K a year and these bean counters ( and not good ones) get 1 to 8 million dollar bonuses.

Frank Jackson   March 18th, 2009 12:48 am ET

AIG awarding million dollar bonuses to execs even when the company fails? They should be ashamed. The same goes for members of Congress, who's salaries are increased yearly, for running a government that has failed us for the past decade. They should be equally ashamed.

Rick   March 18th, 2009 12:49 am ET

Dear Mr. Stein, Credit default swaps were a large part of the 1929 economic collapse as they have been in our most recent collapse. Why has the government NOT stepped in to make these illegal as they did soon after the 1929 collapse?? Don't you think they should?? Thanks for your response. Rick

Linda Ford   March 18th, 2009 12:51 am ET

How about taking the bonuses and reinvesting them in AIG for those who are to be paid. This would accomplish them being paid a bonus and allowing them to invest in the future of their own company.

Charles Jutkins   March 18th, 2009 12:52 am ET

The derivitives and securitzation market should be made illegal . Also most insurance it just extortion. The securitization people need to be put in maximum security institutions. Credit is the problem not the answer. Credit Cards are just a scam to rip off the weak willed and do not provide any real advantage to society.

charlene   March 18th, 2009 12:52 am ET

aig is giving out bonuses?! bernie madoff has bilked millions from trusting people?! what about us, hard working americans? is it fair? big business is killing us off. where do we draw the line?

wesley   March 18th, 2009 12:52 am ET

Why are we allowing these companies (AIG) to remain afloat ? Let them fail , Is the government going to bail out the small business all over america that are failing

Leyla Williams   March 18th, 2009 12:52 am ET

what did Donald Trump mean regarding "take back the paper" as a strategy when purchasing real estate right now? We are in the process of buying right now. Would like to learn from his advice but we don't understand the significance of the above term quoted.

Alex   March 18th, 2009 12:53 am ET

Mr. Trump has driven his company into bankruptcy at least twice without visible impairment to his glamorous lifestyle. He was finally forced to resign his Chairman of the Board position. Is he in any position to criticize banks and Bernie Madoff ?

Ana Maria   March 18th, 2009 12:54 am ET

I would like to know how much it would take to payoff all mortgages in the U.S (with certain guidelines)so that everyone starts with a clean slate just line the financial institutions that got us in this mess.Is it really fare that the consumer gets stuck with no actual bailout money on top of bad credit, no money (lost equity) and no home?

Wayne   March 18th, 2009 12:55 am ET

Love Donalds comments about the financial crisis, and I love his show...and you ask about why the men are loosing on the apprentice...Three tasks so far - 1)make muffins 2)develop an ad for a womens web site 3)sell bridal gowns...really has the tasks been fair?

Lisa Brown   March 18th, 2009 12:55 am ET

These bonuses are actually "salaries" paid for exemplary performance.These are probably the only people making money for AIG.It's unconstitutional for congress to decide who gets paid what.Also,these bonuses were already in their contracts. Congress will destroy our system even further if they make contracts useless!The only people I'm mad at are Barney Frank and Chris Dodd for saying Fanny May and Freddie Mac were in great shape when Bush tried numerous times to correct that situation.(Besides Dodd is the one who wrote the amendment to the spending bill exempting bonuses promised before that bill from the constraints of that bill!He says it was added later, but no one else agrees with his rewriting of history!)

Karma   March 18th, 2009 12:56 am ET

Talk about rubbing salt in the wound – when I called the 800 number on the back of my Annuity statement today ... guess who I got ... a nice young man whom I could barely understand in – – – – – New Delhi, India. So not only is AIG robbing us blind, they are sending their call center jobs to India!!!

What mind altering drugs are our government officials taking in order to rationalize a bail out for these crooks??????

My exit strategy with AIG – pull my investments and give them to someone ANYONE else.

Valerie in San Antonio   March 18th, 2009 12:57 am ET

Enough is enough! Why does the government try to put a bandage on open heart surgery? I still don't know where all this bailout money is going. But I know this, If our market is an efficient one, then it will correct itself. And everytime a bill is passed, my taxes go up.

