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Obama spokesman blames Bush admin for AIG bonus scandal *UPDATED

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posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:00 PM

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs attempted to deflect blame for the AIG bonus scandal away from the Obama administration by reminding reporters that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner inherited a bad situation and had to make the best of it when he took over from the Bush administration.

"White House press secretary Robert Gibbs attempted to deflect blame for the AIG bonus scandal away from the Obama administration by reminding reporters that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner inherited a bad situation and had to make the best of it when he took over from the Bush administration.

"The Secretary of Treasury did as much in his legal power at the time to lessen the impact of what we all understand is outrageous," Gibbs said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. "Let's make sure that everybody understands that there was a change in administration between September of 2008 and what we were talking about sometime last week,"

President Obama's Monday call to "pursue every single legal avenue" in recouping the executive bonuses has been taken up by members of Congress, who have proposed several measures to claw back the money.

Gibbs told reporters President Obama continued to have "complete confidence [in Geithner]."

He added that he didn't think it was fair to blame the cerebral Geithner for not anticipating the populist anger over the executive bonuses. That anger has created a public relations obstacle that Obama must overcome in his efforts to secure Congressional support for further bailouts. One Republican senator even went so far on Monday to say the executives should commit ritual suicide.

"I think it would be very unfair based on the actions the Secretary of Treasury took as we got closer to the pending legal deadline to restructure what could be restructured [in the AIG bailout agreement]," Gibbs said. "The Secretary did good work in changing what was potentially out there."

Article Here

interesting proposition ... i'm not sure as of yet what to think ... what are your thoughts?

[edit on 17-3-2009 by baseball101]

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:06 PM
I blame the Democrat led Congress.

They are the ones who wrote the bailout bill and included the vague golden parachute clause that was badly defined and left major loopholes in the law.

On top of that contracts cannot be broken. If contracts were signed by employees then I expect AIG or any other company to fulfill them.

The only reason Obama guy is getting the heat is because Obama had more or less promised that he would stop these guys from getting bonuses. Guess Obama was wrong.

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:12 PM
Gibb is pointing his finger at Bush again?

Bush may have signed the bill, but a Democrat Congress wrote it AND President Obama supported it and voted for it.

So I got a speacial finger I'm going to point at Mr. Gibb and anyone else in President Obama's administration who tries to shift the blame.

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:18 PM
Wow revisionist history and it was only back to Sept 08.


Key Republicans on Capitol Hill blasted the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve on Wednesday for orchestrating an $85 billion bailout of insurance giant American International Group, and the White House for not informing them of the plan.

Meanwhile, Democrats blamed the Bush administration for the financial crisis, while the White House pointed a finger at Congress.

The criticism came a day after lawmakers were surprised by the news that taxpayers would again be called on to shore up a member of the struggling financial sector.

"Once again the Fed has put the taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars to bail out an institution that put greed ahead of responsibility and used their good name to take risky bets that did not pay off," said Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, a member of the Senate Banking Committee.

A spokesman for Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the committee, said the senator "profoundly disagrees with the decision to use taxpayer dollars to bail out a private company" and is upset the government has sent an inconsistent message to the markets by bailing out AIG after it just refused to save investment bank Lehman Brothers from bankruptcy.

"The American taxpayer should not be asked to unwillingly assume the inordinate risks that financial experts knowingly undertook, particularly when taxpayer exposure is increased by the ad hoc manner in which these bailouts have been engineered," said Shelby's aide, Jonathan Graffeo. Video Watch how bailout affects taxpayers »

Republican Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri complained about not getting a heads-up about the bailout and said House Republicans are struggling to "understand a coherent strategy" about which firms get rescued and which ones don't.

Rep. Adam Putman of Florida, the third-ranking Republican in the House, said the cost is "unnerving" and called on the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve "to dispatch an envoy to the Hill to bring members of Congress up to speed."

"The communications lines are not operating efficiently," he said.

Late Wednesday, the White House agreed to send a top Bush economic adviser and an official from the Fed to brief House Republicans on Thursday, according to a House GOP aide.

Meanwhile, congressional Democrats placed the blame for the crisis squarely on the Bush administration, arguing it failed to aggressively regulate the financial industry.

"The most recent bailout initiated by the Bush administration -- that of AIG -- is just another example that George Bush is a failed manager," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California. "Because of the inattention, or a decision on their part to have crony capitalism in our country, Americans across the country are feeling the pain of this."

