Average AIG Bonus: $8,831.72

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Politico just blasted around a story noting that AIG has revised the estimate its 2008 bonus awards to almost four times the company's original estimate: "AIG now says it paid out more than $454 million in bonuses to its employees for work performed in 2008." But reading the whole article didn't exactly revive the populist bloodthirst. Quite the opposite. It's true that the company paid almost four times as much in bonuses as was originally reported. But the new figure covers more than eight times as many employees!


The original reports said there was $120 million in bonuses for 6,000 employees -- an average of $20,000. But here is the total revised breakdown:

Domestic Life and Foreign Life Operations: 23,851 employees received an average of $5,050 each.

Property Casualty Group: 3,943 employees received an average of $5,403 each.

Foreign General Insurance Operations: 8,669 employees received an average of $5,074 each.

Retirement Services Operations: 1,168 employees received an average of $11,889 each.

Financial Services: 5,357 employees received an average of $4,994 each.

Asset Management Group: 2,095 employees received an average of $51,026 each.

Corporate wide variable plan: 6,410 employees received an average of $18,954 each.

I count $454,771,905 distributed to 51,493 employees. Unless I'm making some terrible math error, that's an average bonus of about $8,832. For comparison, the average bonus on Wall Street in 2004 was $100,600.

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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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