Linda   March 18th, 2009 12:57 am ET

If the government owns 80% of AIG, shouldn't these executives be fired? They are robbing the taxpayers as far as I can see. There must be grounds to get rid of them – misappropriation of funds, etc. Is their threats of driving down the stock not called extortion?

Joe the new plummer..   March 18th, 2009 12:58 am ET


Ana Maria   March 18th, 2009 1:00 am ET

My understanding from todays news, these bonus checks went out this past week.I say AIG should be obligated to place stop payments on these checks. AIG knew that they were in trouble before all this, the contracts for these executives should have been renegotiated or a disclaimer should be mandatory explaining why bonuses might not be paid as stated.

Ed in AZ   March 18th, 2009 1:01 am ET

Now D. Trump was saying 'They gotta take back paper' ...Who? Are banks doing that for individual investors? I have a couple cash offers out on houses in the valley (phoenix area). But the only sellers with correct prices are lenders who foreclosed (bank owned) .. All the owner occupied I find are out of the market and are way tooo upside-down to do a wrap or carry back ... Is anyone getting lenders to carryback ..... take back paper ????

Does anyone know if this is happening or does Trump just think banks 'ought' to be doing that ... I haven't heard of anyone getting a carryback out of a bank ....

Purnell Kankakee IL.   March 18th, 2009 1:03 am ET

Those people at AIG should be in prison for trying to hold the people of America hostage by saying that they will not explain how they put into action the derivatives in the marketplace. That is Blackmailing the government!

Purnell Kankakee IL.   March 18th, 2009 1:05 am ET

If any of us Blackmailed the government we would be in prison right now!

tothemoon   March 18th, 2009 1:05 am ET

First, I love you Ben Stein for comparing the AIG bailout to gambling. Second, I don't understand Donald Trump's recently bankruptcy denials as he keeps stating the companies holding his name are owned by other parties. Maybe so, but what about the Trump Taj Mahal and the Trump Entertainment Resorts bankrupties. Wasn't he at the realm of those companies? I worked as a mergers & acquisitions processor for 25 years and remember working late nights for the Trump cases. Hmmmm....I find it hard to take Donald seriously. Third, as much policing and scrutiny brokerage firm back offices are under, you are going to tell me the SEC and NYSE audits overlooked the Madoff inconsistencies? I smell a rat. Or two. Or maybe some payoffs. Somebody better pay for this crime.

Winfield Reed,US Army Retired   March 18th, 2009 1:05 am ET

Why didn't the government give some of this bailout money to the thousands of people who lost their jobs. Everbody is outraged over a hand full of low life executives and their bonus's, what about the people who lost their homes and their jobs, where is the outrage for them. It would be interesting to see these executives personnel file to see what their qualifications were for the job they held.

susan   March 18th, 2009 1:05 am ET

just wondering if tax payers own 80% of AIG does that mean we as tax payers are entitled to share in profits of the company when the company is back on its feet?

Purnell Kankakee IL.   March 18th, 2009 1:06 am ET

This would not have happened if the Republicans would have not blocked any action to limit pay!

Nelson   March 18th, 2009 1:06 am ET

NO MORE TAXPAYER MONEY FOR WALL STREET BAILOUTS!!!!!!!!! Give the taxpayers back their money. Let them file bankruptcy. The same option you gave to the Auto Companies. Stop this special elitist treatment for those GREEDY HOGS on SCUMBAG wall street!!!! Let liddy, paulson, geithner, summers, santelli, ali belshi and all those, whose mantra is "to big to fail", let THEM give their salaries to keep those crooked companies afloat!!!! Washington, pull your head out of your _ss! Stop listening to the imbeciles that drove this country over the cliff in the first place!!!!!!! Quit putting the jerks who got us here, in positions of power. Hire the guy who told the SEC years ago, that madoff was a crook. Take ACTION that protects the taxpayer. There are people like the guests tonite A. Huffington & B. Stein that made good suggestions to turn this fiasco around and more importantly to get the taxpayer off the hook for propping up these reckless businesses. Thank You A. Cuomo for holding their feet to the fire!

