Wednesday, February 3, 2010

AIG Finds New Legal Counsel, Shuffles Bonus Money

AIG has found someone to fill its General Counsel position, recently vacated by Anastasia Kelly, who left in a huff over a pay dispute. Other than leaving the firm with yet another dent in its cash balances, Ms. Kelly's departure will change absolutely nothing at AIG. Furthermore, the appointment of the new General Counsel, Thomas Russo, won't help the insurer pay back the multiple billions that it owes the government either. But, at least Mr. Russo is thankful for the new job, having recently left a legal position at Lehman Brothers. Mr. Russo worked at Lehman through the investment bank's collapse and its subsequent bankruptcy, so he is highly qualified for his new gig as the insurer voted most likely to fail when the government tires of the political controversy required in propping it up. Mr. Russo also compared himself to Brett Favre, indicating that he fulfills the inflated ego requirement necessary for working in a senior management position at AIG. What kind of personality tests do the recruiters for AIG administer? ("Please insert celebrity whose talent you consider similar to your own. The more preposterous, the better.")

Separately, and yet entirely related, AIG has recouped $20 million in bonuses from its employees. Yet the insurer has moved to pay out as much as $100 million in bonuses this week. But somehow the $100 million is different from the $20 million, as it goes towards the $45 million it promised the pay czar it would recoup from last year's bonuses. See? They aren't related at all. According to AIG, it believes the recouped $20 million "allows us to largely put the matter behind us." So leave them alone, would you?

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