My Own NEW RULE: Line These Bastards Up!

New Yorkers:

AIG bonuses are bogus!

AIG executives expecting millions in bonuses after the company was bailed out with billions in tax dollars should join Bernie Madoff in jail, enraged New Yorkers said yesterday. “I think they’re all crooks, and they know exactly what they are doing,” said Michael Galante, 50, of the Financial District. “These guys should be put in jail. It’s ridiculous.”

New Yorkers were flabbergasted that executives could get richer on the tax-payer’s dime when they may have contributed to the collapse that required a $170 billion government bailout in the first place. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama yesterday promised to do everything he could to prevent the bonuses and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo issued subpoenas yesterday for names of the employees receiving bonuses to see if any were responsible for the company’s downfall. “If I single-handedly ran a business into the ground, I shouldn’t get a bonus,” said Georgia Boyce, 28, of Greenpoint. “On principal, if you perform poorly you should get fired.” AIG, an International insurance and financial services organization, announced over the weekend that it was contractually bound to give out $165 million to executives by Sunday as part of a larger package of $450 million. The execs in line to receive bonuses are part of the AIG unit that sent the company into financial ruin, which added to many, including the president’s outrage. The treasury secretary has reportedly pressured AIG to cut the amount this time and to restrain future bonuses. “There should be no more bonuses until the money is paid back to the government,” said Horace Rhoden, 46, an attorney from Fort Greene. “They are a business. They don’t care how they get the money … It’s greedy.” The company has said it faced lawsuits if it reneged on contracts to make bonus payments. New Yorkers said anything AIG says should not be trusted, especially after executives received huge bonuses and company trips to a spa resort in October, the month after its first installment of bailout money. Some blamed the government for the debacle. “That’s not AIG’s fault it’s the government’s,” said a man on Wall Street who didn’t want to give his name because he works in the finance industry. “They have to give that \[money\] with rules about how the money is being spent.” However, some experts don’t think the government has any recourse to recoup AIG bonus money and such an action would be a waste of the government’s investment. “If the government were to go in now and try to renege on these contracts, people would just leave the company and the company would collapse,” said Jesse M. Fried, a University of California, Berkeley law professor and co-director of the Berkeley Center Law, Business and the Economy. Garett Sloane and the AP contributed to this report.

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