Pay Czar Calls AIG Bonuses 'Outrageous' but Legal

February 3, 2010 - 10:43 AM
Kenneth Feinberg

Special Master for Executive Compensation Kenneth Feinberg, also known as the Treasury Department's pay czar, speaks at Georgetown Law Center in Washington on Oct. 27, 2009 file photo. (AP File Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Washington (AP) - Executives in AIG's financial products division are getting $100 million richer, and the White House pay czar calls the bonuses "outrageous."
 
However, Kenneth Feinberg said the payments are contractual obligations entered into years ago. And he pointed out that AIG executives have pledged to repay $39 million out of $45 million in previous bonuses to the U.S. Treasury.
 
The insurance giant was hit hard by Wall Street's meltdown in 2008 and still hasn't repaid all of the $180 billion the government gave to rescue it from financial disaster. Feinberg told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday that he is using whatever leverage he has to get that money returned to the taxpayers.
 
Feinberg said the contracts that obligate the company to pay the bonuses expire in March.