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March 18, 2009
Posted: 1444 GMT

Hello readers and viewers,

I'm back after a long week-end. Almost every time I turned on the radio, I heard outrage from ordinary Americans about the huge bonuses paid out to AIG employees – past and present – after the company accepted billions of dollars in bailout money.

Sure the money – $165 million – is a drop in the overall rescue plan bucket. Sure politicians are taking advantage of the hooha to score points. Sure the contracts were finalized before the current treasury team took over. But this is a question of principle, say taxpayers, whose hard earned cash turned 73 AIG employees into insta-millionaires.

Today at the I-Desk, we will cover AIG CEO Edward Liddy's testimony on Capitol Hill. We'll break it down with CNN's Dana Bash and analyze what impact this may have on AIG's future.

Also today, a look at Wall Street. A predictable pullback for the Dow Jones this morning after several explosive sessions. There is bad economic news out there, on both sides of the Atlantic. We'll ask if that is weighing down investors' moods.

And one of the most shocking cases in years takes a turn: Josef Fritzl, the father who admits raping, impregnating  and sequestering his own daughter for decades, pleads guilty to all charges. We'll take you live to Austria.

All the other day's top stories also on tap at the International Desk.

See you on the air,

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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Endurance   March 18th, 2009 5:22 pm ET

This is both an issue of morality and ethics. Upon deciding to offer bail-out funds to AIG, the government should have done a thorough job by finding out what latent debts still existed via such huge bonuses embedded in contracts. They didnt do that, now you want the company not to honour those contracts? Morally and emotionally, taking such bonuses are outrageous but on contractual and legal terms,if those bonuses where in their contracts and the government did not put clauses at the outset when offering the funds to prevent payment of such then you can't hold the CEO ransom for paying those bonuses

TAREK(BB)   March 18th, 2009 8:07 pm ET

HELLO EVERY ONE.

THIS MONEY WAS TO BAILOUT THE AIG, THE AIG SHAULD NOT INVOLVE IT WITH OTHERS, BECOUSE THIS MONEY IS TAXPAYERS NOT A PROFIT MADE BY AIG. IT IS OUT RAGES AS THEY SAID, AIG MADE A BIG MISTAKE BY USING THE BAILOUT MONEY TO BE PROFITS FOR THIER EMPLYEE AND OTHERS. IF AS THEY SAID IT WAS FOR PREVIOUS CONTRACTS, THEY SHOULD HAVE WAIT TO MAKE PROFITS THEN PAY BACK LATE CONTRACTS, BUT INSTED THEY CARELESLY USED THE BAILOUT MONEY WITHOUT THINKING OF THE PRESINET CRISES, AND GIVE IT TO OTHERS.

THIS IS REALLY FUNNY SITUATION.

BYE AND TAKE CARE, BEST REGARD TO YOU&CNN.

sharon kitchen   March 19th, 2009 2:40 pm ET

Since the American people are now the "owners", the congress could sue AIG. All the people having to live out of tents are tired of waiting. Enough is Enough.

After all the "FAT CATS/CEO'S " GET DONE with their prision time they could also live in tents. Just a tent and a bedroll for as long as it takes for them to do community service at a homeless shelter on the food line.

OSI G   March 19th, 2009 7:32 pm ET

i THOUGHT SELFISH MEN ONLY EXISTED IN AFRICA OR SHOULD I SAY NIGERIA.
HOW CAN CEOs (WHO ASKED FOR GOVT BAILOUT FUND WHICH WAS MEANT TO KEEP THEM FROM FAILING AND ALSO BRING BACK LAID-OFF JOBS) USE BAILOUT FINDS FRO THEIR BONUSES? IT IS SIMPLY SHEER WICKEDNESS! THEY SHOULD REFUND THAT MONEY!

OSI G
NIGERIA

Newton   March 20th, 2009 10:54 am ET

These Bonus where or are based on imoral motives and lack of professionalism in some of our American trained Chief excutives,Finance managers,Auditors etc. In the enviroment that exists currently every Ceo that practices profesional code of ethics would look at the options to that contract before deciding to award employees for non – perfomance. I personally have a lot of respect for the americans but am disppointed by their lack of professionalism. Ceo's trained in Europe are widely known to uphold standards as compared to their collegues in America. Shame on AIG employees you just shown us the level of your poor mgt and Training.

Newton
Lusaka. Zambia

Debbie   March 24th, 2009 4:38 pm ET

Capitol Hill and Wall Street don't care about the working people, middle class. Why should they!!! They don't associate with people like us. All they care about is making themselves richer and the people they know richer. Greed, greed and more greed. Now that they are getting that money back from AIG, spread the wealth, give to the people that make the difference, US. The watress that serves them dinner, the clerk who sacks their groceries, the nurse who takes their temperature, the teacher who teaches their children, and so on.
If the American people are paying taxes on all this money we are giving Wall Street and the banks, then we should be able to claim a percentage of that on our taxes each year, right! Sounds good to me!!
Thanks
Debbie, Ks

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