After receiving billions in federal bailout money, one would think that AIGwould practice some humility in the face of US taxpayers demanding an end to outrageous bonuses. Instead, AIG intends to give upwards of $450m in bonuses to people who were part of a team that drove the company – and many would say the nation – into a ditch.
No, the AIG contracts were not comparable to renegotiated auto contracts, because the AIG contracts were already in place before they agreed to the bailout. Unlike the AIG contracts, the auto contracts were conditioned upon renegotiation of the contracts. The auto bailout was unconditional in a way that the AIG assistance was not.