AIG boss questioned about bonuses

(AP) - The head of battered insurance giant AIG told Congress on Wednesday that "we've heard the American people loudly and clearly" in their rage over executive bonuses, and he appealed to employees to return at least half the money.

Testifying under oath at a congressional hearing as intense as any in recent memory, Edward Liddy said some workers already have stepped forward to give money back.

The company became the target of a political firestorm after the disclosure over the weekend that it had paid $165 million in "retention bonuses" to its employees at the same time it was accepting bailout funds from U.S. taxpayers. Some of the payments were made to the same traders and executives whose risky financial behavior caused the company's near collapse.

Liddy told a House Financial Services subcommittee that, while the bonuses were a legal obligation of the company that is now 80 percent owned by the federal government, he had "asked those who have received retention payments in excess of $100,000 or more to return at least half of those payments. Some have already stepped up and returned" 100 percent.

He provided no further details.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has been publicly critical of the bonuses, as have President Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and congressional leaders from both parties.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."