Marty Hickerson   March 18th, 2009 1:07 am ET

To make such a big deal of the AIG bonuses while illegal immigration costs American tax payers BILLIONS annually is just...silly.

Purnell Kankakee IL.   March 18th, 2009 1:09 am ET

Stop giving out money these companies do not care about America they are not even Americans they are traitors!

David Hook   March 18th, 2009 1:10 am ET

I'm in my early 30's, rent an apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the US (San Francisco). I pay my taxes and make just enough to be disqualified from government program. I'm beginning to think that I should just leave the country. Or I could just work less hard to make less money, in order to pay less taxes.

JUDY H. WILLIAMS   March 18th, 2009 1:10 am ET

America has been raped enough by those who made bad decisions in their business practices. The fact that AIG saw nothing wrong with rewarding themselves with million dollar bonuses after receiving bailout money shows they are nothing more than white collar greedy, selfish con-men who continuing to rape the American taxpayers in broad daylight and in their face. LET AIG FAIL IF THEY CAN'T STAND ON THEIR OWN TWO FEET.

JUDY H. WILLIAMS   March 18th, 2009 1:17 am ET

Since AIG is staying afloat with the bailout money, the government should take the money back, give it to a company that will appreciate just just having a job and who would not be greedy lapping up taxpayer dollars in selfish bonuses. AIG has failed. It's time to buried it.

tothemoon   March 18th, 2009 1:29 am ET

I worked for brokerage firms for 25 years and was promoted several times as a result of my hard work. Brokerage firms are not unionized but I remember threats of being shot between the eyes if you suggested to become unionized. The common motto at brokerage firms is that if you don't like your job, leave...there will always be a trainable replacement. I don't recall anyone being given a raise out of fear of losing the employee. Raises are based on performance. Retention bonuses are common for the stockbrokers but not regular employees or even most executives – just the top few. And we may find out most of the bonuses went only to the top few.

Sanctuary   March 18th, 2009 1:48 am ET

I'm so mad because all I hear about bail and bail all these big corp.
But how about small business? I had a business that I bill with the money on my second mortgate, business loan. I had total 14 employee included me and I work 60 a wk . 2008 my business drop
about 40%. This 2008 I had no income(no W2) my husband job had cut on bonus. To save my busines and employee I end up using credit cards to pay my personal bill and business. Now I'm in debt
142 thousands. ADVANTA BUSINESSCREDITCARDS charge me with 37.18% rate it make sick and can sleep because off them. I asking for some banks who can help me to pay those loan shak off and if me low rate but all bank reject me. My business need bail out or me and other 13 employee will stay on line at unemployment office. Small business need goverment loan. Please CNN speak for us.

Skubie   March 18th, 2009 1:50 am ET

Its bad enough I hate insurance companies then I here something like this. I pay auto, home, and medical insurance and then these people are getting more money from the government and yes I am a tax payer so I am the government. I am being robbed 4 times. When a company does not make a profit or files for bankruptcy there should be no bonus this should be in every contract. The 73 jokers that received this money should be a shamed I work 2 jobs and have struggled all my life then I see this mess. I will pray about this and God will bring justice to these jokers.

