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March 17th, 2009
12:29 PM ET

Kiran: Tuesday Roundup

 Ryan Mac and Jill Schlesinger spar over AIG 'bonuses'.
Ryan Mac and Jill Schlesinger spar over AIG 'bonuses'.

Good Morning and Happy St. Patrick's Day,

So our first day here on AM making it easier for you guys to give us feedback - we have our new toll-free phone line 877-MY-AM-FIX, our Facebook page and our Twitter accounts... and boy, did we get an earful!

More than 4000 calls to our hotline, hundreds more people following our tweets on Twitter. We are really trying to make it worth your while by taking your feedback, putting it on the air and answering your questions.

The biggest talker this morning without a doubt is still the AIG bonus outrage.

Things even got heated between our two guests Ryan Mack, President, Optimum Capital Management/Investment Advisor and Jill Schlesinger, Exec VP & Chief Investment Officer of Strategic Point Investment Advisors/Financial Advisor who had very different takes on the issue. Check it out here

A lot of our guests and viewers asked "Why does there seem to be a double standard for AIG?". Other industries and companies were forced to re-negotiate contracts in the face of this financial crisis. Workers were forced to take less money or forego a raise in an effort to keep their company afloat.

The other big question– why didn't the White House or Congress attach more strings before freeing up this bailout (taxpayer) money?

A lot to chew over this morning. But as always we'll keep you posted on what we find out. In the meantime, keep your comments coming.

Cheers,

Kiran


Filed under: Roundup
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. steve hamrick

    AIG , Wall Street, and the Congress should remember that the people that lost half their 401Ks and retirement accounts and won't have the time to make their money back before retirement are members of the generation that staged sit-ins, led anti-war protests, sparked riots, marched for their civil rights and fought in Viet-nam. I certainly wouldn't want them to know where I lived if I got caught with my hand in their cookie jar.

    March 18, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  2. hodan

    Jill needs a reality check. She is the most annoying person on tv, that i had to listen to in the last one year. It is not like they have somewhere else to go, "retention bonus?" give me a break. Let them go and see if they can get a job at another financial institution special considering how big they messed up. People are being laid off, reduced their pay, lost their vacations and this is how we get a slap on our face.

    I am so frustrated about hearing this and have everyday person like myself suffer and strugle while people like Jill, with no common sense nor any idea stand there and defend what AIG is doing.

    March 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  3. Donna

    The woman who talks about our money problems didn't really
    answer the question when the caller asked: "Where does our money go?? What happenens to our money when we lose it to our stocks, IRA's or 401K's" The question is: What happens to our money,?? Does the government get it?? We do have a right to know. Please answer.

    March 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  4. Gary W. Fuller

    Let's consider this approach...

    Have the bonuses required by contract placed in escrow accounts in the names of the individuals that are due them. When and if AIG is profitable, and, when/if AIG pays back the Government loans, the amounts in the escrow accounts are paid to the employees. If they don't return to profitability and/or if they don't repay the Government loans, they never receive their bonuses. This better than taxing them at 100%, or having the employees "commit suicide," as was proposed. In the strictest sense of the word, AIG will have upheld the terms and conditions of the contract by using the escrow account approach, with some conditions.

    March 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  5. Willard G Crichton

    Regarding the AIG bonuses:

    Certainly, if there are contracts involved, they must either be honored, modified or challenged in court. All that takes time. Perhaps a better way to deal with this conundrum is to place the bonus money in escrow for a period of time (say, a year), and make the payout contingent on AIG's performance in the marketplace ... if it begins to see profits and collaborate in easing the woes of the economy, then the employees and executives who actually perform in making this a reality will be able to receive their bonuses. If not, the funds in escrow will be returned to the government (and indirectly, to the American taxpayer).

    March 17, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  6. George

    Regardless of perspectives on the issue of bonuses and bailout money, Ryan Mac was outrageously rude. He was discourteous to Ms. Schlesinger and to us, the viewers. I am disappointed that neither Ms. Chetry nor the producer chose to stop the interview when he began to bully Ms. Schlesinger. I choose CNN for news and information. The kind of behavior that Mr. Mac demonstrated is more appropriate for reality TV.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  7. Dannette New York, NY

    Great Job Ryan!...Jill Sclesinger made a fool of herself...anyone attempting to defend AIG bonuses even in the most remote fashion doesn't deserve to speak.. (sorry.).and furhermore she was fighting a losing battle with Kitra and Ryan..you noticed how she started losing her footing from the beginning, and started to yell at Kitra..bottom line one of the most sensible things I've heard thus far was from Ryan Mack..."Too big to lose is one thing...but too big to be responsible is unacceptable"... in this weakening economy and changing world, contracts are being reneged on and unplanned drastic measures are being carried out by companies all over...AIG's contract should most certainly be re-negotiated...Luv Ya Ryan!!

    March 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  8. ford c

    I was somewhat disappointed in Ryan Mac. He barely allowed any rebuttal, continued to interrupt before Jill Schlesinger was able to complete a thought or make a point. Also disappointing that Ms. Chetry didn't force the issue with him. While I side with Mr. Mac, I really wanted to hear the other side of the argument. That's the ONLY way people are able to make intelligent choices... when they have ALL the information.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  9. David MacDonald

    RE: The "discussion" between Ryan Mack and Jill Schlesinger, I was ready to switch channels. He wouldn't let her speak and should not be permitted back on. This kind of discussion is a long way from enlightenment. If I wanted a fight, I'd turn on the WWF.

    Dave MacDonald
    Pittsgrove, NJ

    March 17, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  10. Nikunj Sanghvi

    Regarding AIG, I feel like I am living in some "banana republic" where the common man's money is being used by a bunch of goons to line their own pockets. The US must be the laughing stock of the world, not the so called leader that it wants to be.

    I would urge anyone who lives in the neighborhood of any AIG executive to let them know how we feel by making their lives as miserable as possible. Just don't stoop to their vulgar mentality and lynch them.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  11. Joseph Danile Brian Lawlor,

    Should we not be able to access AIG documentation on the bonus pay out through Government who must have access as a requirement for the bailout and the transparency talked about yet not walked?

    If the base, to which we the Peoples are, is being dismantled while trying to secure upper levels what eventually happens?

    Executives are paid for performance or to hush matters. Seeing as the executives did not perform are they not being paid for the latter?

    March 17, 2009 at 11:02 am |