The article:

Mad Money: The AIG edition

By Angie Drobnic Holan
Published on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 at 5:39 p.m.

AIG got Congress — and the public — hopping mad this week, with news that executives at the failing company pulled down $165 million in retention bonuses on March 15.

President Obama ordered Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to find a way to get the money back, while the U.S. House of Representatives summoned CEO Edward Liddy for testimony.

Here at PolitiFact, we found riches of our own with all the statements being thrown around.

This week's offerings include:

• AIG will give $57 million in "retention payments" to people it actually intends terminate, said Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. We found that True.

• A bipartisan amendment could have avoided all this if the amendment had only made it through Congress earlier this year, said Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. We looked into the amendment and found his statements about it to be Mostly True.

• A chain email said that AIG was getting taxpayer dollars because it insures the federal pensions of Congress. The Truth-O-Meter said Pants on Fire!

• In Japan, shamed executives apologize and then resign or commit suicide, said Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. We found he was right on the apologies and resignations, while suicides are rare. We rated his statement Half True.

About this article:


See individual items for sources.

Researchers: Angie Drobnic Holan

Names in this article: Chain email, Elijah Cummings, Chuck Grassley, Ron Wyden

How to contact us:

We want to hear your suggestions and comments.

For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.

For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.

Browse The Truth-O-MeterTM: