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Reid Unhappy With Bonuses For AIG Execs

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is not happy with reports that employees at insurance giant AIG, which has received $152 billion in federal funds to stay afloat, are slated to receive more than $500 million in bonuses.

"As ordinary families struggle to make ends meet in this dramatic economic crisis, AIG¹s management nevertheless asks that taxpayer dollars subsidize the firm¹s employee-retention plan," Reid said in a statement. "The $500 million plan would benefit the very AIG executives who led the firm to the brink of collapse. To reward executives with exorbitant paydays after poor performance, and to do so even indirectly with taxpayer dollars, strikes most Americans as fundamentally unfair and a misuse of their money."

AIG officials defend the payments, which could cover thousands of employees, are a way to prevent top talent from leaving the firm, which has lost more than $37 billion in the first nine months of 2008 alone.

But Reid wants the Treasury Department - read Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson - to "explain why this half-billion-dollar compensation plan is an appropriate use of taxpayer resources under the current circumstances."


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