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"A.I.G. Suing US Government for $306 Million"
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Author Topic: "A.I.G. Suing US Government for $306 Million"  (Read 59228 times)
Aeron
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« on: March 20, 2009, 02:51:27 EDT »

Another hilarious satire of the over-the-top corruption and greed of corporate America by the Onion....

no...

wait....

what?

THIS IS REAL?!?!?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/business/20aig.html
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 02:54:30 EDT by Aeron » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 05:43:10 EDT »

Given the way the government have behaved it seems quite understandable.  Agreeing to bonuses, then trying to renege on the agreement.

The US have a lot to learn about how to nationalize industries.  That said, hopefully they'll never learn it.
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Ihlosi
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 06:04:13 EDT »

Given the way the government have behaved it seems quite understandable.  Agreeing to bonuses, then trying to renege on the agreement.

Maybe it would be a start if the representatives actually read the stuff they're voting on.
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 12:04:15 EDT »

Given the way the government have behaved it seems quite understandable.  Agreeing to bonuses, then trying to renege on the agreement.

Maybe it would be a start if the representatives actually read the stuff they're voting on.
Yes.  Many representatives have responded during this crisis very like AIG executives did before it.
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jerseycajun
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 12:57:40 EDT »

What congress is doing with the 90% tax on AIG is blatantly unconstitutional on three grounds.

1.) It's an ex-post facto law.  Meaning it's a law that attempts to punish you tomorrow with a bill passed today for an action that you took legally yesterday.  If a person can't see the perils such a precident would set, I hope they don't vote.

2.) It's a bill of attainder, meaning it's legislation aimed at punishing a particular target.  If a person can't see the perils, yadda yadda...

3.) It's confiscatory, based not on the government needing 90% to function, but out of a desire to punish an unpopular (read: easy) target.  There's little doubt punishment is the goal.  Listen to the vitriolic congressional transcripts.  Punishment without a trial or conviction, no less - a 4th amendment violation.  Courts have struck down similar attempts in the past.

The initial idea was to alter a binding and valid contract, something that is also expressly forbidden by the contracts clause in the Constitution.

The bonuses are more like balloon payments promised for work done in 2007 & 2008, well before AIG bombed, and taken most likely in exchange for not taking a regular salary.

For all these reasons, I support the suit and hope the courts kill this bill with extreme prejudice and authority.

Lastly, I'll stop laughing at the phony outrage over this when I see people picketing in front of the Postmaster General's house and see congress tax him at 90% for getting his 800,000 dollar perk/balloon payment while complaining that they'll have to cut back on deliveries due to losses.  Or when they themselves (congressmen) for taking raises when they were getting low approval ratings.
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"If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?" — Frederic Bastiat - from The Law

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."  -  George Washington

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all." - Frederic Bastiat - The Law
Ihlosi
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 13:17:32 EDT »

1.) It's an ex-post facto law.  Meaning it's a law that attempts to punish you tomorrow with a bill passed today for an action that you took legally yesterday.  If a person can't see the perils such a precident would set, I hope they don't vote.

No, it's not. It would be if the bonuses had already been paid. The tax is imposed when the bonus is paid, not when it was contractually agreed upon.

Quote
The initial idea was to alter a binding and valid contract, something that is also expressly forbidden by the contracts clause in the Constitution.

They shoulds have just not paid the bonuses and told those guys "Just sue us.". No contract is really unambiguous - call in the lawyers!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 13:41:50 EDT by Ihlosi » Logged
Aeron
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2009, 13:23:27 EDT »

Given the way the government have behaved it seems quite understandable.  Agreeing to bonuses, then trying to renege on the agreement.

This lawsuit is unrelated to the recent bonus fiasco, and was in fact filed a month ago.
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2009, 13:54:56 EDT »

1.) It's an ex-post facto law.  Meaning it's a law that attempts to punish you tomorrow with a bill passed today for an action that you took legally yesterday.  If a person can't see the perils such a precident would set, I hope they don't vote.