Nikki   March 18th, 2009 1:51 am ET

Larry, these bail outs are just a premeditated scandal that was started in 2001. Aaron Russo reported that Nelson Rockefeller knew about 9/11 and stated that it was to create a panic to the American people. If the American people thought that there were terrorists that threatened national security, the bankers could go behind the scenes and start taking control of the American people’s funds. They would do this by creating a panic to the banks which would nationalize them, then they would get rid of cash and checks (which Bank of America is working now with Visa to do), and then have everyone implanted with a chip to track the flow of their funds as well as any suspicious terrorist activities. Nelson Rockefeller basically stated that the American people are “serfs” to the bankers and if people were implanted with chips, they could easily shut off people’s credit, funds, health care, etc. 9/11/2001 was the fall of the World Trade Center to create the panic and to discard the data of Enron and Worldcom scandals. 9/11/2008 was the fall of Lehman Brothers bank and the beginning of this new monetary system masterminded by the bankers. Why won’t anyone talk about this scandal? I know that $165 million is a lot of money, but we are bailing out AIG giving hundreds of billions to them and big banks so later they can take control over our bank accounts and turn us into a socialist or even communistic society? I talked to the CEO’s office of Bank of America and they said that cash and checks will be eliminated and everyone will be forced to use online bill pay and all deposits will be electronic. These banks are pushing this legislation behind our backs and could you imagine not being able to get cash from your friend for say a yard sale? It has to go into the bank and say the government could then tax you on every single incoming deposit or question you about it at the end of the year? We could slowly be going to the way that Finland does their tax returns where all your assets are online and they tell you what tax you owe. We are bailing out people who are going to turn us into their slaves. How easily in the future will they tell us what we can and cannot buy. American Express turned themselves into a bank and some people with $10K balances and a $15K limit are getting declines and finding out their new limit is $5K and they are over limit. If they are doing that with credit, they can do it to your bank account. Wake up Americans!

Ernest RayEdward Walker   March 18th, 2009 1:54 am ET

March 18, 2009
Greetings Larry King:

"The Treasury Department’s claim that Sen. Christopher Dodd [D, CT] inserted a provision in the stimulus bill (H.R. 1) that allowed the A.I.G. bonuses to go forward." - I know we are all aware that Congress Chairwoman has the Responsibility of acknowledging this took place during her watch. Question was her eye off the mark unintentionally or intentionally? What was the difference between A.I.G. and Goldman Sac quest and will to forfeit for their miscalculations and ailed business structure?

Did A.I.G. funnel political campaign contributions that warrant this billion dollar ticket? Are the President’s bipartisan efforts being sabotaged from within both political parties tapping into our congressional leaders’ integrity? Are the moral fibers of values in need of rescue from immoral capitalist plagues amongst our business and political leaders?

Old politics must stop, will the new 111th Congressional and the 44th Presidential Leaders must yield to accountability, credibility, authorization, approval and liability, yes the basic of square business with a new focus untainted by the old expectations of the 110th Congress and the two parties’ demo guard leaders. How many congressional leaders are responsible for allowing this provision to be inserted in the stimulus bill (H.R. 1)? Time out for party slaying—the time is now for national integrity beyond conservative, liberal, democratic and republican line! Leaders what is going wrong; how can we get it right?

The spirit of the United State America’s people has been tried, the time for responsibility and unity for an advancement of our nation on the level is now! There is no dragon to slay: although there is a nation to save!

A Presidential Bipartisan Review Board must be locked into place to avoid any further unexplainable lack of fiduciary, knowledge, understanding, and intent when it comes to the absolute S.M.A.R.T. plans our experts and political/bipartisan leaders negotiate and endorse. We seek to be raised above the fallen nature of divided principles so that we can collectively nurture our many crises and support the rebirth of the USA .

Once we are all on the same page there will be no fear, all will be well”

