Monday, October 20, 2008

Taxpayers Fund AIG Hunting Trip

Despite the bad publicity and dressing-down from members of Congress after AIG sponsored a spa retreat for its top earners, the life insurance company went ahead with a planned hunting trip for executives earlier this month.

All this as the insurance giant asked for and received billions in loans from the Federal Reserve.

After reports of the spa retreat garnered attention, AIG said they'd review their policies.

AIG Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy, who replaced former CEO Robert Willumstad as a condition of the federal loan, on [Oct. 8] told Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that the company intends to reevaluate expenses.

"We understand that our company is now facing very different challenges," Liddy wrote in a letter to Paulson. "We owe our employees and the American public new standards and approaches."
After news of the hunting trip came to light, the company put out a statement to the same effect.

"We will continue to take all measures necessary to ensure that these activities cease immediately. AIG's priority is to continue focusing on actions necessary to repay the Federal Reserve loan and emerge as a vital, ongoing business."
Like other Bush initiatives (ie. the war in Iraq), I believe Congress moved too quickly in approving the bailout. As I have written about before, hundreds of economists urged the government to reconsider the $700 billion bailout.

I'm sure AIG is more the rule than the exception. How many other companies continue to squander money while receiving billions from American taxpayers?

Regarding the hunting trip, AIG spokesman Peter Tulupman said, "We regret that this event was not canceled."

So do working-class Americans -- and the animals who were killed.

(Thanks to Vegan Soapbox for bringing the AIG hunting trip to my attention.)

(Image courtesy of The Associated Press.)

1 comment:

Nikki said...

I’d heard about their spa splurge, but not the hunting trip. Despicable!