- DOJ reaches largest-ever federal government settlement over auto loan discrimination
- U.S. Navy to start giving gay couples marriage benefits in Japan
- Sen. Harry Reid goes to hospital as a precaution
- Fla.’s Trey Radel exits rehab, ‘excited’ to resume congressional role
- U.S. nuclear general boozed it up, chased ‘hot women’ in Russia: report
- 45 Calif. students at one school test positive for tuberculosis exposure
- Rob Ford on women: Give them cash ‘and they are happy’
- Ku Klux Klan group holds recruitment meeting in Maryland
- Airport assassination: Mayor, 3 others killed at Manila airport
- Tea party-type lawmakers take mysterious, off-books trip to Mideast
AIG followed bailout with $440K retreat
Question of the Day
Top executives at failed insurance giant American International Group spent $440,000 at a company retreat just days after the federal government bailed out the company with $85 billion in taxpayer funds, according to documents revealed Tuesday at a Capitol Hill hearing.
American International Group (AIG) paid the exclusive St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Calif., almost $200,000 for rooms - some costing as much at $1,000 a night - $150,000 for meals and $25,000 in spa and salon charges for pedicures, manicures, facials and massages.
“Less than one week after taxpayers rescued AIG, company executives could be found wining and dining at one of the most exclusive resorts in the nation,” said Henry A. Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The California Democrat also produced documents that showed top AIG officials hid significant oversight problems from shareholders months before the bailout.
“You have cost my constituents and the taxpayers of this country $85 billion and run into the ground one of the most respected insurance companies in the history of our country,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, New York Democrat.
• View AIG company executives’ resort bill:Download pdf
Mrs. Maloney then added that former company chief executives Martin J. Sullivan and Robert B. Willumstad, who testified at the hearing, “should apologize to the American people for your mismanagement.”
Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Willumstad, who left the company before the retreat, said they would not have condoned such an expensive meeting on their watch only days after the company escaped bankruptcy.
“If I had seen bills like that, I would have asked questions,” said Mr. Sullivan, who in June was ousted from the company - three months before its financial collapse.
Mr. Willumstad, who took over for Mr. Sullivan but stepped down last month as part of the government bailout deal, said he was not aware of the retreat, even though it was held only a few days after he left the company.
The two former executives were questioned for more than two hours by Democratic and Republican members of the committee in the second of several hearings to explore the origins of the Wall Street crisis. No current AIG officials testified.
On Monday, the committee heard testimony that Lehman Brothers doled out more than $20 million in bonuses to top executives just four days before the investment giant declared bankruptcy and accelerated last month.
AIG avoided collapse in September with a $85 billion Treasury loan. The deal gave the government an 80 percent stake in AIG, the right to remove senior management and to veto payment of dividends to shareholders as ways to protect taxpayers.
The action was followed by the most significant Wall Street downturn since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks, prompting the Congress last week to approve a Bush administration plan to spend $700 billion to help rescue failing financial institutions.
Mr. Waxman showed a letter sent to AIG from the Office of Thrift Supervision in March expressing concerns that corporate oversight in the company’s financial products division “lacks critical elements of independence, transparency and granularity.”
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
By John McAfee
- Breaking Fad: Alligators becoming the new pit bulls for drug dealers, cops say
- D.C. to tout Obamacare among youth waiting for Air Jordans
- Huge backlash mounts over suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson
- TARGET credit card theft swells to 40 million victims
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Obama: 2014 will be 'breakthrough year' for U.S.
- Dems use new filibuster rules to approve DHS nominee Alejandro Mayorkas under investigation
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow