AIG bonuses for February 2010: $100 million

AIG bonuses smaller this year

AIG bonusesThis year’s AIG bonuses are smaller than last year’s, but they are still a huge amount of money. American International Group will pay $100 million worth of bonuses to employees at the company’s Financial Products division.

Last year, AIG bonuses were $168 million. Individuals slated for bonuses agreed this year that they would accept 10 to 20 percent less for their AIG bonuses. Still, this might do little to curb the outrage many Americans and their leaders feel regarding handing out bonuses at a company that received payday loans from the government to keep it from failing.

More AIG bonuses

The $100 million in AIG bonuses that will be given out this month aren’t the last of the bonuses. Only those who agreed to accept the smaller bonuses will get paid this month. Next month, those who prefer to wait longer for the full amount will get their bonuses, which will mean probably more than another $10 million in AIG bonuses.

The deadline to pay all AIG bonuses to employees at Financial Products is March 15. According to Henry Unger of AJC, Financial Products is “the unit whose risky derivatives deals brought the insurer to the brink of collapse in 2008.”

Trouble with AIG bonuses

Unger also reports that “Government and AIG officials have been eager to avoid a repeat of the public furor that erupted last March when an earlier round of payments — worth $168 million — went to the same set of employees.”

It seems to me that if AIG really wanted to avoid public furor, the company would not hand out the AIG bonuses. What do you think? If a company accepts government bailout money, should the government have a say in whether or how much that company pays for bonuses? Or do you think that the government shouldn’t have a say? Do you think the government should not have paid to bail out AIG in the first place?