Rep. Jackie Speier released a statement Monday afternoon regarding the lavish bonuses that American International Group gave out with government money. She went further than most of her colleagues in Congress, except maybe for the guy who called for AIG execs to commit seppuku, in demanding accountability, suggesting that the U.S. government may have to take the company apart if it doesn’t change its tune:
“AIG has shown, once again, that they are incapable of grasping the enormity of the financial mess which they helped create. Despite receiving more than $180 billion in taxpayer money, they are set to reward executives with $165 million in bonuses. Many of the executives are from the same ethically challenged Financial Products Division whose irresponsible practices drove the world economy off the cliff in the first place.
“I appreciate that President Obama has directed Treasury Secretary Geithner to use every legal means to stop the bonuses. If AIG insists that they are unable to change the existing contracts, perhaps it is time for us, as AIG’s largest shareholder, to break up AIG, sell off its profitable state-regulated insurance companies, fire the executives of the Financial Products Division, and put in place a leadership team that respects the American taxpayer.”