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The news, the blogs, and the nation's water coolers are abuzz with outrage over the AIG bonus payments -- $165 million to various executives -- after AIG took about $180 billion in government bailout money.
I have mixed feelings about this. We certainly should not reward incompetence, but as someone who would like a million dollar bonus one day, I don't think we should discourage dreaming either!
As is usually the case with issues of this sort, the outrage exploded before the facts were known or contemplated (not that facts make much difference in Washington). Consider:
The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.
Since the AIG contracts were signed before February 11, the limits in the stimulus don't apply.
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