Monday, March 16, 2009

Breaking! ... Obama takes action, seizes AIG's March Madness office pools and brackets

By J. Thomas Duffy

Feeling a building backlash to the corporate bailouts, and the news this weekend of insurance giant A.I.G. (Always Incredibly Greedy) paying out hundreds-of-millions in bonuses, federal marshalls, in this country, along with various law enforcement in other countries, raided A.I.G. offices and seized the company's March Madness office pools and tournament bracket funds.

The order came from President Obama:

"In the last six months, AIG has received substantial sums from the U.S. Treasury. I've asked Secretary Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every legal avenue to block these March Madness pools and make the American taxpayers whole," Obama said.

A spokesperson for Treasury indicated they would follow through with the president's directive but that Secretary Geithner was "unaware" that March Madness had begun.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that President Obama ordered the action late yesterday, shortly after the NCAA Basketball Tournament selection process was completed:

"We expect this will net hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars," a stern Gibbs announced, citing much taxpayer money it had already given A.I.G. in the previously-released TARP fund bailout.

"The President found it unconscionable that public funds would be used in this manner."

Rumors are circulating in the capital that President Obama is weighing issuing an executive order to effectively nationalize all March Madness office pools and bracket funds, redirecting the money to possible future stimulus packages or additional corporate bailouts.

Reaction to the move by President Obama against A.I.G fell along party lines.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hailed the action, saying it was "unfathomable" that A.I.G would be running March Madness pools in light of the dire circumstances facing the company.

Pelosi stopped short of endorsing the possible nationalizing of March Madness pools, saying that "they are not on the table at this time."

Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) slammed Obama:

"The President talks about creating, or saving jobs. Well, he just wiped out dozens of them, the people that create the squares, run around the office selling them, collecting the money, having to monitor the tournament and update the squares ... That's not change you can believe in."

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) called on the president to direct General Motors and the UAW to downscale their March Madness office pools to match the March Madness office pools of non-union shops.

In a scathing press release, A.I.G. Chief Edward Liddy said he was "extremely disappointed in the President's actions" and that there may be "legal ramifications" to the seizing of A.I.G.'s March Madness office pools, suggesting that some of the employees "may have used their own, personal funds."

When pressed by reporters, Liddy admitted that he picked the University of Connecticut to win the tournament.


Bonus "Always Incredibly Greedy" Bonus Riffs

Glenn Greenwald: The sanctity of AIG's contracts

Jane Hamsher: Who Stole Our Country, and How are We Going to Get It Back?

TBogg: Bring on the Bobs

Robert Stein: Bailout Roulette

Steve Benen: AIG'S TENTACLES...

NYT: A.I.G. Lists Which Banks It Paid With U.S. Bailout Funds

MSNBC: Obama seeking ways to block AIG bonuses ... President calls $165 million in bonuses an 'outrage to the taxpayers'

CBS News: White House May Want AIG Money Back ...Administration Investigates Ways To Retrieve Some Of The Millions AIG Used For Bonuses

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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  • The bonus payout excesses at AIG are just the tip of the iceberg of what is happening with the other Wall Street bailouts including Bank of America. Working productive Americans are bailing out the same crooks that destroyed our economy along with 45% of the wealth in the world and now the American taxpayers and our children will be forced to live a far lower standard of living with reduced prosperity and opportunities due to this but only we pay the price.

    Washington has bailed out the banks, Wall Street & their Washington special interests and much of the cost is added to the national debt to by paid by this and future generations while real estate and investments continue to fall. Find out what a growing repudiate the debt movement could mean for treasuries, the dollar, gold and the stock market and how this is a better alternative than Washington’s plans to monetize the debt in future years and tax and destroy our remaining wealth by depreciating the dollar.

    The Campaign to Cancel the Washington National Debt By 12/21/2012 Constitutional Amendment is starting now in the U.S. See:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:34 PM  

  • AIG = Allowing Irreversible Greed.
    AIG = All in Greed.
    AIG = Arn't I Greedy.
    AIG = A$#holes, in general.

    This is sick. Why in the world are we helping these companies that keep sending millions to people who do not know how to run a company? They cry yet get paid millions on the "average joes" taxes. Furthermore, I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg. Look what Enterprise rent-a-car did to get bailout funds:

    Not to make excuses for these people, but the bailouts are making crooks out of everyone that touches the money.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:48 PM  

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