I'm hearing that....The Department of the Treasury is looking at ways to simply reduce the amount of money it's lending to AIG; they'd start with the latest $30 billion line of credit and subtract the value of the bonuses paid. And that's the question: to how much, precisely, do the bonuses add up? Published values range from $165 million to $1.2 billion. Another problem: the Treasury wants to set a uniform standard for companies taking bailout money, and it may not be possible simply to punish just one.
(b) Speaking of punishing AIG: Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) plans to introduce a bill to tax AIG bonuses at a high rate this year. A spokesman for Peters says that details are still being worked out. Targeting legislation at one company is tantamount to the Congress's passing a bill of attainder against AIG. But these are extraordinary times.
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