God Bless America,
In spirit and truth,
E. RayE. Walker
Ernest RayEdward Walker

Nikki   March 18th, 2009 2:06 am ET

What is really interesting is how the banks instituted Check 21 which processes debits to your account for checks as an EFT. But on the other hand they hold your refunds from vendors through your check card up to 30 days for their benefit for making interest. Also, they are pushing the debits through your bank account first and holding your deposits. On the front end they are getting tax payer money for bail outs, and then on the back end they are making more interest on your deposits, as well as running your checking account into the negative on purpose so they can make a ton of overdraft each branch manager has to make their revenue quota for the month. I am sick of the banks. I am a laid off Sr. Financial Analyst and I have to fill out a weekly form to get my measly unemployment check. I think that CNN should have a headline calling this banking scandal "The New American Slavery." African Americans talk about how they feel about their ancestors that were apart of the slavery in US history, but we should talk about how we are all now becoming slaves. It makes you sick. You get a loan for a new either lose your job and lose your house and then an attorney comes after you for the variance...or you pay your house off and you are late a couple of months on last years property tax and the county hires an attorney to get a judgment against you to sell the property underneath you to build revenue for the attorney's office and the county. Or there is imminent domain and your house could be taken...or how about a scam artist comes by and decides to get hurt on your property. Why does it feel that you cannot breathe in America and are always looking over your shoulder to keep the things you have? I am beginning to hate it here and feel I am living in a constant prison. It is so oppressive and we are not free here.

Becky   March 18th, 2009 2:09 am ET

The government is as corrupt as the Banks they are bailing out, Everyone serving a political office has their hand in the pocket of big business one way or another,if president obama is truly commited to making things right in this country,he will stand behind the american citizens who voted him in office,we trust him to restore our faith in government,the only way for him to save face over this disaster is to help the people who pay the salaries of our elected officials who are once again,doing business as usual using the tax payers to benefit themselves,help us all by putting the money in the hands of the people who have the most to loose,I guarantee you we will not let our country fail,we fight for it, we love it, and most of us would die for it ,let us restore the economy,give us the money !

K. Zimmern   March 18th, 2009 2:22 am ET

Isn't an excise tax law directed at the AIG bonus recipients an "ex post facto" or "bill of attainder" forbidden by Article I, section 9, clause 3 of the United States Constitution? (The States are forbidden from enacting these laws by Art. 1, sec. 10.)

Even if it is not an ex post facto, isn't a 100% tax on the bonus recipients a "taking" forbidden by the 5th Amendment of the Constitution?

Why are all these politicians who voted for gifting AIG, surprised that AIG is gifting themselves?

Diane E. Nemeth, RN   March 18th, 2009 2:59 am ET

Thanks Larry for you show and this blog. What part of Maslow's Triangle are these AIG intelligencia working at? It must be the very bottom of bottoms. With this country in big financial trouble you think people would work together. I did not vote for Obama but I want him to success for this country's sake. I even continue to contribute to my 401K because I would never make a run for it and contribute to making the market crash and I am probably considered only middle class not by any means comfortable and stable financially. Some ethical values of these AIG brass are totally nil or maybe they are just idiots. Well what goes around comes around. I have seen it over and over. These people are on a suicide mission and do not realize it yet. Thanks again Larry and stay well.. Have a great day. Sincerely, Diane

Maudie   March 18th, 2009 3:50 am ET

please no more BAILOUTS!

Ron Chen   March 18th, 2009 3:52 am ET

The definition of the word "bonus" is "incentive paid for exceptional merit." What is the "exceptional merit" those AIG executives showed in the last couple of years? Why AIG has not been asked to justify those bonuses based on "merit?"

Kay   March 18th, 2009 3:53 am ET

Class Discrimination: AIG verses US Auto Industry/UAW

AIG is one of the Largest Culprits that caused the Melt Down the ENTIRE WORLD'S ECONOMY, yet they have been treated with kid gloves while the US Auto Industry and the UAW Members have been treated like Dog Crap under people's shoes!!!!! I say it is class discrimination!!!!Just because "we" don't work on Wall St., just because we don't have Harvard/Yale or wherever Economic or Business Degrees, just because "we" actually work for a living, just because "we" actually make something we are somehow worthless and expendible??? At least "we" aren't stupid enough to play craps games with peoples jobs, pensions, savings, homes and send the world's economy in a tail spin to the bottom.

My husband works for GM, so I have kept up on the congressional hearings, terms of the LOANS and the new UAW contract. The Auto Industry and the UAW were raked over the coals by congress, the media and several of the American people after and during their visit to congress last September. They were blamed and told it was their fault they were losing so much money; even though the facts show that before the economy started taking a dive GM's stock was $43 a share, not a great number, but none the less $43 a share. Since that time because of the further deterioration of the economy, congress running them into the ground and the media trashing them their stock is now worth $2.20 a share. BTW, they asked for $17 billion in loans to share between 2 companies.