No, it's not. It would be if the bonuses had already been paid. The tax is imposed when the bonus is paid, not when it was contractually agreed upon.
I'm sure that's the line that the US government will take if they have to go to the supreme court.

It is useful to ask if the act is legal.  I think it's more useful though to ask if we want laws of this sort passing in general.  Here is the situation, a contract has been agreed to pay a sum of money in the future.  The government have setup a law taxing a particular group of individuals who hold a contract of this sort.

If the electorate agree to this sort of thing then it may become an acceptable practice.  In that case the government could use it in other situations.  So, the intelligent long-term question to ask is: Would you ever like to be on the receiving end of this sort of legislation?

Quote
The initial idea was to alter a binding and valid contract, something that is also expressly forbidden by the contracts clause in the Constitution.

They shoulds have just not paid the bonuses and told those guys "Just sue us.".
They should just pay them, that is what they are legally obliged to do.
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jerseycajun
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2009, 14:06:00 EDT »

1.) It's an ex-post facto law.  Meaning it's a law that attempts to punish you tomorrow with a bill passed today for an action that you took legally yesterday.  If a person can't see the perils such a precident would set, I hope they don't vote.

No, it's not. It would be if the bonuses had already been paid. The tax is imposed when the bonus is paid, not when it was contractually agreed upon.

Quote
The initial idea was to alter a binding and valid contract, something that is also expressly forbidden by the contracts clause in the Constitution.

They shoulds have just not paid the bonuses and told those guys "Just sue us.". No contract is really unambiguous - call in the lawyers!


It has been paid out in most cases, otherwise how could it be that the executives were asked to return some or all of it, and some of them did?

It would have cost the government about as much to take this case through the federal courts system, netting zero or negative gains for them, assuming they did win.  The AIG execs have the stronger legal claim -  by a longshot.  What do you think of losing more money than the sum you're trying to get back, and losing in the courts anyway?  How happy do you think taxpayers will be then?

Why isn't there this outrage over the Post Office?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 14:11:05 EDT by jerseycajun » Logged

"If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?" — Frederic Bastiat - from The Law

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."  -  George Washington

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all." - Frederic Bastiat - The Law
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2009, 14:14:50 EDT »

Given the way the government have behaved it seems quite understandable.  Agreeing to bonuses, then trying to renege on the agreement.

This lawsuit is unrelated to the recent bonus fiasco, and was in fact filed a month ago.

Sorry, I saw the word "tax" involved and current events popped to mind.  Still, we should talk about what happened yesterday in Congress as well.
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"If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?" — Frederic Bastiat - from The Law

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."  -  George Washington

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all." - Frederic Bastiat - The Law
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 14:39:38 EDT »

Well, the reason for the outrage is obvious, Obama and Geitner pressed to have the bonus included in the legistlation, so now they have to cover their asses.

This is all just an elaborate smokescreen designed to tie up the media and provide political cover.
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2009, 21:47:21 EDT »

2.) It's a bill of attainder, meaning it's legislation aimed at punishing a particular target.  If a person can't see the perils, yadda yadda...

3.) It's confiscatory, based not on the government needing 90% to function, but out of a desire to punish an unpopular (read: easy) target.  There's little doubt punishment is the goal.  Listen to the vitriolic congressional transcripts.  Punishment without a trial or conviction, no less - a 4th amendment violation.  Courts have struck down similar attempts in the past.

See, these statements require one to accept that a corporation is a person. A living, breathing person with citizenship, no less. A bill of attainder is targeted at a particular person, not a particular target. The 4th amendment only applies to people.

This kind of shit is what both Wodan and I have argued against because it leads to corporations having far too much power. As it turns out, Congress is going about fixing that the wrong way, but at least they see that it needs fixing.

Lastly, I'll stop laughing at the phony outrage over this when I see people picketing in front of the Postmaster General's house and see congress tax him at 90% for getting his 800,000 dollar perk/balloon payment while complaining that they'll have to cut back on deliveries due to losses.  Or when they themselves (congressmen) for taking raises when they were getting low approval ratings.

