Obama Hits AIG on Bonuses

Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:32pm

President Barack Obama on Monday slammed the insurer American International Group for providing huge bonuses to executives even as it takes federal bailout money — and he directed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to see what he could do to stop it.

“This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed,— Obama said during remarks at the top of an East Room event that was otherwise focused on small business. “Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay.—

Geithner will “pursue every legal avenue to block these bonuses,— Obama said.

The president added that AIG’s action, which the company says it is contractually obligated to take, underscores the need for overhauling the financial system.