Stop the AIG Insanity

Can we all just calm down a little? That’s what New York Times Joe Nocera is asking. The AIG bonuses were infuriating, but the death threats, Cuomo’s outing of the bonus recipients, Liddy’s awful congressional hearing, and the House’s 90 percent tax on the payments did nothing to help fix the problem. Meanwhile, AIG’s real culprits, like ex-financial products head Joseph Cassano, “are counting their money in ‘retirement,’ Nocera writes, and Merrill Lynch staffers are holding onto their billions in bonuses. Even worse, the political response may be making the crisis worse: “The Obama administration appears to have lost its grip on Congress, while the Treasury Department always seems caught off guard by bad news,” he writes. Now that the taxpayers own AIG, what the government should do is position it as “ a company with many profitable units, worth potentially billions, and one bad unit that needs to be unwound.” The “economic arson” must be stopped!