1. All corporate jets are gone

2. CEO's make $1 a yr.

3. No money could be spend out of the country from the loans.

4. ABSOLUTELY NO BONUSES FOR ANYONE!!! Hourly hasn't even received a bonus in 2 yrs. and it was a sm. bonus then.

5. Several Plants have been shut down, thousands and thousands are now out of a job.

6. Several Dealerships were forced to be shut down.

7. UAW Contracts were renegotiated!!! They all had to take a $1 ph cost of living pay cut. Wage increases are on hold indefinitely, the jobs bank was closed, health care and retirement benefits have been decreases and changed. All over time has been cut except for essential services. Laid off employees sub pay and health insurance has been partially cut.

Now let's talk AIG: THEY HAVE RECEIVED $180,000,000,000 in YOUR HARD EARNED TAX DOLLARS!!!! The CEO's that have left since the melt down have been give multimillion dollar walking bonuses. The current CEO is only making a $1 a yr. because OUR GOVERNMENT put that person there.

1. AIG made 73 millionaires in the unit which lost all of OUR MONEY!!!!

-one bonus was $6.4 million

– six employees were given more than $4 million

-Fifteen people received bonuses of more than $2 million

-51 people received bonuses of $1 million to $2 million. Eleven of those who received “retention” bonuses of $1 million or more are no longer working at A.I.G., including someone who received $4.6 million

2. As far as I know they still have all of their Corporate Jets.

3. The top 5 banks AIG paid off with YOUR TAX DOLLARS were European banks


esther rodriguez   March 18th, 2009 3:55 am ET

On AIG Bailout: The bailout is suppose to help the company stay afloat but not a bailout to pay out bonuses! The company has failed, so why reward them for their incompetence? If bonuses will be given out, then the recipients of these bonuses are receiving blood money.
Evidently, these recipients have no conscience and just plain greedy.

Wolfy   March 18th, 2009 3:57 am ET

Too big to fail? Too BIG to fail? Didn't we split up Ma' Bell and AT&T, took Microsoft to court for that? Isn't that called a MONOPOLY???!?

susan seidman   March 18th, 2009 4:17 am ET

i think that like eveyone else the aig bonuses are riduculous. i also have a very different perspective because my son is an employee of one of aig's very successful divisins and it hurts me to hear and see people talk badly about the whole company when ther also some very good and honest employees that work there. most of the lying and cheating that occued was in one division known as the financial products division based in fact mostly in london really than the usa' i just think should be made more aware of this. thank you for your consideration.

Maudie   March 18th, 2009 4:18 am ET

I Paula Davenport must agree with Jack, you see I'm afro american too, and I see kids everyday that are gay and that are born that way. You tell me the a 6 or 7 year old child chose to be gay? I think it's time that everyone have the right to love and marry who they want too. I also feel that the soldiers that are gay in Iraq who have died in this war atleast deserve the right to live their lives the way that makes the happy. People it's time to stop passing judgement on others. Let all live and be happy. Give them their rights.

reza banifazl   March 18th, 2009 4:44 am ET

there is an old saying that if someone claimes that is able to throw a stone for hundred of yards, but chooses the bigest stone available,
then you know that there is no truth for the claim.
I thought change will start little by little, so it made sense to accept the claim. but now we see how big the stone is and how difficult it is to accomplish the mission.

Chris Wenborn   March 18th, 2009 5:42 am ET

How grossly insensitive. American jobless at record highs and a global financial crisis which is causing housholds to worry about if and when the next pay check will arrive and Larry king interviews a RICH man, Donald Trump, who openly bragged how he is taking advantage of the current situation by buying land at knock down prices in order to make himself more rich in the future. No thoughts for the working man, the supposed backbone of the Ameican way, struggling whilst the idle rich prosper.

