Here, from the "National Review On-Line" is one version:
Well, Chris Dodd.But, here is Gleen Greenwald (on St Paddy's Day) saying it was all Geithner's fault.
From page H1412 of the Final Stimulus Bill, “SEC. 111. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:
'(iii) The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.”
This amendment provides an exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009, which exempts the very AIG bonuses Obama is condemning every single chance he gets. The amendment is in the final version and is law.
That's the amendment that Dodd got placed in the Obama stimulus bill.
That is simply not what happened. What actually happened is the opposite. It was Dodd who did everything possible -- including writing and advocating for an amendment -- which would have applied the limitations on executive compensation to all bailout-receiving firms, including AIG, and applied it to all future bonus payments without regard to when those payments were promised. But it was Tim Geithner and Larry Summers who openly criticized Dodd's proposal at the time and insisted that those limitations should apply only to future compensation contracts, not ones that already existed. The exemption for already existing compensation agreements -- the exact provision that is now protecting the AIG bonus payments -- was inserted at the White House's insistence and over Dodd's objections. But now that a political scandal has erupted over these payments, the White House is trying to deflect blame from itself and heap it all on Chris Dodd by claiming that it was Dodd who was responsible for that exemption.Frankly, my instinct is to go with those who blame Senator Dodd. He is the one who had the cosy relationship with Countrywide. However, going to Glenn Greenwald's source, Jane Hamsher at "Fire Dog Lake," one wonders. And, one commentor suggests we look for Rahm Emanuel's fingerprints on this.
Too hard to tell, but it is ugly.
My friend Jeff thinks the AIG CEO should have stiffed the executives, let them sue, let the courts give it to the plaintiffs and then cut their salaries for the year, until things turn around.
Of course, that brings up the question of the role of the Board. Shouldn't the reform of this Recession be about the Boards of Corporations learning to be responsible?
UPDATE: Senator Chris Dodd admits he put the provision in the bill, at the request of a Treasury Department official (anonymous official in the CNN report).
"The administration had expressed reservations," Dodd said. "They asked for modifications. The alternative was losing the amendment entirely."They all look guilty.
Regards -- Cliff