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View Poll Results: Do the AIG employees deserve a $165 million in bonuses?
Of course, they worked hard for the money 20 19.23%
Heck no, those bonuses are my hard earned tax dollars. 84 80.77%
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Another Lopsided Poll: AIG bonuses.
Old 03-15-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
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Another Lopsided Poll: AIG bonuses.

Well since the last attempt off a lopsided poll failed miserably. I thought after listening to the "This Week with George Panelist reach rare unanimity, I make another attempt.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:01 PM   #2
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Count Me Out

I think the word "Bonus" is a misnomer. If it was really a bonus it could be canceled.

Obviously, it is not really a bonus but the media gets to have a field day of phony outrage.

My guess? AIG wrote contracts including retention terms saying if you still worked for the company on a given date you got some more pay.

Of course it's more fun to not reveal what the deal was and make a big fuss.

No I don't think they should get a "Bonus" but, if they have the signed contract I think they have, they should get paid.

The great thing about the law is that even if people don't like you, even if they hate you, the law is a last resort to protect you.

I vote for that.

boont
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:28 AM   #3
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I suspect that this will be more lopsided than the last attempt.

It would be interesting if they had contracts, all the people I know in similar positions are "at will". And the various VPs in our group just got a 10% pay reduction. At the very least, it goes to show again that AIG was not a very well run company since they didn't take into account failure.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:40 AM   #4
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According to the WSJ these are bonuses. Now there maybe some legal issues with not paying them, but if they weren't salary, or deferred compensation, then they are bonus.

At my old company, bonuses were based on a formula based the performance of a medium (few hundred) size unit. I suppose that if they didn't get paid, we could have sued, but I suspect it would have an uphill battle to win the suit.
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:23 AM   #5
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In my megacorp, the bonuses are by contract. I suspect that the bonuses of the people in question are also by contract. Problem seems to be that the worst performing units are getting bonuses. Why? I don't know, and that is what I would like to find out.

I don't get a bonus for last year's performance because my unit's performance did not achieve what was in my bonus agreement...even though my unit was the ONLY major unit with any growth at all last year, and it was significant growth, but not quite enough for the bonus. I will be getting my long term incentive, because I met the requirements to receive it. I see both of these situations as fair, but what I don't see as fair is what is being reported by the media about AIG's bonuses. If they are going to report this much, they should report the rest of the story. Anything less is unfair to AIG, its employees who may be deservedly receiving a bonus, and the American public who has had to support this miserable company. But, the media prefer sensationalism to fair and truthful reporting.

Based on my statements above, I abstain from voting until and unless further information becomes available.

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Old 03-16-2009, 05:53 AM   #6
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I am pro-business all the way, but if they are bonuses as they appear, it's an outrage. There is something fundamentally wrong with a bonus structure that pays bonuses when a company loses money. It's no wonder people are cynical about business. My company was not profitable last quarter, and no one got a bonus, not the CEO nor the lowest entry level hourly employee or anyone in between. And guess what, no one quit. I know all this as fact...
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:16 AM   #7
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I agree with Rambler on this issue. Before I vote, I would like to know more about these "bonuses". I'm outraged about the bonus as it is being reported, but I have serious concerns about the media hyping everything under the sun for ratings and to fill the day with BS discussions rather than do complete investigating and reporting.
Too much "tabloid" journalism over the years, not enough real investigation. Case in point, last summer oil prices were 3X today, reports of imminent doom were everywhere, what happened?
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:55 AM   #8
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A deal is a deal, if they truely were promised it for performance, they should get it as long as the company is still in business, not in banckruptcy.

I sold equipment and had a bonus plan that required required payments based on total sales. Every year I did great but worked for jerks that would try to cheat me. I was always getting the most bonus and they targeted me for cheating. They also raised my goals each year by as much as 100%. Then they reduced my territories. I finally had enough and negotiated leaving on my terms. That was three years ago and they have laid peole off that last two. They could have used a good salesman who didn't travel just to travel.

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Old 03-16-2009, 07:56 AM   #9
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Bonus or bone us.

