AIG Execs Took Spa Week After $85B Bailout

Former CEOs appear before skeptical House to defend spending
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2008 3:41 PM CDT
Former CEO of AIG Martin Sullivan leaves after testifying to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – After being bailed out by Washington, AIG executives engaged in some conspicuous consumption, and it’s still going on, Portfolio reports. Two former CEOs of the insurance giant testified before the House today, and lawmakers took them to task for reckless compensation and an executive retreat at a California spa less then a week after the government forked over $85 billion.

The former head of AIG’s Financial Products division, widely seen as the engine of the company’s demise, continues to receive $1 million a month. Legislators also criticized former CEO Martin Sullivan, who engineered some $20 million in extra compensation as the company foundered. Sullivan attributed AIG’s dire situation to an accounting rule. “That's like blaming the thermometer for the fever,” a former SEC official said.