We are justifiably outraged that AIG is paying $165,000,000 in bonuses to its executives while taxpayers have paid $170 billion to bail AIG out. AIG says it is contractually obligated to make these payments regardless of how poorly AIG’s executives have run the company.
Three courses of conduct seem appropriate. First, AIG executives have the right – but perhaps not the legal duty – to decline to accept part or all of their compensation. The second step is for congress and the news media to identify by name and picture the AIG executives who are accepting these huge payments. This expose should identify the areas over which each executive is responsible as well as any faulty decisions or practices associated with departments under that executive’s supervision. Finally, shareholders should use the facts produced to determine whether shareholder derivative suits should be filed against one or more of these people.
Cumberland School of Law, Cum Laude graduate Peter F. Burns practice areas include business litigation will contests, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and other matters of complex civil litigation. Mr. Burns is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court and is a Certified Alabama Mediator; Board-Certified Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, and a member of national and state Legal associations.