The furor over the AIG retention payments (a/k/a bonuses) has died down somewhat, perhaps because most of the executives involved have agreed to refund the bonuses, and perhaps because President Obama was less than enthusiastic in his support for the legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would impose a 90% tax on the bonuses.
But for your information, here are AIG’s 2008 Employee Retention Plan, a confirmation and acknowledgement, and a schedule to the master agreement, which are also located in this press release on the House Committee on Financial Services’ website. My thanks to Bob Ambrogi on Twitter (@bobambrogi) for the link. Incidentally, Bob discusses the AIG contracts this week on his Lawyer2Lawyer podcast, "AIG Mess: Executive Contracts."
And from earlier this week, here is "Dear AIG, I Quit!", an op-ed in The New York Times by Jake DeSantis, which is the text of his resignation letter to Edward Liddy, AIG’s CEO. DeSantis, now the former executive vice-president of AIG Financial Products, criticizes Liddy for his testimony last week regarding the bonuses:
But you also are aware that most of the employees of your financial products unit had nothing to do with the large losses. And I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us. I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday and from the press over our retention payments, and that you didn’t defend us against the baseless and reckless comments made by the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut.
DeSantis continues with this, which makes one think that the bonuses haven’t been or won’t be returned as willingly as media reports have indicated:
As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.
Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.
It looks like Mr. Liddy has his work cut out for him.