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The AIG bonuses posturing brings into question when was this matter news to those pushing for the AIG bailout?
Cue the outrage. For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off. It wasn’t until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.
All they needed to do was check AIG’s SEC filings from last November
A November SEC filing by the company details more than $469 million in “retention payments” to keep prized employees.
TIME, zeroing on Treasury, goes to a slightly earlier date than declared
Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG’s impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is 10 days before Treasury staffers say they first learned “full details” of the bonus plan, and three days before the Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG
WaPo writes a whole story blaming the Federal Reserve for failing to tell Obama
How the Fed Failed to Tell Obama About The Bonuses
There’s one little fly in that ointment, as the article mentions
When the government rescued AIG in mid-September, no one was more central to the decision than Geithner.
and, like the AP piece revealed as well
AIG executives said they disclosed in a quarterly filing late last year to federal regulators that employees at Financial Products would receive retention bonuses but the filings, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, did not detail how much individuals would be paid or the dates of the payments. The company revealed those details in meetings with New York Fed officials in January, AIG chief executive Edward M. Liddy said at a congressional hearing yesterday.
Once A.I.G. was under the Fed’s control, its compensation plans hardly came up, according to officials. In December, an initial $55 million in bonuses went out with hardly a stir.
Geez, I wonder if that 55 million was in addition to the 165 we’re talking about now. But, hey, if they sneaked 55 bellow the radar, why not the remainder of the bailout money?
And now the White House releases a timeline putting their date at March 12 (late, mind you)
President Obama did not learn of the controversial bonuses for bailed-out AIG executives until late Thursday, two days after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was told about the payments, the White House said.
Which would be all nice and dandy if not for Dodd’s statement about administration officials pressing for an amendment
“I’m the one who has led the fight against excessive executive compensation, often over the objections of many. I did not want to make any changes to my original Senate-passed amendment but I did so at the request of Administration officials, who gave us no indication that this was in any way related to AIG.
Dodd himself didn’t know of AIG’s bonuses until last week – he says.
The buck indeed stops…over there.
The ones not busy with the latest Hollywood goings on.
Metro New York
..Of course, they count on the readers short memory span….Some of us still remember when Obama pushed the bailout, Bush’s bailout
so, basically, he is now railing against his own actions (and trying to pin them on Dodd who tried to regulate it)
Interestingly enough some B0bots are waking up
Geez, who would have predicted it David? The guy who called you on he phone?????
Meanwhile, Elliot Spitzer spills the beans that the AIG bailout really
Today, as i passed the newsstands, there was no news of A-Rod’s health or Rhianna’s. Suddenly, AIG is the subject of all covers:
AM-NY makes it a New York issue
One needs to see the Washington Post headline to understand the sudden preoccupation:
Anger Over Firm Depletes Obama’s Political Capital
Yup. That’s a capital the media considers more important than the taxpayers money that’s been obscenely squandered. They created that one and won’t let it be lost….
I am curious to watch the media obeying, but so far, Politico tells us
RENO, Nev.— Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped up his advocacy for the Bush Administration’s endangered $700 billion bailout plan by making a round of calls to rank-and-file Democrats in the House and casting congressional inaction in dire, real-world terms. He also massaged his pitch, no longer using the word “bailout” to describe the bill.
Hmm, let’s see how the massage will travel through his surrogate media
But after the House defeated the bill with Democratic help, including a majority of the Congressional Black Caucus, the pressure began rising for Obama to make more direct appeals to his party.
So, what should we call it now? Crap sandwitch was used by the House republicans, but as Obama praises it,
it should be “transformational measure” or “fresh as a summer’s day bill”.
Whatever it is, I shall always connect it to Obama, no matter what.
And any suggestions for “massaging the pitch” – welcome
reading MSNBC swooning at it – the winner is “RESCUE PLAN”
RENO, Nev. — In a sweeping speech in battleground state Nevada, Obama made a direct appeal to the American people and to members of Congress to support the $700 billion rescue plan that failed to pass in the House of Representatives yesterday.
that was the editorializing, this is the Obama massaging
Obama said this was no longer just a Wall Street crisis, but an American crisis and that failure to pass a rescue plan could mean thousands of businesses could close around the country, millions of jobs could be lost and a long and painful recession could follow.
