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AIG’s ill-timed junket
The politics of a $440,000 post-bailout luxury retreat
 

Days after the U.S. bailed out insurance giant AIG to the tune of $85 billion, said David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times, senior executives took a “jaw-dropping” $440,000 trip to Southern California’s “ultra-swanky St. Regis Resort,” including a $23,000 spa bill. Congress wasn’t amused when the “post-bailout getaway” was revealed in a House Oversight Committee hearing.

To be fair, in his “congressional humiliation” session AIG’s chief executive said the event was inappropriate and he would have stopped it “if anyone had told him,” said Floyd Norris in The New York Times online. But seriously, “if Wall Street wanted to outrage the nation, could it do a better job than it is doing now?”

AIG’s “frolic at the resort” could actually be useful for the “average American taxpayer” to latch on to, said the Vermont Times Argus in an editorial. “Ordinary people” may not understand “all the nuances and subtleties” behind the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, but they “surely recognize greed” and the need to affix “political responsibility.”

 

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