Recent news items about AIG bonuses have members of Congress up in arms puffing about the scandal of AIG paying ineffective execs fat bonuses for helping auger the company straight into the ground.
Before we address how silly AIG's explanations for this conduct are, I'd like to point out how silly it is to see members of Congress complaining about AIG pouring valuable funds into pointless bottomless pits like the pockets of ineffective oversight personnel. It turns out AIG's federal lobbying budget as the crisis approached included over $50,000 per day Congress was in session. Heck, as a member of Congress Obama received over $45,000 from AIG -- second only to Democratic senator Christopher Dodd.
As explained at the Huffington Post, it's worth asking what Americans have really gained in fiscal accountability or control since the recent election. Considering how seriously fundraising accountability has been taken by the current incumbent (using shared accounts to evade campign contribution limits isn't fraud?), this might not really be a surprise (not that either major party's candidate wasn't playing the same game; gamesmanship like this is apparently just business as usual on both sides).
Now, to AIG's own silliness. Claiming that the payments could not be stopped because they were required by contracts is pure idiocy. Ask Steve Jobs: breach of contract is not a criminal offense, just a business tactic. I'd like to see executives who crashed AIG try arguing to a jury of taxpayers they should receive a damages award for failure to pay a bonus to the idiots who caused the crash.