Money for nothing?May 14, 2009, Washington Times article:
Last fall, the American International Group Inc. took heat for a $440,000 weekend bash that it threw for its top performers at the posh St. Regis resort, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But that was just chump change compared to the bombshell revelation that AIG plans to dole out hundreds of millions in corporate bonuses for performance in 2008.
The rant heard ‘round the water cooler went something like this: Performance? In an insurance company that just reported the biggest quarterly loss in American history--$61.7 billion in the final quarter of 2008?
How could it be that AIG was paying out $450 million in bonuses to people in one company unit that drove $40.5 billion in losses last year? Shouldn’t that kind of "performance" require those employees to return some of their salaries, if not be fired altogether?
Bankrupt Tribune gives bonuses after editorializing about AIG(via Instapundit)
[T]his week, the Tribune Co. -- which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Hartford Courant and other dailies, along with 23 TV stations -- received permission from a Delaware bankruptcy judge to pay out $13.3 million in bonuses to some 700 local and corporate managers.
The payouts come as $2.7 million in severance pay to 68 employees who lost their jobs last year remains frozen.
Tribune Chief Financial Officer Chandler Bigelow III explained the rationale for the bonuses during an appearance in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday, using an argument reminiscent of that used by AIG.
"We need to motivate and incentivize the key people who will implement change. These are really good people we're talking about. They're the best and the brightest in the company," Mr. Bigelow told Judge Kevin Carey.