Yeah, the postmaster thing stung... But congressional approval is a poor measure of anything. People don't approve of Congress, but they do approve of their own Congressmen.
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So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
jerseycajun
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2009, 23:10:52 EDT »

2.) It's a bill of attainder, meaning it's legislation aimed at punishing a particular target.  If a person can't see the perils, yadda yadda...

3.) It's confiscatory, based not on the government needing 90% to function, but out of a desire to punish an unpopular (read: easy) target.  There's little doubt punishment is the goal.  Listen to the vitriolic congressional transcripts.  Punishment without a trial or conviction, no less - a 4th amendment violation.  Courts have struck down similar attempts in the past.

See, these statements require one to accept that a corporation is a person. A living, breathing person with citizenship, no less. A bill of attainder is targeted at a particular person, not a particular target. The 4th amendment only applies to people.

This kind of shit is what both Wodan and I have argued against because it leads to corporations having far too much power. As it turns out, Congress is going about fixing that the wrong way, but at least they see that it needs fixing.

Lastly, I'll stop laughing at the phony outrage over this when I see people picketing in front of the Postmaster General's house and see congress tax him at 90% for getting his 800,000 dollar perk/balloon payment while complaining that they'll have to cut back on deliveries due to losses.  Or when they themselves (congressmen) for taking raises when they were getting low approval ratings.

Yeah, the postmaster thing stung... But congressional approval is a poor measure of anything. People don't approve of Congress, but they do approve of their own Congressmen.

The people who contracted with the corporation for those packages are individual people.  They're the ones who contracted with the corporations to receive those benefits after "x" years of service to that entity.  They're also the individuals from whom the government is trying to extricate back the money they were paid for their services.  The money isn't in the corporation's hands anymore, and regardless of whether or not the corporation is considered a person or not, the disagreements over whether or not corporations deserve personhood is irrelevant in this matter as corporate personhood doesn't play a role in this controversy.  The contract is still a valid contract.

We agree that corporations are not persons (or they shouldn't be considered so), but we would both agree I think that it is still a business, and as a business, it is capable of entering into contracts with employees, which is the relevant subject at hand.  Just as any non-corporate business is capable of doing.  There is no distinction between corporate and non-corporate businesses when entering into a contract.  There is no special personhood advantage corporations have in making contracts which all businesses enter into.  Claiming that because the entity is a corporation in this case makes no meaningful difference.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 23:18:57 EDT by jerseycajun » Logged

"If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?" — Frederic Bastiat - from The Law

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."  -  George Washington

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all." - Frederic Bastiat - The Law
Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2009, 10:16:38 EDT »

Well, the reason for the outrage is obvious, Obama and Geitner pressed to have the bonus included in the legistlation, so now they have to cover their asses.

This is all just an elaborate smokescreen designed to tie up the media and provide political cover.

Yeah, its sucks that loopholes keep getting into legislation... not just because of incompetence, however, but because of political jockeying. Fiascos like the bonus situation wouldn't happen if law makers weren't constantly trying to slip favors through the cracks.

As for the suit, did AIG attempt other avenues (if there any) to dispute the matter? I hope so, otherwise it's a pretty audacious move...


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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2009, 15:23:05 EDT »

It's not so much favours as just good olde incompetence.

The problem is it takes longer to unravel a knot then make one, and there is a hell of a lot more brainpower making knots.

Enron sort of showed everyone how to go about setting up a solid "hide the debt" scheme (and they would have got away with it, if it hadn't been for their accountant's greed when they peddled the scheme).  It should be unsuprising to everyone that the money-movers are better then the money-finders, as a government position pays 1/3 the starting salary and has a low ceiling with the added bonus of having lackwit partisans stop by and ask you to kiss thier ass.

No one I know wants to work in such an enviroment unless they have some sort of disdain for money or other sources of wealth.
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