Pelosi said two House committees would investigate the recent bailouts "to tell us how we can avoid this in the future, what went wrong here and also to look into this issue of fraud and mismanagement" at AIG.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Congress could have done more to head off the crisis.

"I think that Congress needs to take -- before they start throwing arrows -- take a little bit of time for some self-reflection," she said. "But also, why don't we just set that aside for a minute and focus on the fact that we have a crisis that we're trying to manage."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- who also complained that he didn't know a bailout of AIG was in the works -- said Congress won't change laws immediately to address the rapidly unfolding financial crisis because "no one knows what to do."

"We are in new territory here," Reid added. "You could ask [Federal Reserve Chairman Ben] Bernanke, you could ask [Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson. They don't know what to do, but they are trying to come up with ideas."

Reid said he will keep the Senate in session through the end of the year so committees can hold hearings and start writing legislation that he said could become law next year.

"It's a multitrillion-dollar issue that's facing America, and we can't do it in some timeline that is unrealistic," Reid said.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday said the bailout plan must "protect the families that count on insurance" from AIG.

He also said the Federal Reserve should make sure the bailout plan protects well-paying jobs and helps Americans pay their bills.

At a town hall meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Republican candidates Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin both called for reforming the financial markets "in Wall Street and Washington," as McCain put it.

"We're going to reform how Wall Street does business and put an end to the greed that has driven our markets into chaos," McCain said. "We'll put an end to multimillion-dollar payouts to CEOs who have broken the public trust. We'll put an end to running Wall Street like a casino. We'll make businesses work for the benefit of their shareholders and employees, and we'll make sure your savings -- IRA, 401(k) and pension accounts -- are protected."

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:18 PM

Originally posted by jam321
On top of that contracts cannot be broken. If contracts were signed by employees then I expect AIG or any other company to fulfill them.

Would AIG been able to pay the bonuses if they hadn't received the bail out?

I'm not being sarcastic, it's a genuine question.

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:28 PM

They signed it!!

Now they act like saviors?!?!?!

Bonuses......billions being sent to foreign banks....our CONGRESS is responsible!

I hope this is the end of the damn bailouts....people really seem to be pissed off about this one.

Hopefully they start opening their eyes to how they have been stolen from for years from our federal government.

Btw...Glenn Beck is supposed to expose AIG's money laundry scheme on his show at 5 least that is what he said earlier today on his radio show.

[edit on 17-3-2009 by David9176]

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:35 PM
reply to post by Maya00a

Would AIG been able to pay the bonuses if they hadn't received the bail out?

I'm not being sarcastic, it's a genuine question.

If they didn't ask for the bailout, that would mean they had money and if they had money that means they would have been able to meet their obligations. Of course, they could have also added the bonus money in as a loss. So the answer is yes IMO.

Personally, I feel that a lot of these companies are stashing their cash and using the government money to pave the way. Just sounds too weird that many want to return the money to the government.

BTW, excellent question.

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:54 PM
These guys receiving the money from entire DISASTER are INVESTORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE!!!

The Federal Reserve has us so over a barrel right now to pay back our obligations to the investors that ensured we would receive funds in the first place.. THEY WANT IT BACK. They can contract it anytime at will. Like they are now, like the last Depression in the US.

Yes, even with the jobs being lost, people hurting, etc etc, they are doing it on purpose. Is it really that hard to believe that the Federal Reserve has infiltrated our congress critters to make sure they stay on top... and everything Fed investors want, Fed investors get !? Why is this so hard to believe??

The Federal Reserve is a private corporation, run by private investors.. Obviously.

How come the US can NOT just refuse to renew their charter? Please look up Lincoln's 'Green Back' system. We could be out of this mess in no time if we go back to the Constitution.

EDIT: Just to add, wealth is never destroyed. It is merely shifted

[edit on 17-3-2009 by LostNemesis]

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:44 PM
Hmmm... Buck passing is a proud Washington tradition, so the search for this elusive promised "change" continues.

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 04:06 PM

How many more times are we going to blame Bush Mr President Obama?

The last payout happened under your watch and your parties banner. $30 billion to be exact, approved March 2nd.

Mr President, you are NOT obligated to continue to bail-out irresponsible financial institutions with tax payer dollars. Tax Cheat Timmy works for you, not vice versa.

