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The insistence of AIG to pay $450 million in bonuses dominated the news today. There are a few things that can unite Republicans, Democrats and even libertarians. Well, pretty much every sentient carbon based lifeform in the US is seething.
While the villains of the hour are clear, it is important to remember that at this critical junction in US history, we also have quite a few heroes. Take for example, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. While we want to (rightfully) vilify AIG, we also should to celebrate the heroes.
So how can the Obama administration prevent AIG from awarding taxpayer funded “bonuses” to a handful of AIG executives and traders for nuking the global economy?
Before AIG can be held accountable, the US government needs to grow a pair. Or as the Italians call it coglioni quadrati - literally, square balls. Here are just a few humble suggestions for the Obama administration:
- use the government’s 80% ownership stake to force executives to “voluntarily” give up the bonuses
- introduce a very special tax that would target the bonuses - they get paid but they are then taxed 100% right back to the taxpayer
- buy out remaining 20% - in effect, nationalize it temporarily, then clean house before flipping it
- “leak” the names of all the executives that are clawing for bonuses
- give AIG immunity from any lawsuits that may result by withholding bonuses
- hire some Wall St. type corporate lawyers to find loop-holes
- as a last resort, or just for shits and giggles, send Dick Cheney’s death squad after the lot of them
I’m sure there are other, more creative solutions, so let me know yours.
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