‘Mistakes were made’: AIG’s Liddy

WASHINGTON - AIG Chairman and CEO Edward Liddy, who heads the insurance giant at the epicenter of a scandal over executive bonuses, acknowledged mistakes in an opinion piece published on Wednesday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 18 Mar 2009, 7:08 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 10:42 PM

Anger over the government rescue of AIG as well as the rising demand for accountability “is understandable, and I share it,” Liddy wrote in The Washington Post.

“Mistakes were made at AIG, and on a scale that few could have imagined possible,” he acknowledged.

“I am mindful of the outrage of the American public and of the president’s call for a more restrained compensation system. I am also mindful that every decision we make at AIG has consequences for the American taxpayer.”

The US government has demanded that the American International Group repay the 165 million dollars it gave in executive bonuses while taking more than 170 billion dollars in bailout money.

The bonuses were doled out to the Financial Products unit, the AIG division at the heart of the company’s near collapse.

“Make no mistake, had I been chief executive at the time, I would never have approved the retention contracts that were put in place more than a year ago. It was distasteful to have to make these payments,” Liddy wrote.

“But we concluded that the risks to the company, and therefore the financial system and the economy, were unacceptably high” to let the executives go as the division closed down, he wrote.

Taxpayers “should also know that AIG has a plan to return money to the government, and we are making progress,” he wrote.

Liddy is to appear on Capitol Hill on Wednesday before US lawmakers.

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