New bonus bill could be happy medium

Jeremy Hobson Apr 2, 2009
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New bonus bill could be happy medium

Jeremy Hobson Apr 2, 2009
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Steve Chiotakis: We’re gonna hear today from former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg. He’s testifying on Capitol Hill and lawmakers are likely to be none too kind. Greenberg left the company a few years ago, before it became a bubbling insurance mess that’s costing taxpayers more than $170 billion and counting.

And then there’s the mess of those bonuses paid with bailout money, that got everybody all outraged and indignant and reactionary. It’s all coming back to the surface now following the House passage of a new bailout bonus bill. From New York, here’s Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson.


Jeremy Hobson: President Obama made clear bailout bonus bill part one was a bit over the top. That’s the one that would have retroactively taxed the AIG bonuses. Well, House Democrats say the new bill is the happy medium.

Congressman Barney Frank yesterday explained what it would mean for TARP recipients:

Barney Frank: You cannot make payments that are excessive and unreasonable, you can give bonuses if they are performance-based, and it repeals what the Republicans have been complaining about.

That the bonuses were allowed in the first place. The new bill still wasn’t enough for Republicans, who tried unsuccessfully to block it.

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx complained about the language:

Virginia Foxx: If this bill isn’t written as political theater, then we would simply say “any employee,” because an executive is an employee.

There’s no need for Foxx to worry for the moment. Passing the bill isn’t on the Senate’s to-do list until at least the end of April.

In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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