The AIG compromise: a glass half full?

CEO Edward Liddy at the congressional hearing on AIG:

I have asked the employees of AIG Financial Products to step up and do the right thing. Specifically, I have asked those who received retention payments of $100,000 or more to return at least half of those payments.

Questions:

1. How will this be enforced? (What if an employee says, um, "No"?)

2. Isn't there anything meaningful or rational about "at least half"? Is it picked to maximize psychological impact? Or picked out of a hat?

3. Why would Congress find this to be adequate, when they are proposing to tax back 100% of the bonuses?

Presented by

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. More

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism, an economics blog that was recently published in book form by Simon and Schuster. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. He is also on Twitter.

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