Friday, March 20, 2009

Free the AIG 400

AIG has probably decided that it's not worth fighting the retroactive bonus confiscation at this point, but the actual legislation (H. R. 1586) appears to exclude "commission" from the definition of bonus. Thus, if the firm wanted to, it could restructure compensation for last year to have been based on the number of credit default swap contracts closed, label those payments commissions, and get its people paid that way. Which does raise the question of why they didn't structure the payments that way the first time. But with Congress making an utter fool of itself, maybe better late than never.

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