Record-breaking losses and $170 billion in federal loans haven't curbed AIG's plan to pay out $165 million in executive bonuses, the New York Times reports. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called up AIG chief Edward M. Liddy to halt the payments, and the company agreed to alter some—but Liddy said in a letter that canceled bonuses could spark lawsuits from angry employees.
Top workers would also flee the company if such payments are cut off, Liddy argued: "We cannot attract and retain the best and brightest... if employees believe that their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. treasury." As it stands, AIG's top execs will waive bonuses, and the next tier will receive staggered payments pending company restructuring, the Washington Post reports.