Obama angry over AIG's huge bonuses, vows to block them

US president Barack Obama Monday added his anger to mounting criticism of the bailed-out insurance giant American International Group Inc (AIG) over its payment of huge bonuses and vowed to block them, dpa reported.

The firm has revealed it intends to hand out 1 billion dollars in reward pay, including 165 million dollars already given to the very traders who sold financial instruments that helped trigger the global credit crisis.

"This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed," Obama told a group of small business owners. "I mean, how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?"

AIG head Edward Liddy described the bonus plans in a letter to US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner over the weekend.

Obama said he had asked Geithner to "pursue every single legal avenue" to block payment of the bonuses. Meanwhile, in New York, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has vowed to take legal steps by late Monday if AIG does not divulge the names of bonus recipients.

Last year, the US government took 80 per cent ownership of the firm in exchange for its bailout of AIG, which has reached 200 billion dollars over four successive rescue measures since September.

The firm is a key to the global crisis since it has insured so many of the shaky financial derivatives and instruments, such as credit-default swaps and bundled mortgage securities, that have turned sour and eroded the financial system.

The bonus plans have stirred anew debate about how far the US government can go in dictating to private firms how they conduct their business, even if they are on a government lifeline. It has also increased pressure for stricter regulation on the financial industry.

AIG claims it is legally obligated to pay the bonuses, which it says are needed to retain good talent andt were included in contracts before the bailout.

The flamboyant Barney Frank, chairman of the House of Representatives financial services committee, told NBC news Monday that AIG was "rewarding incompetence."

"These bonuses are going to people who screwed this thing up enormously, who made terrible decisions," he said. "If they were in high school, they wouldn't have gotten retention, they would have gotten detention."

AIG, under pressure from Congress to reveal how it has spent the government's money, has also detailed the disbursement of an estimated 90 billion dollars to struggling banks to date.

Two foreign banks were among the top three recipients - Societe Generale of France, with 11.9 billion dollars, and Deutsche Bank, Germanys biggest lender, with 11.8 billion dollars, Bloomberg financial news service reported.

The biggest chunk went to New York-based Goldman Sachs, with 12.9 billion dollars.

AIG, which does business worldwide, nearly collapsed in September after credit-rating downgrades forced the insurer to make payments to banks that had bought swaps. Its securities-lending programme, which invested in sub-prime mortgage holdings, also had a huge shortfall.

Earlier this month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke slammed AIG for taking needless risks and helping bring the US financial system to its knees.

In testimony before Congress, Bernanke said AIG was critical to the stability of the wider financial system, but he was uneasy about the government's nearly 200- billion-dollar investment in the world's largest insurance company.

"If there is a single episode (of the financial crisis) that has made me more angry, I can't think of one," Bernanke told the Senate Budget Committee.