Frida   March 18th, 2009 5:53 am ET

Disclose the names of the recipients of these bonuses-with their pictures.
Sue AIG for the return of the bailout funds.
Fire Geitner and Bernanke.
Stand up American people, protest, write to Pres. Obama & your
congressman, governor, etc.
Protest sign "Return our Tax Dollars" AIG return the bailout funds to the American people".

Chris   March 18th, 2009 6:03 am ET

Its a shame that these multi national companies cry poor and hold the country hostage but are the first ones to pass on fees to the little tax paying consumer who has kept them afloat.

They are corporate terrorists. How many lives have they ruined with whats been happening with people losing their jobs causing stress on families unsure how their next bill will be paid.

The real losers as usual with all of this are the hard working average person who is unsure if they will have a job tommorrow.

The fat cats who have put the world in this situation have locked their millions of dollars away already in their swiss bank accounts.

Lori Anter   March 18th, 2009 9:45 am ET

Why isn't there an inside Federal "watchdog" within AIG just like any company that goes into receivership. That's what happens to any other another comany when they go into receivership. They get monitored and audited by that State's Dept. of Business Regulations!!!

robbie   March 18th, 2009 10:05 am ET


Troy Lee Thomas   March 18th, 2009 11:41 am ET

Almighty God intervention: My kidney was failing so the doctors told me. One kidney doctor said that I need three dialysis a week. As my wife and I got on the freeway going home from the doctor office , the Holy Spirit said to me strongly "No you don't, No you don't, No you don't". That night, Divine Almighty God woke me up at 2am and God talked with me about thirty minutes. God said to me "I know you, you are Troy Lee Thomas Idabel" (the small town I was born in and went to school there. God said "I created you, I know all about you and I am going to heal you right now and the doctors will see! They are fraudulent and I will deal with them." God said , "I know your wife. her name is Laura Mae Sandersand her mother name is Lula mae Sanders and her brothers are Adolph, Terry, and Jimmy Lou". We all grew up together and still know each other. SO happened , I had to go to the VA that day for LAB and the LAB showed my renin number was down from 3.1 to .38. I have been happy since God Almighty healed my kidney three weeks ago. Believe what I telling you Larry.

Steve Sadowy   March 18th, 2009 6:38 pm ET

Tom Dodd has to does the clown from Mass.-Barney Frank. It's so obvious that they are two of the most "self-serving" politicians around. Barney Frank slurs his words so bad -always–you wonder if he eats porridge everyday....and he should remove that constant grin from his face--regardless who he dated last nite.
I'm in the financial services industry, and have been (for 34 years), and the public now trusts NO ONE with investment advice. How many Madoff's and AIG Swap Guys are out there? Credibility from everyone, outside of the current clients one has, has vanished....and no one can blame them.

Steve Sadowy,CLU

Steve Washington   March 18th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

Is there anyone in Congress we can trust or even in the financial markets, How can this happen and America just sits back and be forced to take it. Kevin Costner said it best in JFK, I am ashamed to be an American today! This is so much a have and have not situation, If a regular guy were to pull this they would be locked up. Where are the indictments on Dodd, and AIG??

Pauline   March 20th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

The American Congress should pass legislation to raid the off shore bank accounts of Republican backed companies for the trillions made on contracts for the Iraq War awarded during Bush's presidency. The trillions could be used to get the economy back on track.
Where did the money go ? Track it down and get it back!!!

kathy lyons   June 18th, 2010 11:22 am ET

I can not believe Cheri Jacobus on CNN today. She is a nut case. Saying that president obama is doing a terrible job of running our country. She said he was weak in his speech. I believe it's because he asked if anyone has other ideas of how to do with this oil spill to let him know. If he doesn't ask for input then he's a dictator and won't listen to anyone(republicans). I'm so sick of these jealous republicans. What are they doing to help the american people and oil spill. Just bashing the president is a waste of our time Cheri Jacobus!! Do something to help. Go to the gulf and pick up oil!!!!

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