AIG to give back 50 mln in bonuses

March 24, 2009

, WASHINGTON, Mar 24 – Bosses at embattled insurance giant AIG have agreed to pay back 50 million dollars in bonuses, amid an outcry over the use of taxpayer money for executive perks, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

"So far, nine of the top 10 bonus recipients have agreed to give the bonuses back. Of the top 20, 15 have agreed to return the bonuses," Cuomo said in a statement.

AIG has been lambasted after it emerged the firm had used 165 million dollars of government bailout funds to pay for staff bonuses, despite massive losses at the firm.

In the final quarter of 2008, AIG posted a 61.7 billion dollar loss, the largest quarterly loss ever recorded in the United States.

The US government has so far pumped around 170 billion dollars into the insurance giant to keep it afloat, fearing its collapse could deepen a market-wide liquidity crisis.

News that AIG staff had received retention bonuses derived from tax payers cash prompted US lawmakers to propose a 90 percent tax on the premiums.

The New York Times earlier reported that 30 million dollars of the bonus payback would come from the firm\’s financial products division.

The division was widely blamed for the company\’s downfall through its investments in complex financial derivatives that turned out to be worth a fraction of their on-book value.

"I would like to say this to the individuals who have given the money back: You have done the right thing. You have done what this country now needs and demands," Cuomo said.

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