Mr President, you are a dollar short and a day late to express outrage. Two days later in fact as Bonuses were already paid, and quite frankly your track record proves to be months late.

Mr President, you went in front of the Senate in 2008, urged passage of EESA, and offered extraordinary praise for Mr. Dodd, you know that same guy that removed proposed limits to bonuses in the stimulus package with your name on it.

Mr President, you voted in favor of the EESA as a member of the Senate, which did not have protections against bonus distribution nor a shred of transparency.

Mr President, you are #2 on AIG Campaign contribution list. Senator Dodd who received $103,100 from AIG, you were second behind him with $101,332. The next closest, John McCain was $59,499. Care to explain?

Mr President, you ultimately are responsible for the approval of $30 Billion more to AIG on March 2nd. Where was the outrage and protections against bonus distribution then? I guess you had 101,332 reasons in your re-election campaign coffers not to express outrage until after the bonus distribution.

Mr President, I can tell just how outraged you are. Pelosi called, and you have to speak at her St Patrick's Day Lunch. And don't forget the two scheduled St. Patrick Day parties at the White House tonight. Jay Leno called too, he wants to make sure you bring some left over corned beef to the tonight show.

So can we start holding Obama accountable now Obamites? When can we? When will you realize that Mr Obama is now in charge along with Democratic controlled congress, and not Bush?

Seriously. This is square under his party, and under his administration.

What will it take for you Obamites to realize he's part of the problem or better yet start to blame congress? He's Bush multiplied times 3 in his policies.

I didn't think it could get much worse than Bush, but Obama is quickly proving to be a formidable opponent in who will go down as the worst president and possibly last in US history if this keeps up for much longer.

It's OK though. Continue to grandstand just like congress and make excuses for him, saying he is trying to 'change' Washington. Never mind the damage that is already being done on his watch and this is just one of many examples already shown he's the same as the rest of clowns in office.

Ignore the people in tent cities seeing their country giving trillions of dollars to the very corporations laid them off directly or indirectly. Ignore the tax protests picking up speed at State and Federal levels. Ignore the occasonal outbursts of people calling for a revolution before being hushed.

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 04:19 PM
reply to post by baseball101

Well..... if Mr Paul Harvey were still with us, he'd tell us
'The Rest Of The Story'....

~from OP quote source~
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs attempted to deflect blame for the AIG bonus scandal away from the Obama administration by reminding reporters that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner inherited a bad situation and had to make the best of it when he took over from the Bush administration. [...]

The rest of the story......

under Bush, Secretary Paulson (former CEO of Goldman Sacs) pressed
Bush to sign the no-strings/no-accountability 'Bailout' of AIG...

Why?.... because AIG was counterparty to billion$ in credit/debt Swaps and other derivatives that were then and would continue to become 'mature' over the next several Quarters, And over the next few years, i.e. payable debt to Goldman Sacs.

Oh, Goldman wasn't the only Top-Tier Bank, deemed a 'Primary Dealer',
which is one of the top 12 -to- 20 Firms/Banks that juice the system for the FederalReserve & US Treasury....
But... during that first AIG bailout, it is still unclear just how much money was owed & paid to GoldmanSacs out of that emergency funding,
it could have been less than $15billion.

The first AIG bailout, also included 'Retention Bonuses'...
and all this was OK'ed by Congress, a Democrat Congress & Senate passed the $700bn TARP bill also.

Press Secretary Gibbs, needs to polish his Rumsfield impersonation, is my opinion.
now Rummy' was a master at deflecting blame & making a good tale to sell the (spin)....

and that's the rest-of-thee-story

[edit on 17-3-2009 by St Udio]

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 05:00 PM
reply to post by baseball101

there's now a video of the statements ... if you click the link to full article it will take you there ...

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 09:49 PM
Well well well... Gibbs opens his mouth and the media pulls out the archives, along with today's commentary spin.

Seems Democratic Senator Chris Dodd is single handedly responsible for the AIG bonus being allowed as part of the bailout. Ands as a typical politician, Dodd is back-peddling and claiming it was NOT the "Dodd Amendments" or at least not the "original Dodd Amendment"

Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections in the 'Dodd Amendment' Rules

While the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. That amendment provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” -- which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax.

The amendment made it into the final version of the bill, and is law.

Separately, Sen. Dodd was AIG’s largest single recipient of campaign donations during the 2008 election cycle with $103,100, according to

full story at link

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