So, there. see? It’s our rescue now, you have to want it, cuz Obama ses so. In the bestest speech ever. And it befits a Savior. He’ll save us all.. or rescue us. The new emerging meme.
And the meme is launched: Obama campaign surrogate Thomas Friedman uses it twice in his headline
Rescue the Rescue
Watch Gergen on CNN using the new meme
Yesterday’s stunning rejection by the House of Representatives of the financial rescue plan represents one of the clearest signs yet of the deepening leadership problem we are facing as a people.
and CNN using it in a news story headline – at least as served in memeorandum
See? Forget crap sandwitch. Forget bailout. You shall love this.
Only one obstinate Real Clear Politics editorial calls it a bailout today
Bailout Would Impose Needless Economic Damage
This is the exception. They will be drowned in “Rescue” – just watch.
Soon, only old geezers like me will remember the times when we called this a bailout. And we knew it was government and Bush/Obama cronies feasting on our tax dollars.
Update October second
On Olbermann a few minutes ago (that basement classroom with the heavy paper over the windows and camera sure has come in handy lately!) a phrase popped out of my mouth: “Stockholm Syndrome”, with regard to the
How he feels about it? here’s a description:
And then it failed in the House, so the Senate has larded it up, with stuff like SEC. 503. EXEMPTION FROM EXCISE TAX FOR CERTAIN WOODEN ARROWS DESIGNED FOR USE BY CHILDREN.
and a more direct statement:
So am I for the bill? Yuk, phooey, I guess so. And I’m very angry at Paulson for putting us in this position.
Which pretty sums up the new Krugman – a campaign surrogate these days – with flares of honesty
a rhetorical question asked by Politico
I didn’t know the remarks were ad-libbed
The transcript seemed relatively tame — with only relatively mild shots at the Republicans in the text.
But a review of the video of Pelosi’s comments shows the speaker deviated substantially from her prepared remarks when she stepped into the well of the House at about 12:20 p.m. Monday afternoon – delivering a series of ad-libbed jabs at President Bush and his party.
Still, forgetting that there was a C-Span and a you tube
Pelosi’s office continued to distribute the as-prepared version of her remarks as late as 1:24 p.m. — an hour after she had delivered the more incendiary version of her speech on the House floor.
I posted the video and real transcript
And here’s a really interesting comment to her tantrum
When was the last time someone asked you for $700 billion?” Pelosi asked in a floor speech shortly before the vote. “It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush administration’s failed economic policies — policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision and no discipline in the system.”
Well that happened on Saturday. That’s what?? Two freaking days ago!
As to the answer to the headline question: I don’t know. It certainly didn’t help. Chances are that she knew the count when the bill was put to vote and was just trying to make sure she was not lumped with Bush for supporting his bill. On the other hand, I coud lay some blame just because of her statement on this
Pelosi’s office says any claim that the speaker’s remarks caused GOP members to turn against the bill is “ridiculous.”
I guess she learned how to ask for votes from Obama
Whom she made look even more craven than usual when he lashed at McCain
“This is a moment of national crisis, and today’s inaction in Congress as well as the angry and hyper-partisan statement released by the McCain campaign are exactly why the American people are disgusted with Washington.
Coming from a Senator, one who did nothing but campaign, and also said this makes one want to offer him a mirror. But then he might miss the point too. Especially when he pretends he is not connected with Nancy
When Obama, the party’s new leader, learned of the plan’s rejection, he spoke about Washington almost as if he weren’t a member of Congress.
“Democrats and Republicans in Washington have a responsibility to make sure that an emergency rescue package is put forward that can at least stop the immediate problems we have so we can begin to plan for the future,” he said.
He didn’t say how he might lead or what role he’d play. “Step up to the plate,” he told Congress. “Get it done.”
The way she set things up, it was “Heads I win, tails you lose”: vote for the deal and I’ll paint you as heartless reactionaries bailing out your fat cat friends.
Being in power means that you get to give your party special favors on many occasions–but it also means that you, yes you, have the ultimate responsibility for getting things done. She didn’t particularly try to bring her party in line, and so of course as soon as a few Republicans defected, hers stampeded. The ultimate blame for this failure has to be laid at her feet.
And audio of Rove highlighting how this crisis has been used as a political football
(takes one to know one)