From the media, insufficient info for any meaningful understanding. No vote.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:49 AM   #10
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Their bonus should be the fact they still have a job. Bonuses should be null and void in this case. I know, should be and what is in the contract are 2 different things. But it is BS that this company is on a life line from the tax payers and executives that caused this mess are being paid a 'bonus'.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:13 AM   #11
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The "real" "crime" here, IMO, is that our Government, without our consent, obligates us for these many billions of $$, then, after the fact, say opps we did not know about this. Talk about total lack of diligence - from about 99% lawyers/attorneys.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:18 AM   #12
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I say cut their bonuses and let them litigate.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:32 AM   #13
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Evidently, these "bonuses" were retention bonuses for employees in the financial products division, which is located in London. Thus, British contract law is involved and canceling them would likely get bogged down in the British legal system. That's not to say I like the situation, just that it seems to be more complicated than the press and politicians would have you believe. Consequently, I think this poll needs to have a "Need more information" response option.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:28 AM   #14
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They should receive the same amount of "bonus" that AIG would have been able to pay them without any govt bailout.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-One View Post
I agree with Rambler on this issue. Before I vote, I would like to know more about these "bonuses". I'm outraged about the bonus as it is being reported, but I have serious concerns about the media hyping everything under the sun for ratings and to fill the day with BS discussions rather than do complete investigating and reporting.
Agreed. For all we know, these could be hard working dedicated people who worked towards a contracted bonus in the best interests of the company and themselves. Maybe AIG would have lost $X more if these people didn't do their job at bonus earning levels?

I vote "Not enough information".

On another angle... I find it scary that the govt is thinking it can just go in and violate contracts willy-nilly. Maybe the lawyers can fill us in, but I thought that was what bankruptcy was for. A measure of last resort where the govt *does* come in and reset contracts, but they do it in a documented, established procedural methid (bond holders> equity holders, etc).

These "bailouts" just seem to be an end-around for established legal procedure. I say if they need money and we want some orderly "survival", use the BK laws we have.

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Old 03-16-2009, 12:20 PM   #16
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My megacorp's bonus structure is based on a combination of individual performance, business unit performance and corporate performance.

For the flunkies in the trenches, there is a much heavier weighting on individual performance (something like 65% of payout is determined by individual performance). For low-level management it's about 50/50 between individual and company performance. For executives, it's almost exclusively based on corporate performance.

In that sense, with that model many high-achieving employees who aren't in management could have earned a performance bonus, but the executives would get nothing because corporate performance reeked of rotting fish.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:26 PM   #17
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I vote "Not enough information".
I agree, there isn't enough information available to us plebians right now. Wouldn't a transparent calculation done by AIG, made public and audited by the govt that shows what bonus level the employees would have received with no bailout provide the necessary information? If the calculation shows that AIG owes the employees a bonus per their contracts and if AIG would have had the money to pay it without the bailout, then go ahead and pay it now. Otherwise, no bonus. That is, the bonus shouldn't be possible only because of the bailout.
Quote:

On another angle... I find it scary that the govt is thinking it can just go in and violate contracts willy-nilly.
I feel that having a bonus paid only because govt funds made it possible would be a willy-nilly violation of the contracts. The contracts should conclude without the govt provided funds being part of the equation. Honor the contracts, follow the law, etc., as it would have come down without govt meddling.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:34 PM   #18
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My uncle used to shoot cats/dogs that came into his property and were a pain in the butt and annoying.....mmmmm, the good ol' days.....
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:39 PM   #19
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I voted to pay bonuses. If AIG is to remain a going concern, they need to have the tools to retain and recruit successful people. Paying people jack to work hard may work in the government sector (you may sense some sarcasm in this sentence). But it doesn't generally work in the private sector.

There are probably profitable sectors, divisions, and departments in AIG that have managers, execs and employees that deserve compensation greater than their base compensation.

My feelings on this stem mostly from my desire to have the government stay out of running private enterprises. I acknowledge that this is a tough situation where the govt has forked over a couple hundy billion and now the media is trying to anger us that they are spending 0.1% on variable compensation.

If there was an option to vote "need more info" I would have voted for it. I assume the media reports we have seen are the typical misinformed or underinformed garbage we usually get.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:40 PM   #20
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My uncle used to shoot cats/dogs that came into his property and were a pain in the butt and annoying.....mmmmm, the good ol' days.....
"mmmmmm" - are you saying your uncle ate the cats and dogs? Was this during the Great Depression?
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