This story from the Hill has a detail about AIG's bonuses that I haven't seen elsewhere:
AIG's new management team last year proposed that its employees give up their "retention" bonuses, or at least reduce them. The response from the 370 or so employees set to rake in $450 million in bonuses through 2010?
Take a hike.
"We suggested that early on, but there are people who feel this money was due them," a source close to the company told The Hill.
If that's true, I think it answers my question about how the AIG salary negotiations would have worked. They wouldn't have worked at all. And it answers Senator Grassley's question about why we haven't hearing more remorse from the company. Why offer contrition when they deserved the money? Duh.