Liveblog: What's This We're Hearing About You Giving Out Bonuses At AIG?

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9:58AM: We're moments away from today's Congressional shouting match. While we wait, here's Franky-boy this morning, telling CBS, "There are going to be multiple attacks. We're not going to stop."

10:00AM: Frank has taken his seat and was just saying something, not deemed important by CSPAN, which had an announcer talking over the Rep.
10:01AM: There are a row of Pink Ladies in the audience, so that oughta be good.
10:06AM: Rep. Kanjorski, apparently a rapscallion, accidentally refers to TARP as "TRAP."
10:09AM: Kanjorski: "There's something seriously out of whack" going on at AIG. I told Liddy back in the day that distributing bonus would create a shitstorm, but did he listen to me? Noooo. "My sound advice went unheeded."
10:12AM: Rep. Scott Garrett wants to know why Geithner didn't raise this issue with Obama last week, and if T. Geith were standing in front of him, he'd say "What did you expect?" (A: "I didn't think it was a big deal! Everyone cheats on their taxes.")
10:15AM: Frank in the hizzous. Suck it Garrett! You didn't ask any questions either, except about covered bonds (that's right, Frankle went back and read the transcript from AIG hearing back in July).
10:17AM: Uh, something about "fighting in the [Congressional] gym.."
10:18AM: "The problem is not the dollar amount, it's the incentive structure. Heads they win, tails they break even."
10:21AM: "Let's bring a lawsuit against the people who damaged the company."
10:24AM: Rep. Bachus: Apparently the blame game is like "trying to play pin the tail on the donkey." Not exactly, but sure, go with that. "There's justified anger, so we could certainly pin the donkey on AIG." (Has Mr. Bachus ever played PTDOTD? Survey says no.)
10:26AM: The Fed and the Treasury have done a shitty job managing AIG. So have the regulators. No one can do it. "Should we take a TV poll to see if anyone can?" No, no one can do it. No one, except AIG. Ed Liddy's a good man. He can do this. Let's get off their asses and let them do it.
10:29AM: Rep. Ackerman, ravishing with a white carnation on his lapel, rode into this hearing "on a tidal wave of rage." The taxpayer is "the ultimate sucker." How was AIG able to "package smoke and sell it on the market for billions? HOW?"
10:30AM: Rep. Tom Price: "What we desperately need is an exit strategy," like in that other battle we're fighting. Also, this is all Geithner and Obama's fault.
Kanjorski compliments Price on his sound bite being exactly 2 minutes.
10:36AM: Rep. Michael Capuno is clearly saving his energy for the big show. "Do you believe that what we've done so far is better or worse than letting AIG go bankrupt? I want to know. I want to know if AIG will ever be profitable. I want to know when."
10:37AM: Rep. Carolyn Maloney wants to tax bonuses at 100% for any company that receives taxpayer money. Also, AIG executives "haven't read the memo from the American taxpayer."
10:46AM: Rep. Jeb Hensarling: The [air quotes] bonus scandal is simply the scandal of the week "and the week is not over." Let's talk counterparties, motherfuckers.
10:55AM: Kanjorski's in agreement! The bonuses are shocking and all that jazz, but not really the main issue, k?


Opening Remarks:
Scott Polakoff, office of thrift supervision acting director: One less he's learned is that Credit Default Swaps continue to be unregulated problems.
Joel Ario, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner: I don't know if you people knew this, but we bailed out AIG because of systemic risk.
"The most important lesson we can learn from this whole thing is the need to manage system risk."
Orice Williams, Government Accountability Office, Financial and Community Investment Director: We have not drawn any final conclusions.
Rodney Clark, S&P Financial Services Ratings Group MD: Tells us how the agency goes about rating companies (they write a bunch of names down on various sheets of paper, throw them down the stairs, and rate them in descending order). "Our rating on AIG remains at A-, with an increase due to government assistance." Without the gov, this sucker would be a B-.
Okay, obviously this is an opening act, and we're here for The Big Show, i.e. the Liddster. Ackerman correctly pointed out now that "most people's eyes are glazing over," and while we're not peacing entirely, we're gonna take it easy 'til Big E.

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