Edward Liddy’s much-ballyhooed testimony yesterday—Chris Matthews billed it as “Watergate Redux”—didn’t wind up accomplishing much, “aside from revealing congressional ignorance of all things financial,” Daniel Gross writes in Slate. Yes, Liddy currently runs the reviled AIG, but he wasn’t running it when it blew up. “He’s not the villain,” Gross insists. “He’s a genuine dollar-a-year man.”
If Congress wants to focus on the billions AIG’s demise has cost taxpayers, instead of grandstanding over comparatively small bonuses, there are many potential villains to summon. Let’s hear from previous CEO Martin Sullivan (he of the $47 million severance package), or his predecessor Hank Greenberg, or ex-Financial Products head Joseph Cassano. Or the many banks, foreign and domestic, that have taken taxpayer dollars, funneled through AIG.