This is probably the best story I've read so far regaring the bailout. Today, the house passed HR-1586, which taxes bonuses paid to executives at AIG at 90%. Hopefully this will deincentivize this sort of activity in other government-supported entities (are you listenting Fannie and Freddie?) Personally, I think it should've been 95% -- but then again, there may have been a better solution.
The U.S. government is now 80% owner of AIG. It could very easily put it's foot down, as owner, and demand that the bonuses not be paid. Every time I've heard this argument made, it's been shot down with a "you'd need to talk to a contract lawyer about that", being that the bonuses were in the contracts of these individuals. However, the recent case in which the UAW (United Auto Workers) had to give up major terms of their contracts or face massive layoffs has raised doubts for me as to the "sanctity of the contract".
My first reaction, as I'm sure was yours as well, when I heard about the issuance of bonuses was that the higher-ups in AIG were "raiding the couffers". I'm glad to see the government is representing the outrage of the people and not taking this lying down. There's no reason that we should be paying taxes to support bonuses for these corrupt individuals, while simultaneosly suffering the ill effects from their bad decisions.