Obama Goes After AIG Bonuses

President instructs Geithner to use "every legal avenue" to reclaim funds
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2009 12:16 PM CDT
President Barack Obama gestures during his meeting with Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Saturday, March 14, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – President Obama has asked Tim Geithner to use “every legal avenue” to prevent AIG from paying out $165 million in bonuses to top employees who had a hand in the company's near-collapse, the Wall Street Journal reports. "This isn't just a matter of dollars and cents. It's about our fundamental values," said Obama.

"This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed," Obama said. "Under these circumstances, it's hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay. How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?"