I was reading this very dispiriting article in the Times about how folks in the administration have known about the AIG bonuses for months, how the folks at AIG are now saying they’d never have done any of it without the go-ahead from the Treasury and — best of all — how the plan to get AIG to pay the bonus money back appears to involve giving AIG still more taxpayer money which they can then hand back to us as ‘repayment’, while the new bonused execs (bonees?) get to keep the money anyway.
But all was not lost. Because I found out a little more about AIG Financial Products, my new obsession.
We’ve already told you about Joseph Cassano, former head of AIGFP, the guy who ran the operation as they were busy making tons of money blowing up AIG and the global economy.
Inter alia, the Times article reports the division is now run by Gerry Pasciucco, a former vice chairman of Morgan Stanley. On the left, you can see a recent photograph of Mr. Pasciucco from a party in Belle Haven, sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt, blue blazer and handkerchief, with some sort of sporting drink I’m unable to identify (possibly a mojito?).
Given how AIGFP helped bring global capitalism to its knees, the choice of t-shirt might suggest a role for internal subversion few have yet considered. But it is important to note that AIG CEO Edward Liddy brought Pascuicco in last November, after the collapse, “with instructions to wind down the unit.” So it seems that Pascuicco’s role has been to sort through the rubble rather than build the bomb.
But I digress. There’s an issue I’ve been meaning to raise with AIGFP that may be relevant to various of the questions we’ve been discussing today. First, it’s located in London. What that means for what law governs the different questions about the bonuses? I’m not sure. Second, as the Times notes, this is a derivatives trading shop located in London. How many of the people working there are US citizens? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s a global economy. It’s a company (a division of AIG) operating in the UK. But I suspect it may play some role in the resistance to identifying who the bonees are.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.