Clinton Walks Away From $20 Million Bonus
The AIG bonus scandal comes at a bad time for Bill Clinton, who reportedly walked away from a $20 million “good bye” bonus from Yucaipa Partners. With the AIG crowd getting blasted for paying bonuses to employees who ran the company into the ground (see AIG Says We Must Retain The Talented Staff That Lost $170 Billion), it would have been political suicide for Clinton to take a $20 million check, especially since it is unclear exactly how he earned this money.
Mr Clinton was not shy, however, about taking a very healthy paycheck from Yucaipa Partners prior to ending his association with the firm.
Beginning in 2002, Mr. Clinton served as an adviser to two domestic investment funds run by closely held Los Angeles-based Yucaipa. In that role he had an agreement in which he would receive a final payment based on a calculation of how much profits the investments had produced.
Additionally, Mr. Clinton was a partner in a foreign fund that also included an entity connected to the ruler of Dubai. Mr. Clinton received more than $12 million of partnership payments in recent years from the Yucaipa foreign fund.
He anticipated receiving a total of up to $20 million more as a payout from all three partnerships, according to people familiar with the matter.
What exactly did Mr Clinton do to earn $12 million so easily? Does anyone believe that a company would pay someone $12 million without expecting to receive large favors in return? Working for special interest groups certainly pays well, but don’t bother applying for the job unless you happen to be an ex President. When it comes to unjustified payouts, Yucaipa Partners should be getting the same scrutiny that AIG is receiving.
Geithner Does It Again – Did Not Contain AIG Bonus Disaster
How many times can you embarrass your boss without being shown the door? See Are Geithner’s Day Numbered? Having been involved with the AIG debacle from the beginning, Mr Geithner should have been ahead of the curve on the bonus payouts and killed the plan from the start.
Mr Geithner has projected an image of bumbling incompetence from day one, starting with his poor explanation for not paying taxes. Geithner’s performance in presenting his “plan” for saving the banks was widely criticized for lack of substance and he has been viewed as a lightweight ever since.
Lawmakers in both parties Wednesday questioned why Mr. Geithner didn’t do more to derail the bonus payments and two Republicans called on him to resign.
The uproar comes on top of a skeptical reception to Mr. Geithner’s plan to ameliorate the financial crisis and concern about his slowness in building a team.
From the outset, Mr. Geithner’s tenure was clouded by questions about his failure to pay personal taxes. Now, seven weeks into the job, he also finds himself pilloried by late-night comics.
Critics say Mr. Geithner stumbled badly on AIG, endangering the president’s broader agenda.
“It was Treasury’s responsibility to watch how these funds were used,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in a statement. “Obviously, they fell asleep on the job.”
Besides providing great material for the late night comics, Mr Geithner has contributed little.
All things considered, Geithner should be fired – the country deserves better.
Obama Takes Blame For AIG
To his credit, the President accepted blame for the AIG mess, and did not follow the usual political practice of “solving” a problem by blaming someone else. The country needs to move on from this sideshow; there are far larger issues that need our attention.
“Washington is all in a tizzy and everybody is pointing fingers at each other and saying it’s their fault, the Democrats’ fault, the Republicans’ fault,” he said at a town hall meeting Wednesday. “Listen, I’ll take responsibility. I’m the President.”
He also make clear that it isn’t really his fault. “We didn’t grant these contracts,” he said.
But he added: “So for everybody in Washington who’s busy scrambling, trying to figure out how to blame somebody else, just go ahead and talk to me, because it’s my job to make sure that we fix these messes, even if I don’t make them.”