Personnel changes at AccessBank
Personnel changes at AccessBank
EY Azerbaijan invites small and medium sized companies to take part in ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™’ 2020-2021 competition
EY Azerbaijan invites small and medium sized companies to take part in ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™’ 2020-2021 competition
"Together we are POWER": ENGINET supports injured children in Ganja city (FOTO)
"Together we are POWER": ENGINET supports injured children in Ganja city (FOTO)
Loading Bars
Brexit goes down to the wire: EU and UK say big differences remain
Iran expected to reduce potato production
Azerbaijan national team won silver and bronze medals at 36th European Championship in Ukraine
Diesel fuel production down in Azerbaijan
Кazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender to buy batteries
Export of grain and legumes by Turkey to Iran down
Turkey registers nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases as recoveries surpass 390,000
Kazakhstan has high hopes for homegrown COVID-19 vaccine - Minister
Georgia expect stabilization of pandemic with the expansion of restrictions
Iraq reports 2,545 new COVID-19 cases, 547,215 in total
Resolution adopted by French Senate is gross violation of int'l law - Honorary Member of French Parliament
Erdoğan urges public caution against COVID-19 in Turkey amid violations
76 Iranian professors among world top 2% scientists
Monetary policy in Georgia remains tightest among CIS - Renaissance Capital
Representatives of Kyrgyzstan take part in XVIII meeting of CSTO ICMEC
Britain records 16,022 new coronavirus cases, 521 new deaths
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Ukraine
Turkish political parties condemn French Senate’s resolution on Karabakh
World Maritime University, Georgia aim to develop maritime education, capacity-building activities
Georgia makes giant strides in transposition of energy efficiency acquis
Cash receipts from Azerbaijan to Georgia increases
Number of debit cards in Azerbaijan increases
Uzbekistan increases raisins export to Netherlands
Georgia to subsidize wheat flour price
IAEA to implement multiple projects in Georgia
Uzbekistan, Hungary consider establishing Uzbek-Hungarian Business Council
Uzbekistan confirms repayment schedules on ADB loan for solid waste cleaning
Percentage of problem loans in Azerbaijan down
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for vehicles provision
Tree-planting campaign continues in Azerbaijan's Gubadli (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan raises commercial gas production
COVID-related quarantine may be strengthened in Kazakhstan in December
German Bundestag welcoming cessation of hostilities in Karabakh for sustainable peace
Spain names main Turkmen sectors of its interest
Iran to follow FATF-related bills
French Development Agency puts emphasis on increasing solar and wind capacity integration in Georgia
Putin to hold annual press conference via video link on December 17
Share of Austria in total import of Azerbaijan increases
Kazakhstan, Canada discuss prospects for agriculture co-op
Iranian Aras Free Trade Zone reveals its trade surplus
Modernization of primary gas treatment unit carried out at Uzbek oil field
Ambassador of Mexico meets with Azerbaijani Acting Minister of Culture
Azerbaijan supplying drinking water to liberated Shusha city (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan consistently works to strengthen regional cooperation - MFA
Azerbaijan's import of chemical products from Turkey up
Conflicts, external aggression threaten peace, security - Azerbaijani FM (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Minister of Economy receives Qatari ambassador (PHOTO)
Iran's industrial cities work at minimum capacity
U.S. agency opens probe into 115,000 Tesla vehicles over suspension issue
Turkey discloses Istanbul Airport's ten-month passenger traffic volume
Japan ruling party proposal backs assistance for COVID-hit airlines
Iran's Social Security Organization to forgive insurance fines of employers
Elbit Systems wins Spanish Army radio deal
Putin meets RSC members to discuss Russian peacekeepers' activities in Karabakh
Uzbek metallurgical plant switches to int’l financial reporting standards
New company established in Azerbaijan's Sumgayit city
Iran to close public offices amid COVID-19
Volume of industrial lending in Azerbaijan grows
Azerbaijani 'Maestro Niyazi' dry-cargo ship repaired and tested
France-24 TV channel broadcasts reportage about liberated Fuzuli district of Azerbaijan (VIDEO)
Small state enterprises, vehicles to be auctioned in Azerbaijan
Uzbek Ministry of Finance eyes setting excise tax on sugar imports
New electronic services to be introduced in Turkmenistan's banking system
Oil bitumen imports decrease to Georgia
10M2020 cargo, passenger traffic in Turkish Esenboga Airport drops
Discovery of Turkmen scientists expected to make unique contribution to healthcare system on global scale
Azerbaijan detects 3,712 new COVID-19 cases, 1,359 recoveries
World to need at least 1.1 trillion barrels of hydrocarbons over next 20 years
Kazakhstan decreases crude petroleum oil supplies to Netherlands
Number of construction enterprises, organizations in Uzbekistan up
Central Bank of Azerbaijan reveals data on population's deposits
Georgia sees decrease in import of aviation fuel
Oil & gas industry is not at risk of being starved of capital
Nearly half of bank deposits in Azerbaijan made in foreign currency, says CBA
Turkmen Health Ministry opens tender for medical supplies purchase
Iran Parliament speaker obliges gov't to implement “People's Livelihood Protection Act” as soon as possible
Luxury hotels to be created in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Azerenerji OJSC implementing essential project in Karabakh, adjacent districts
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan down
Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom sees threefold increase in profits
Turkey's VP talks current defense-related projects
Iran to join several countries in coronavirus vaccine development
Cybersecurity - one of main objectives of Georgia - Energy Community Secretariat report
UNDP office in Uzbekistan to buy agricultural equipment via tender
Central Bank of Azerbaijan plans to raise funds at deposit auction
Azerbaijan's Central Bank reveals year-on-year data on lending to household sector
Facebook cryptocurrency Libra to launch as early as January but scaled back
“Investment Treaty” intensively negotiated between Georgia and Japan
ACG oil transshipment from Ceyhan terminal exceeds 190 million barrels
Turkmenistan prepares project for intellectual property system dev’t
Prime Minister Modi inaugurates RE-Invest 2020
TAP is operational and can deliver gas, says managing director
Uzbek Anti-Crisis Fund expenses up due to extended COVID-9 resistance
Ruling coalition in Germany stands for Berlin’s participation in promoting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijani gymnasts in group exercises reach final of European Championship in Ukraine
Azerbaijan's labor ministry, Azermash Group LLC sign tender contract
Iran reduces imports of chemicals from Turkey
Plastic cards becoming more popular in Kazakhstan
Turkish Ombudsman Institution prepares special report on Armenia's war crimes against Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan prepares project aimed at developing energy diplomacy
All news