Some AIG executives in Europe think the demands that they return their bonuses are tantamount to "blackmail," Reuters reports. In fact, a compliance officer for Banque AIG unit in London asked UK authorities to determine whether the demands for repayment constitute extortion. He encouraged others in an email to hold off repaying until they got an answer. An AIG spokesman said that concern "was not shared by the company."
"The vast majority of people in London have made the decision that the request is pretty offensive," said one AIG employee who attended a meeting on the matter. "It effectively constitutes blackmail whether it is criminal or not. There is no moral reason to give it back." About half of the $165 million in disputed bonuses went to AIG executives outside the US.