XKCD beat me to this, but oh well…

The recent news on AIG bonuses has got me confused and upset. Not because they’re using taxpayer dollars to give out bonuses that they’re contractually required to by law, but that people have no perspective on how much the money actually is.

AIG received $170 billion in loans (meaning they have to, you know, pay them back), and used $165 million to fulfill some of their financial obligations. Let me make it clear: the amount of money dispersed as bonuses is less than 1/1000 of the total amount of money received. And what else were they supposed to do? Not give out the bonuses and wind up being sued by the people holding the contracts for breaching them, and end up having to pay them out anyway, plus spend however much was needed in court costs? Let’s just be upset about something else besides this, ok?


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